Spat over Abaya ban at Pera university

The top management of the Peradeniya University is rejecting a dress code that bans Muslim dress for women at tomorrow’s External Students examinations.

A guideline issued for the exams of the Centre for Distance and Continuing Education bans Abayas and long sleeves for students entering the centre.

As this flies in the face of guidelines issued by the Human Rights Council as well as the University Grants commission, many students opposed the move.

In response the Vice Chancellor Prof. Upul Dissanayake promises he will personally intervene to ensure students don’t have to adhere to these guidelines.

He told RepublicNext that “there is no dress code for students. They are free to wear anything. The UGC guidelines are there only as a security measure. These CDCE guide is wrong and I will see that there will be fairness.”

Before the current wave of Islamaphobia swept the country the HRDSL issued guidelines for approved attire after a dispute arose between Muslim teachers and school administrations in two separate schools in the country.

In a ruling issued about approved attire the HRCSL said “religious wear” that does not obstruct the face of the wearer was permitted.

These guidelines have been used in drawing up the UGC code which the President has instructed all government departments to adopt.

On Tuesday President Maithripala Sirisena ordered that a restrictive Public Administrative Department dress code be withdrawn and the UGC code adopted by all government bodies.  

The UGC Guideline approved by the Human Rights Council





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