Surkhet schools, colleges shut over varsity meet venue



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Student unions in Surkhet have closed all schools and colleges in the district protesting against the decision of the Mid-western University to organize its first-ever senate meeting in Kathmandu.

The unions are demanding that the senate meeting be held at the university office in Surkhet and have threatened stringent protests if their demand goes unheeded. 

The protestors on Friday faxed a memorandum to the university´s liaison office in Kathmandu demanding that the senate meeting be held in Surkhet itself. 

"We were planning to submit the memorandum in the university head office in Surkhet but had to fax it to Kathmandu as all university officials have already left for Kathmandu," said Mahendra Kumar Malla, secretary at University Establishment Main Committee. 

The university has decided to organize the senate meeting in Kathmandu on September 23, citing Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai´s inability to visit Surkhet due to his busy schedule. 

Malla also informed that they have submitted the memorandum to the prime minister through the District Administration Office.

Prime Minister Bhattarai as ex-officio chancellor of the university is secluded to chair the senate meeting. The University Board consists of 27 members including education minister as ex-officio vice-chancellor, a member of National Planning Commission and the chairman of University Grants Commission among others. 

Prime minister Bhattarai during his visit to Jumla on Sunday had said that the meeting was being held in Kathmandu due to technical reasons.

Protesting locals and political party leaders of the midwestern region have said the decision to hold the meeting in the capital ignores "the aspirations of the people of Surkhet".

They also blamed that university officials have tried to make the new university a Kathmandu-based one. The senate meeting will discuss and approve the policy and annual budget of the university.

(Source: Republica National Daily)