The leader of the Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) K. Thavapalan has been attacked and seriously injured by suspected Sri Lankan Army personnel.
Thavapalan, who was elected as president of the JUSU in 2010, was followed by the assailants before being attacked with iron bars, causing grave injuries.
He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
Mr Thavapalan has been instrumental in organising recent protests by hundreds of students against grease devil attacks, suspected to be perpetrated by the Sri Lankan Army.
The JUSU was one of the organisations US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake was due to meet in September, but protests by government aligned forces forced the meeting to be cancelled.
The student union, along with Tamil organisations across the world, held a remembrance event on May 16 this year to remember the thousands of lives lost during the final phase of the war, but were subjected to harassment and intimidation by the Sri Lankan military and government aligned paramilitaries.