The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) said it sees a campaign of repression being carried out by the government in an attempt to recall the dark days that existed in the years 1987-1989 and the suppression of fundamental rights of the people during the years 2009-2015.
FUTA stressed that it is truly ironic that the repression has been unleashed by a government led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, who said his entire political career is based on ‘liberal principles.’
In a letter, the FUTA Secretary Rohan Laksiri stated that they stand by the brave youth and activists drawn from every nook and corner of Sri Lankan society, who for more than one hundred days led a highly successful and internationally admired struggle ‘Aragalaya’ to demand accountable and democratic governance.
“The ‘Aragalaya’ was one of the most significant events in Sri Lanka’s social and political history and it achieved many democratic gains. It bravely challenged the corrupt political system in the country and succeeded in sending a deeply unpopular cabinet of ministers, dominated by the dynastic Rajapaksa family home. They sent then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and finally former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa home”, he added.
He said that however, with the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as President, many of these gains are being rapidly reversed.
“From the time he assumed office, Wickremesinghe has engaged in a political witch hunt, targeting ‘Aragalaya’ leaders and at the same time attempting to characterise it as a form of anarchy. Nevertheless, this spurious discourse by the “Ranil-Rajapaksa’ government has been roundly criticised by international observers, liberal governments across the world, progressive media, and a range of domestic and international rights activists and organizations,” he said.
Further, FUTA has decided to play an active role to both protect the youth and ‘Aragalaya’ leadership and at the same time to safeguard and nurture the democratic spirit of the ‘Aragalaya,.