Ragging prevention efforts of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya

A symposium on ragging related violence, the extent of the problem, law, institutional response, psychosocial effects, reporting system was held on 4th of November 2016 at the main auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine commencing from the 10.15 a.m. The symposium was mainly attended by the first year MBBS students (28th Batch) and SHS(speech and hearing sciences) 9th batch and academic staff.

The symposium commenced with a presentation by Ms. Sheron Perera, 4th Year student on “Ragging related Violence in Sri Lanka: The extent of the problem” where she explained the definition of ragging, the history, what is happing currently highlighting major incidents reported especially deaths and disability. She concluded her presentation stating that ragging violates civilized norms of behavior and established human values and therefore, there should be no place for it in the modern society.

Prof. Nilanthi de Silva, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, talked about ragging & other forms of violence reported in the Faculty of Medicine and the response of the administration. In her speech she highlighted that Faculty of Medicine has adopted the zero-tolerance policy for ragging from its inception and as future medical doctors one cannot engage in any violent activities. Further she stated that medical student should take all effort to develop empathy towards the needy because doctors have a duty to protect the vulnerable.

The third speaker was Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, Additional Solicitor General, from the department of the Attorney General. He spoke on the legal aspects and the legislation regarding ragging especially emphasizing on Prohibition of Ragging and other forms of violence in Educational Institutions Act No 20 of 1998 prevention.

Dr. Asiri Rodrigo, Consultant Psychiatrist and a senior lecturer in the department of psychiatry addressed psychosocial issue in ragging by taking examples. Finally the symposium concluded with educating students on web based reporting system. Prof. Prashantha Wijesinghe, Prof. Anuruddhi Edirisinghe, Dr. Thilina Palihawadan, Dr. Deepa Gunasekara joined the audience at the question session.

Ragging prevention programme which is a joint effort of the academic, nonacademic and students are also engaged in a poster campaign as well as several awareness programme.

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