Jaffna Uni VC refuses to sign Chinese MoU

Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Sivakolundu Srisatkunarajah has refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between China’s State Agricultural University and University of Jaffna on 25 November, saying that the MoU has the hidden agenda of China to grab fertile lands under the pretext of development projects in the North and East, and the Students’ Union of University of Jaffna has appealed to the Government not to sign MoUs with China against the will of the people.

In an official statement on 28 November, the Students’ Union expressed shock that a “secret arrangement was made to sign an MoU strongly supported by the Government of Sri Lanka.”

The Students’ Union expressed gratitude to their Vice Chancellor for refusing to sign the MoU.

The statement further notes that China directly and indirectly grabbed large chunks of sea areas under the pretext of promoting sea cucumber farms and created divisions among their fishermen.

“Now, China is eyeing to grab the fertile agricultural lands in the North and East with a malicious calculation to manage a severe food crisis which seems imminent in China in ten years. China allegedly supplied faecal matter with harmful bacteria as fertiliser to Sri Lanka and compelled Sri Lanka to pay millions of rupees. This is a classic example of how China will grab our fertile agricultural lands and enslave us to manage the upcoming food crisis in China.”

It further notes that it is clear that Sri Lanka has fallen into the present situation through non-transparent and unsustainable Chinese loans. Even in present negotiations for resettlement of loans, though Japan and India have supported Sri Lanka’s IMF plans, China has been persistent in its proposal for refinancing rather than restructuring with hidden agendas resulting in disaster later on has been clearly visible in Sri Lanka’s recent history with China.

Based on the approach of China, they said, they suspect that the Sri Lankan Government has already made secret deals with China to sell the fertile agricultural lands and the seas in the North and East to China.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan