Inter University Students' Federation
|අන්තර් විශ්වවිද්යාලයීය ශිෂ්ය බලමණ්ඩලය
|Type||Umbrella body of Students Unions|
|Purpose||save free education and against to the privatizing education|
|~70 students' unions|
|English, Sinhala ,Tamil|
|Subsidiaries||Inter Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee,University Bhikku Federation|
|Affiliations||Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna|
|Part of the Politics series on|
Inter University Students' Federation (Sinhalese: අන්තර් විශ්වවිද්යාලයීය ශිෂ්ය බලමණ්ඩලය) is a confederation of students' unions in the Sri Lanka. Around 70 students' unions are affiliated, accounting for more than 95% of all higher and further education unions in the Sri Lanka. Inter University Students Federation is the organization that is given leadership to whole university students in Sri Lanka.It is the largest student organization in Sri Lanka to date. It represents the voice of student councils and action committees in 15 higher education institutes including all the major universities and technical colleges in sri lanka.
IUSF comprises student unions representing main universities and Action Committees of all universities in Sri Lanka. The sole official of the union is known as the convener. Convener carries out all administrative and legal work on behalf of the union.Lahiru Weerasekara is the convener of IUSF since 2015. Inter University Bhikku Federation is an affiliated organization to IUSF.
As reforms were initiated in Sri Lanka in 1977, the student movement expressed dissent towards the reforms. Inter University Students’ Federation was formed in 1978, with a formation of a leftist mass movement and Shantha Bandara, a student in the science faculty of University of Peradeniya, was elected as its first convener .
Protests and campaigns
In recent times, most of its campaigns were against the plans to set up private higher educational institutions on the grounds of destroying free education which existed in the country since 1 October 1945.
- Shantha Bandara - Founding leader and the first convener of IUSF. Drop-out of University of Peradeniya and a prominent leader of JVP. Involved in the unsuccessful JVP insurrection during 1987-1989. Killed in January 1990.
- Sunil Handunnetti - Former convener of the IUSF, member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, member of the central committee of JVP and contested the 2010 Sri Lanka Parliamentary elections under the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), which is led by former army chief Sarath Fonseka and was re-elected to Parliament from the Colombo District.
- Ranjitham Gunaratnam - Former convener of the IUSF and a drop out of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya. He was the leader of the Peradeniya AC (Action Committee) in 1985, a JVP Central Committee Member and its Kurunegala District leader. Gunaratnam was abducted in December 1989, detained, tortured and killed at Wehera, Kurunegala. Corrections required here: Ranjtham Gunaratnam was not the leader of Peradeniya AC in 1985. The leader (we called the position as convener) of Peradeniya AC in 1985 was Gunapala Gajanayake, a student from the Faculty of Engineering. He was not a member of the JVP or its student arm, Samajavadee Sishya Sangamaya (Socialist Student Union) like Ranjitham.
- Ravindra Mudalige - Former convener of the IUSF.
- Chameera Koswatta - Former convener of the IUSF, JVP Chief Ministerial candidate for Sabaragamuwa Province at the provincial elections 2008.
- Duminda Nagamuwa - Former convener of the IUSF (May 2004 to February 2008), drop-out of the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya and JVP Chief Ministerial candidate for Western Province at the provincial elections 2009.
- Udul Premaratne - Former convener of the IUSF (February 2008 to January 2011), drop-out of the Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya.
- Sanjeewa Bandara - Former convener of the IUSF. A student of University of Ruhuna.
- Najith Indika - Former convener of the IUSF. A student of Colombo University Medical Faculty 
Conduct of the student union has drawn much criticism in media and university administrations. As a result, University of Jaffna banned IUSF from entering to the university premises in June 2010. Previously, University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa have taken steps to ban the student group from the university. IUSF has been accused of the murder of Samantha Vithanage, a third year Management student of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, who pioneered an anti-ragging campaign in the university.
IUSF admits that it uses strikes as the primary method to meet their demands as it sees no other plausible way. This has raised number of issues regarding the student discipline. Boycotting lectures has caused delays in student graduation time and cancellation of studentships in number of occasions.
IUSF is also criticized for not being able to take necessary action to prevent ragging in Sri Lankan universities. Instead, rival groups such as International Students for Social Equality have suggested that IUSF uses ragging as a means of attracting a following among more backward students. At the beginning, ragging served as a social equalizer in the universities. But with the emergence of JVP-backed student unions such as IUSF, ragging has served primarily to ensure the continuing domination of JVP political power within the universities, academics suggest.
Violence inside universities has steadily increased due to political intolerance. IUSF has been accused of obstructing and engineering clashes with rival political groups inside universities. In 2009, Prof. Nalin de Silva - Dean of the faculty of Science at the University of Kelaniya - complained that pro-JVP IUSF students have threatened him with death for not agreeing to their political ideologies.
Picketing is another form of protest employed by IUSF to meet their demands by forcing the government. The purpose of most of those protests refer to the protection of "Free Education System" and protecting the student rights. Picketings around Lipton Circus, Maradana and the country's busiest urbs has become common in the recent times. These picketings usually cause traffic jams and chaos in the city with police using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the gathering. This has resulted in public inconvenience.
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- Weerasekara-is-the-new-convener-of-iusf "Sanjeewa Bandara is the new convener of IUSF" Check
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