» 07/06/2012, 00.00
Christians defend Buddhist professor after he receives death threats
Melani Manel Perera
Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, president of the Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA), criticised the government's education policy. Persons unknown threatened him. The Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of thought to all citizens.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - Lay and religious Christian
activists have called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to protect the
life of Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri (pictured),
a Buddhist and a senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University
of Colombo as well as president of the Federation of University Teachers'
Association (FUTA). In the past few days, he has received threatening phone
calls and death threats from persons unknown for criticising government funding
The Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) wants an
official inquiry in recognition that "the free expression of thoughts and
freedom of involvement in trade union activities are fundamental rights
guaranteed by the constitution in Sri Lanka and human rights charter of the
Prof Devasiri is politically involved. He has
criticised the government, demanding that 6 per cent of GDP be invested in
education. He has also called for better wages for university lecturer and
their participation in committees making decision in the education field.
Since he and his colleagues organised a strike, he and
his family have received threats from strangers.
"In view of recent cases of abductions and disappearances,
the threats against Prof Devasiri worry us," the CSM said.
"The government cannot allow such things. It must
promote freedom of thought and freedom of expression, which are fundamental
principles in every democracy. Failure to do so means that the government is
24/09/2012 SRI LANKA
A four-day march to revitalise universities
Thousands of people are joining a new protest by the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA). The latter's strike is already in its third month. Religious leaders urge government and teachers to focus on students, the country's "most precious resource."
30/06/2010 SRI LANKA
School texts in Sri Lanka defame Christians, the Church and the Pope
The new textbooks offered by the Ministry equate Christianity and Western culture, accused of trying to destroy the Sinhalese culture. Archbishop of Colombo: "This is an attempt to bring disharmony between religious communities and to inculcate a defamatory image in the minds of students."
16/09/2011 SRI LANKA
Jaffna history, art and culture for the new generations
An exhibit and seminar (24-27 September) will showcase ancient artefacts, goods, images, sculptures and studies about the glory days of the northern peninsula. Indian scholars will present papers. The exhibit is open to foreigners.
25/03/2010 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka, political industry at the service of a totalitarian regime
An anthropologist and writer, describes the reality today in the Asian nation, characterized by propaganda and slogans inspired by patriotism to maintain power. No freedom of thought, opponents are being jailed and convicted on false accusations. Power is centralized in the hands of a narrow circle that stifles the nation.
Beijing plans to register 17 million Internet bloggers
The head of the government's Internet Society said making known the real identity of web users was an unavoidable choice. Legislators are currently assessing a proposal to ban the publication of opinions under pseudonyms.
Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions
The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.
EGYPT - ISLAM
Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism
The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.
18/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.