Open group discussion on radicalization and stigma
Under the guidance of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo, Dr. M. Mahees, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, organized an open house discussion on some issues that disrupt university life. The discussion was held at the Senate Hall on the 20th of February 2020 from 2.00 pm onwards. The participants represented all the faculties of the University of Colombo. The speakers, Dr. Yoganathan and Dr. Willis did a presentation on radicalization and stigma and its impact on generating psychosocial issues which disrupt social and biological wellbeing in societies in general and how this may create issues in universities. This led to an interesting discussion on the conceptual and theoretical issues in defining radicalization and its positive and negative aspects. The discussion after the presentation of Dr. Yoganathan and Dr. Willis was focused upon the ways to address radicalisation and social stigma and the mechanisms to deal with the issues created by radicalisation in universities. Creating a digital-based hotline for student/staff/ parents on issues such as ragging, stigma, rehabilitation processes for perpetrators and victims, addressing the issues that constrain self-assertiveness of students, addressing the issue of silence of staff that can lead to radicalisation and social stigma at universities were cited as topics for further discussion and action.