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Militarisation of Sri Lanka and its infiltration into Higher Education

20 October 2011

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by Shamala Kumar

Evidence of militarisation is everywhere – most recently in the sphere of higher education. The armed forces are involved with development projects, in welfare, and in farming. They are even involved in city beautification, the maintenance of playgroups and shops, of course Sports, and now higher education. Their increased presence is evident in subtle changes in our daily lives. The large number of ‘yu ha’ vehicles dropping and picking up school-going children is one that confronts me each school day.

Militarisation is, however, not just confined to their conspicuous presence in public spaces but extends to public acceptance and reinforcement of an attitude that glorifies the forces which in turn enables the process of militarization. The military does not operate through a process of consensus building and does not, in general, function according to democratic principles. While those at the lower rungs of the military hierarchy bear the brunt of this oppressive system, civil society is not immune. [. . .]