Sunday, January 2, 2011

JUST BEFORE THE STORM - PART 4:
Rough seas - by E/81/214


Read
PART 1: First in the batch...!!!
PART 2: Everything was going on so well…
PART 3: Student Clashes

Soon after, the second most unfortunate event in my student life happened. We lost Pathmasiri Abeysekara of the medical faculty to the police bullet. This sad incident was not without its own blessing as well, as it created a new form of student leadership without any political leanings.

When the university was finally re-opened with the police post gone, we began slowly adapting to the normality. One notable difference was that the university administration had been taken over by the fellows from the medical faculty and it would be years until that bad spell was broken!

One popular saying in our University days was that “Those who are handsome don’t get girls and those who cram don’t get classes (Hendiyan ta badu netha, kraman ta class netha)!” I am sure that this is still as popular as then. Even though from time to time, we could prove that the first part of this saying is not true, we firmly believed that later part.

Then came the eye opener. The faculty released the second year results with the usual delay. Those who got through became instant heroes and all those jokes about their cramming disappeared into thin air. Some of us understood for the first time that while it is “cool” to cut lectures and not taking studies seriously, it is “cooler” to get good results at the exams. Unfortunately, these results were released too late in the academic year that even if you get lecture notes copied from someone else, you are too late to make any difference. The third year exam was just around the corner. These exams will be remembered forever for the leaked exam papers. There was a tough talk by Thureirajah and presumably some investigation but were not aware of anything that happened to the culprits.

The fourth year began in the last week of January 1985 with a minor hick-up due to the University Amendment Act of 1985. The island-wide strikes organised by the IUSF failed to make any serious impact and we were back to normalcy soon with only the slogans Jayasri and I wrote on the railway bridge at Dangolla being the lone reminder. The faculty administration saw an end of an era with Thureirajah resigning to join the Open University. The ESU, presented him with a gold medal for his services to the faculty students community. At the general body meeting I chaired as the President of the ESU, at least one student, as I remember it was Ronnie of the E/82 batch, suggested that we welcome the new Dean also with a gold medal. But on a suggestion made by Stanly Moremada, the student body decided to leave it to a future ESU to award a gold medal to new Dean CLV Jayathilake, if the need arises!

TO BE CONTINUED WITH PART 5

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