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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 12 June 11, 1968

The world needs leaders

page 3

The world needs leaders

"The crying need everywhere is for leadership by men and women of wisdom and vision, conviction and courage: practical idealists," said Dr Gunapala P. Malasekera, Chairman of the Ceylonese National council of Higher Education.

"Not just those who wish to bask in the glare of publicity at whatever cost, but those who are realists.

"We want our higher educational institutions to produce such leaders."

Dr Malasekera was opening the 10th Asian Regional Consultation and Seminar at Colombe on May 13th President John McGrath represented the NZUSA.

Student demonstrations had an important place in both history and society, Dr malasekera said.

"But violent student demonstration where students overturn buses, set fire to trains, attack policemen and destroy public property and where lives have sometimes been lost, is a new phenomenon."

"In university campuses students arc agitating for more freedom to organise their own affairs, obtain greater participation in university administration and be identified with world problems with a sense of maturity and responsibility.

"In this pari of the world we believe in the efficacy of non-violence to solve our problems," he said. "We believe that violence is self-defeating in its purposes.

"To us, discipline is not blind obedience to laws and rules imposed from outside, but enlightened self-restraint which comes from learning and spiritual development."

Questioning rather than offering answers, Dr Malasekera said, "When we express concern about student unrest we should ask ourselves, what do we want our college Students to do, if anything, during their student days beyond academic work and social play?

"We all regard a university education with great respect because it brings with it a powerful social advantage as well as a long-range money-earning advantage.

"But many who want their sons and daughters to profit by higher education and the university to make them work hard, do not put troublesome and controversial ideas into their heads.

"If trouble-making professors go about trading questionable ideas, the students had better help them in their notebooks and not start experimenting with them."