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Political Persecution by Tertiary Scholarship Loan Board

BE THE CHANGE

Monday May 26th 2014

PRESS RELEASE

Political Persecution by Tertiary Scholarship Loan Board (TSLB)

On May 23rd 2014, a volunteer of Be The Change had his university scholarship terminated by the Tertiary Scholarship Loan Board (TSLB) for “associating" himself "in political agendas”.

There are no stipulations in the scholarship arrangement (nor should there be) that prevents a student from engaging in the political affairs of their country and nation building, especially in pursuit of making informed voting decisions.

He is a high achieving student who needs the scholarship to complete his undergraduate degree. The letter of termination did not provide him with any right to reply or appeal.

Be The Change member Roshika Deo says, “the State has lowered the voting age to 18 years to encourage the political participation of young people and have in rhetoric promised genuine democracy. Genuine democracy is impossible if our constitutional rights are violated, and we are intimidated through the violation of our right to education.”

She also said, “If the State is going to take away a young person’s right to education so that it can control and intimidate young people from participating in the affairs of our nation and exercising our political rights, then the values encompassing free education appears hypocritical.”

Be The Change is outraged at the manner in which our volunteers and members are being targeted for trying to contribute towards nation building, for taking responsibility and attempting to create the future we want to live in. The State is attempting to destroy his future and the future of our country by persecuting young people.

This action further diminishes the credibility of having a free and fair election, if young people continue to be targeted, which is threatening our political autonomy and creating a climate of fear and intimidation. We make up nearly 47% of the voting block this election and yet we are being prevented from exercising our political rights and our education is being taken away.

Be The Change implores the TSLB to exercise objectivity and independence. We urge TSLB to reinstate the scholarship and to stop the political persecution of young people.

We urge the State to hold true to its commitment of creating an enabling environment in which political participation is encouraged in readiness of elections in September.

ENDS.

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