21 May, 2022


A Lament For Sri Lanka: Addressing Comments On University Autonomy

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof.  S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

A National Sickness?

There have been many comments to my article on University Autonomy which was not to support Dr. Kiddnan Kobindarajah, the former VC of EUSL, but rather to demand the rule of law. I thank those who were positive, especially those who stuck to and understood the issues in their comments.

Many of the vituperative comments, however, as a visiting researcher from the US told me, reflect a sickness in the community after 30 years of war. Readers make wild guesses and then state them authoritatively as if fact. For example that I am 64 years old, and that I was abroad most of the time and tried several times to become a VC to any university and failed (whereas I was made VC at Jaffna, the only university to which I applied to be VC, except for this nomination to EUSL and an old nomination by Neelan Tiruchelvam when I got my D.Sc. degree).

The Editor of Colombo Telegraph has informed me that the comments are impossible to moderate and has asked me what is going on. It is that sickness, I told him.

Doors Closed in Jaffna

The only comment I wish to address concerns challenges to my statement that the Competent Authority, Prof. Uma Coomaraswamy, is manipulating the appointment of VC. That needs this separate article with provision for attachments. Hence my request to the Editor of CT to accommodate this reply as an article rather than as a comment on a comment.

I was not an applicant nor a candidate for VC/Batticaloa this time because I had withdrawn before the vote. After coming to Sri Lanka to serve in1995, I doggedly pursued jobs at Jaffna, my home. They would advertise for Professor of Civil/Electrical and when I was the only applicant and an electrical engineer, cancel and readvertise for Professor of Civil Engineering. Etc. Etc. The science teachers’ staff association JUSTA, refreshingly secular for Jaffna, has carefully documented evidence of recruitment abuse. The UGC Chairman has rather shamelessly repeated to a FUTA delegation which raised JUSTA’s complaints, the Jaffna VC’s claim that these accusations are a Christian Conspiracy. I also pursued legal remedies for being denied a post at Jaffna as Professor of Computer Science as ordered by the USAB. Since my last application was dragged on for three years against the rules before I was found unqualified, I also applied in July 2015 for Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering because the students are so badly off without teachers and I would pass my retirement age in another three years if I waited for a professorship which is likely to be denied anyway. A Senior Lecturer appointment can be done very quickly, unlike a professorship. But they have refused to process it saying I filed a case on my professorship. That is, if you file a case against Jaffna University, you cannot apply for any position at that university according to VC Vasanthy Arasaratnam. This is the importance teaching gets as it is trumped by the need to take revenge.

Nomination as VC/EUSL

I was asked a year ago if I would consent to being nominated as VC/EUSL. I had said no because I came back to work in Jaffna and live out the rest of my life here. I was 62 years old then. But the people who asked me went to the UGC and got word that I was eligible to work for almost 3 years at the time. When they asked again, I said yes only in November 2015 when my Senior Lecturer (Electrical) application to Jaffna had not been processed for months and was to expire on 10 January 2016. I had given up on working in Jaffna because the doors seem shut to me. Dr. J.T. Xavier, FRCS, an eminent surgeon in Batticaloa, nominated me.

Manipulation by Uma Coomarasway

However, very quickly I found Uma Coomaraswamy, the Competent Authority sent to fix alleged problems in EUSL, manipulating the EUSL system:

1) Circular 880 stipulates that the Council “shall appoint a search committee comprising 03 senior academics in the rank of Professor or above” with at least one Dean (Mathi quotes this in his comment leaving out “in the rank of professor or above”). The purpose of this committee was, said Circular 880, to “search for and encourage eminent persons to apply.” But Senior Lecturers were appointed to this committee under Prof. Coomaraswamy’s Chairmanship. Perhaps she did not want the committee to have the stature to speak to and persuade eminent people to apply.

This Committee met nominally only once and did not invite anyone. Naturally no outsider applied as a result of this Committee. Prof. P. Vinobaba, its Chairman, openly supported Dr. M. Jayasingam and told the others that there was need to invite outsiders.

2) Circular 880 demands that the Council shall appoint “an evaluation committee of 03 Council members to report on an assessment of qualifications, professional experience and vision statement of each applicant.” Instead this committee, consisting of Prof. R. Sivakanesan as Chairman and Dr. M.S. Ibralebbe and Mr. A. Gnanathasan, PC, gave a composite score to some of the candidates, leaving out some as unqualified. There was not one word on our qualifications, professional experience or vision statement which was their specific job to do. Instead they proceeded off their mandate to say who is qualified and who is not, and even singled me out, out of 10 persons, to have my signature verified. That after all, is the Registrar’s job to do under Coomaraswamy’s supervision. Was it a  desperate gamble to have me disqualified using this committee which seemed willing pawns just like the Attorney General’s Department was in the hands of then CJ Mohan Peiris?

Evluation Committee Scores

This committee’s score sheet is attached for readers to see if their score is reasonable. For that exercise I am attaching the Résumés of first ranked Dr. M. Pagthinathan (who listed Chairman Dr. Sivakanesan as his reference in his CV!), second ranked Dr. M. Jayasingam and myself.

Any reader can see that the scores were unrealistic. More amazing is that these unrealistic scores given by the three committee members are so close to each other’s. Given that they are unrealistic, I believe they could not have been so close if they had been done independently. Dr. Jayasingam, Prof. Coomaraswamy’s botanist friend and colleague from the days she worked at EUSL, has his scores so close behind No. 1, that it did not matter that he was No. 2 (that is, 68.7 and 68). As we will see, it was safe to place Dr. Pagthinathan first.

I was amazed and called up Mr. Gnanathasan whom I had regarded as a man of integrity and is known to repeat everywhere that God is watching us. He was hostile. “Just because you have a D.Sc. do not think you have to be No. 1,” he told me. He is a President’s Counsel. I do not believe that he could not read and interpret Circular 880 as to what they had to do. I believe that his misreading was deliberate and for a purpose.

3) At the Council meeting, Prof. Coomaraswamy wanted voting to be done on this score sheet without CVs. It was surely a way to hide the fact that the scores had no relationship to reality. Some Deans prevailed on her after an argument at the Council to release the CVs which she reluctantly did.

4) With a person like Gnanathasan, PC caught up in EUSL politics and losing any sign of the integrity he was reputed for, I decided I did not want to be a part of this dirty politics and to withdraw. I wrote to the Registrar and also called him up and told him that I no longer was a candidate and would not attend the interview nor make a presentation. I also informed Dr. Xavier, my nominator. I copied my letter to Council members whose addresses I had.

JaffnaBy then the Supreme Court had given its judgement that Dr. Kobindarajah whose name had been left out by the Evaluation Committee, should be included and that they should abide strictly by the circulars.

Yet, Prof. Coomarswamy, knowing the judgement, kept Dr. Kobindarajah off the ballot, rushed the vote and placed me on the ballot knowing that I was not a candidate any more. How did she expect the vote to go when the Council knew that I had withdrawn and had not even come for the interview? I take it that she saw some value in using me to draw votes away from other candidates who did not think like her.

Dr. Jayasingam came first. Not surprisingly Dr. Pagthinathan, ranked first by the Evaluation Committee came towards the last with 2 or 3 votes. In placing him ahead of Jayasingam, the Evaluation Committee had ensured that they were backing a sure loser and not hurting Jayasingam in any way. When I surprisingly tied for third place with Dr.P. Sivarajah who had been ranked third by the evaluation committee , a second ballot was ordered to decide just between the two. At that point, those who supported the first two, would have ensured my elimination. That vote too was outside the manner of voting prescribed in Circular 880. Prof. Coomaraswamy was duty bound by that circular to report the mandated first vote as it happened.

Cheating the President

If I had come within the first three, would Professor Coomaraswamy have forwarded my name to the President although I was not a candidate? To do that would have been absolute dishonesty since only two of the three names would have been those of genuine candidates. I assume she was prepared to do that because admitting that I had withdrawn would have invalidated the list she had worked so hard for. She would have had to try to trick the President because the Universities Act demands that she send three names to him.

Prof. Coomaraswamy as Chairman had a responsibility to see that things were done properly and by the rules. She was even prepared to send the name of a candidate who had withdrawn to the President pretending that he was a candidate.

Readers can judge if my assessment that Prof. Coomaraswamy was manipulating is correct.

Weeping for Sri Lanka

The university system, I say, is absolutely corrupt. What hope do we have when Prof. Coomaraswamy who was sent by the Minister to fix the problems, ends up adding to them? It is the UGC’s job to be exposing all this. When will the UGC ever wake up? When will the Minister realize that the UGC is asleep on the job and contributing to communal disharmony by spreading allegations against Christians? Why did the Supreme Court go away on vacation without dispatching their judgement, knowing that the future of a national institution hinged on it?

Sri Lanka – I weep for thee!

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Prof. please try to clean Universities rather than going behind useless VC appointments. It is anyway political appointment. All the professorships in Eng. faculties given based on IESL journal publications must be cancelled. Joker and absurd title of senior professor must be stopped. No where such title holders. Even among the Nobel prize winners, such title can not be seen.

  • 1

    Regarding “Why did the Supreme Court go away on vacation without dispatching their judgement, knowing that the future of a national institution hinged on it?”:

    Why not ask the Chief Justice Kanagasabapathy J. Sripavan and A. Gnanathasan? They were good friends when they were Solicitors General at the Attorney General’s Department. They will have a good understanding.

    • 1

      A good understanding of how things work or a good understanding with each other?

  • 2

    The concept of the UNI has still not been understood and seems to be above Sri Lankan education administrators! A most ridiculous and lamentable situation for your country.

    The President should set an example first by appointing the best for the UGC, VC and the like, and honestly, i. e. according to the circular. Hope the Minister will not put his Alma Mater to shame by promoting the illegal acts of the VCs whom he manages.One of my Sri Lankan colleagues told me once: “once they get the position the spirit descends”!

    It is obvious that the people who are bound by the circulars, from the UGC to VCs and their appointed Deans and heads are not reading the circulars or if they do as they claim, are unable to understand them, and if they understand they are cheating outright for they do not understand the purpose of education. To believe that criticism is Christian Propaganda, he must be too naive to hold his job.

    Prof. Carlo Fonseka, Prof. Lalith Mendis or someone trustworthy should conduct classes on the circulars for the Admin and faculty and make them pass a mandatory test on them, monitor VC and Evaluate directly Uni council sessions etc. towards correction under these pitiful circumstances. The UGC cannot be trusted with these.

    I guess when a country asks for free education no one in it respects quality in education. Start a student loan system instead as in the USA and make people pay. Then they will ask for quality in faculty.

    All this proves to the outside world that the recommendations we get for Sri Lankan students should not be trusted or the people themselves.

  • 4

    Dear Prof
    It is very sad that you were misguided by some people and they use your dignity and name for their politics.
    I strongly denied about your assessment that Prof. Coomaraswamy was manipulating.
    This article shows you are deliberately attacking Prof Uma Coomaraswamy as you are now the spent horse in the VC race because of the following reasons.
    1) There is a contradictory statement made by you about the committee members
    “But Senior Lecturers were appointed to this committee under Prof. Coomaraswamy’s Chairmanship….
    This Committee met nominally only once and did not invite anyone. Naturally no outsider applied as a result of this Committee. Prof. P. Vinobaba, its Chairman, ……
    Circular 880 stipulates that the Council “shall appoint a search committee comprising 03 senior academics in the rank of Professor or above” with at least one Dean
    The search committee members were Prof Vinobaba (Professor), Prof A Murugathas(Professor) and Dr Ragel(Dean Science, who is the one behind the seen to your activities)
    Then what is issue in that??
    2) That is the Statement of a lawyer who is appeared for the complainant. That cannot be taken as a judgment. Judgment should be given by the court. Not by the lawyer this is fundamental.
    3) Regarding your statement “I was amazed and called up Mr. Gnanathasan..” Is it autonomy to contact /interfere you as a candidate with Mr. Gnanathasan (whom you had regarded as a man of integrity) council appointed the committee member.
    4) “The Jaffna VC’s claim that these accusations are a Christian Conspiracy” . It may induce you to go behind Dr Xavier, Bishop Ponniah, Fr Guy Rajendram the Christian in Batticaloa Christian (?)
    You stated “I was not an applicant nor a candidate for VC/Batticaloa this time….”
    But we heard you approached the several civil society members through telephone from US and requested them to nominate yourself if I want I can produce the evidence.

    Please stop these type of critics as you will loose you dignity

    • 0

      “They gave independent evaluation. Why you ask the marks are close…? This is not your or our business. They are eminent people did their work. “

      Transparency is a right of the public. Evey citizen should ask these questions and should the courts. Just that here the courts are manipulating.Gnanathasan was trained by an honest impartial judge when he started. Now he is not impartial in his judgements but aiding and abetting foul play!.

      ” what did you do for institutional building for new medical faculty and new fine arts faculty of Eastern???? (as mentioned in your CV). Why you are giving false information…. Is it a genuine CV of you??? You have no rights to compare others CV with you. Please do not right your personal conversation in public domain. This is not good for you. Please do not repeat such things in future writings…! “

      When Prof. Hoole was in the UGC he did these and more. Even when Prof. Arulpragasam was our VC he has come here for committe mmetings and syllabus selections. You are ignorant. Hope you were not in the evaluation committee.

      Hoole never speaks lies. This is one thing those who know him will vouchsafe for.

      EUSL is being run by dishonest people is obvious to all.

      When quality is no more the issue in selection, those who do wrong this defend themselves with lies and slander.

    • 1

      I am puzzled.

      “shall appoint a search committee comprising 03 senior academics in the rank of Professor or above”

      Ragel’s academic rank is Senior Lecturer although he is a Dean.

      Who are the three at the rank of Professor and above? Very confused.

  • 2

    I need to justify the statement given by the author as per given in the sequence.

    (1) The council nominated search committee comprising two professors and one doctorate. The doctorate is the Dean from Faculty of Science. The statement given by Hoole is wrong as mentioned by him “But Senior Lecturers were appointed to this committee under Prof. Coomaraswamy’s Chairmanship”. And Hoole further stated that “Perhaps she did not want the committee to have the stature to speak to and persuade eminent people to apply” —This is an opinion of the writer (mind talk), can be anything and anyway. Cannot be a justifiable statement.

    Again the author mark a false statement to the readers that “Naturally no outsider applied as a result of this Committee”. One of the members of the search committee encourage you to apply…since that member may think you may be an eminent person….is that wrong?? You are an outsider??, including you three outsiders were applied for the VC post. Don’t you think it….???

    How do you state again an arbitrary statement that “his Committee met nominally only once and did not invite anyone, Prof. P. Vinobaba, its Chairman, openly supported Dr. M. Jayasingam and told the others that there was need to invite outsiders” (the sentence has one major mistake that I believe), Is it not shame to write this types of unjustifiable statements…?? Do you know what happened during those time??? What the Chairmen did? Pl do not write without knowing the ground situation in the university itself. You are a good writer but the statements are useless and false…Please you keep good informers from the EUSL not like Kobi who gave false/arbitrary statements to you.

    2)The Evaluation committee comprising Prof. R. Sivakanesan as Chairman (Eminent academic in Sri Lanka), Dr. M.S. Ibralebbe (Director of the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa) and Mr. A. Gnanathasan (Solicitor General). Yes, they given the scores, based on the evaluation criteria developed. The council gave the mandate to evaluate the applications of the candidate to them. Based on the criteria (including qualifications, professional experience or vision statement), the candidates were got qualified and others disqualified. So what is your problem…? Are you thinking that you are a qualified person than all others…?? Every candidate may think that he/she may the top most candidate…its reality…!

    I want to mentioned one think here: to elect Secretary General for UN, an election was held and one person was selected…not meaning that the other one is not qualified. He also qualified but depending on the criteria assessed at that time, one may more suitable than the other/s. This is the reality. The one who lost the race may accept genuinely. That is the ethics a mankind has. We too follow that one, rather than arguing I am the best candidate. You are almost reaching 65 years old, with vast experiences as indicated in your CV, you may understand and accept this.

    Please do not go behind the immature people who fire up you and put you on the top of the papaw tree…!! You need to advise them…what is good and what is bad….!!!

    I want to mentioned another point here: the evaluation report was submitted to the council by the evaluation committee and was informed that “this result does not mean the order for the selection of the candidates but merely the evaluation”. And the election was held on the next council (not the same day of the reporting). If so happened, as you stated that Prof Uma Coomaraswamy manipulated the names, you and Mrs Chandakantha Mahendranathan may not come into the scene.

    Please do not compare CJ Mohan Peiris situation here…!!

    Evluation Committee Scores
    •First of all, a legal action should be taken (to the relevant person/s) to publish the confidential documents, without any permission of the respective authority.
    •Why not attach the CV of second candidate? Is it the supporter of the fomer Vice-Chancellor Kobi who is a good friend of Hoole…???
    •Why not attached CV of your friend Kobindarajah?
    •Dr Jayasingam has a very long CV than you Hoole. He put very abstract CV
    •This is shame to attach the personal documents of others (CVs) in a public domain, without their agrrement. It could be charged under the legal framework. Is the ethics of the writer…?? Is he a suitable person to appoint a VC in a higher institution…???

    (4) “Any reader can see that the scores were unrealistic…..”
    This is really a Joke. They gave independent evaluation. Why you ask the marks are close…? This is not your or our business. They are eminent people did their work. Is anyone asking your work…E.g. what did you do for institutional building for new medical faculty and new fine arts faculty of Eastern???? (as mentioned in your CV). Why you are giving false information…. Is it a genuine CV of you??? You have no rights to compare others CV with you.
    Please do not right your personal conversation in public domain. This is not good for you. Please do not repeat such things in future writings…!

    (5) You need to be very careful when writing the statement in the public domain. The court never gave the judgment, as you falsely attached the document. The case (Dr. Kobindarajah) was dismissed. The document you attached is given by the lawyer of Dr. Kobindarajah not the judgement by the court.
    It is interesting that no official frank of the lawyer. How can this letter could be considered as an official one? Anyone can produce this type of letter… useless.

    (6) You need to remember one think. You are not selected by the council members. It was proved twice at the council, No cheating the President. The names nominated by the council is democratic and bound within the law.
    Hereafter Please do not write that “Prof Uma Coomaraswamy manipulated the VC election”. This is not nice to you like an eminent person in Sri Lanka with a good CV.

    And my humble request to you that please have friendship with good people anywhere in the world….having international qualification in the paper does not mean that we are good personal…it should be reflected in our behavior…….”

    • 4

      These seem to be academic gentlemen writing comments. Their English seems so poor. How did they get the doctorates they claim to have? There must be wholesale cheating going on at the universities. It is stated that old GL Peiris also got his doctorate through plagiarism. It is best to disband the existing universities and start anew. They seem to be corrupt and rotten. We had a letter written by the VC of Jaffna reproduced in the CT a while back. The lady can barely write English. Jaffna used to take such pride in people who spoke and wrote English in the past. Now we have a pack of morons teaching the young and pretending to be what they are not.

    • 0

      I do not want involved too much. I know Prof. Hoole wrote ordinance to absorb music school to university and for getting Ramanathan staff without degrees into university. This is why I got time to do degree in India.

      When lies like this is said about him by Chand Vino, I can’t believe Chand Vino’s any thing.

  • 2

    Idealism must not make us blind: Advice to Prof. Hoole and MP Sumanthiran

    Red Carpet

    I admire Professor Hoole for his idealism but he is living in the clouds.

    I lived most of my life in Sri Lanka and moved to the US reluctantly because of how bad Sri Lanka had become. We have all read President Sirisena’s promise of a red carpet welcome but few of us took it seriously. Prof. Hoole was an exception. He could not see what the rest of us did. Politicians make promises freely. They make speeches for the moment and for the cameras and are rarely serious. Prof. Hoole let his idealism cloud his normally sharp judgment.

    What is worse, President Sirisena made his promise in parliament on Sept. 1 as a matter of new national policy. Six months after these promises were first made by him, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and several other ministers, if the red carpet has not been rolled out for returnees, it never will be.

    Prof. Hoole is well-advised to cut his losses and rejoin his family in Michigan where he has a good job.

    Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran: Representative of the People or the Highest Bidder?

    Mr. Sumanthiran seems stricken by another kind of idealism that the legal profession states and uses to justify representing anyone – murderers and victims – and lying for him or her. Such is the foundation of the legal system, they say.

    Prof. Hoole has not brought out in his article that MP Sumanthiran whom he admires and supports, appeared in this case, I hear for Dr. Jeyasingam or Prof. Coomraswamy. Dr. Jeyasingam and Prof. Coomraswamy both represented lawlessness. Coomaraswamy openly, Jayasingam passively as rules were broken for him and as a lawyer he surely knew. It really does not matter whether it was Coomaraswamy or Jayasingam that Mr. Sumanthiran represented. Regardless, Mr. Sumanthiran appeared on and for the side of lawlessness. In that sense, he appeared against EUSL and its stakeholders which includes all Tamils.

    Like Prof. Hoole, I fully admire and support Mr. Sumanthiran and in that spirit give him some advice from a much older and experienced man. You are now a representative of the Tamil people. You need to choose your cases carefully. You cannot say that as a lawyer you can take any side and that is how the legal system is upheld. Remember when you as a representative of the Tamil people defend wrong-doing, you are letting down those who sent you to parliament – in this case you let down all the people who rely for their education and livelihood on EUSL.

    As an example let me cite the example of our revered Thanthai Chelva. He was a very successful civil lawyer before he took to politics. Once he came forward to represent us, he essentially abandoned his practice except when public issues were involved. His income went down badly. Some say that he died almost broke. That is sacrificial representation of the people.

    I urge you to choose between the public whom you came forward to represent and the old practice of representing any person and any cause so long as you are paid. Rumour has it that your charge is Rs. 7.5 lacs per FR case. If true it is all the more important for you to choose because it sends out a bad message about whether you are truly our representative or your bank account’s.

    For myself, I urge you to follow Thanthai Chelva’s noble example. That way your case to succeed Mr. R. Sampanthan as our next leader becomes even more credible and we will all support you.

  • 4

    Dear Prof Ratnajeevan Hoole,
    I may not be eloquent like you in language and coordination of ‘non facts’ but shall write to the readers of facts.
    • The search committee is different to the others and was done accordingly. It is unfair to blame just one person. There had been other people consulted/promoted to apply for the position of VC. If necessary you may check with Dean faculty Science who was also a member. Who were the senior Lecturers in the Committee? NONE.
    • The Council has all its rights to evaluate candidates and also has a right to eliminate, short list within their powers and law. This is provided under the University ACT and E-Code. The committee need not have professors. Please note that council members are even in the Panel for Professors. They are there to evaluate candidates and not test their subject knowledge. There is nothing wrong and the evaluation had been unanimously accepted by the Council. Let us respect it. They would have indicated to the Council their methodology and it would have been the mandate of the council to accept or reject.
    • You as a candidate, if you had asked Mr Gnanadasan ( a council member) why you had scored a certain mark, YOU HAVE VIOLATED THE NORMS OF A CANDIDATE. You could have been blacklisted for that alone.
    • There had been no indication in writing from you withdrawing the application. Including your name in the list of candidates when you did not make a presentation may be a lapse. I think greater lapse is to include your name when you were above 62 years of age and unable to complete a full term in office. YOU as such an educated person applying when you did not have 3 years term indicates your eagerness to the position, beyond the fundamentals.
    • If there needed to be a manipulation, then the voting could have been held on the day of the report of the subcommittee and not have another date for presentation and Voting.
    • You agree the voting has not followed the patterns of the sub committee score, indicating its independence.
    • You blame for speedy actions of the University to send the names to UGC and if not sent you would blame it for the delay. There was a subtle way you asked ‘ did I have a chance?’ by stating ‘would the C/A have sent my name’. Smart.
    • Please also note that there was a representative of UGC at the elections to ensure regulations.
    • In relation to the supreme court order I have no idea. If the University has violated then there would be ‘contempt of court’. If not you also could be charged with contempt of court for ‘misrepresenting court’. Let the courts of law decide on that. However the fact the DR Kobi had recently filed a FR petition in courts indicates the previous cases were dismissed and thus it is very unlikely that there was any judgment for the previous petitions.

    The issue of state university system and private education are far beyond your narrow view of personalities and personal grievances. Your way of arrogance in charging all events wrongly to Prof Uma Coomaraswamy actually degrades you and shames you. She has been a respected member of the Academic staff of the University system for 50 years, whose caliber you could never match.
    Your myopic view of events to suit you and looking at events through tinted glasses questions your creditability as an academic beyond the qualifications you hold and speaks of experience you lack. Please come out of your shell ‘I am right and only I am right’.

  • 0

    Of course Mr M A Sumenthiran appeared in that case but not on and for the side of lawlessness (that is Mr M A Sumenthiran appeared for one of the defendant of that case). The case was filed by Dr Kobi against the EUSL. Then Mr M A Sumenthiarn obviously appeared for EUSL(openly or passively. Anyhow the case was dismissed. This shows that Mr M A Sumenthiarn did very good thing to all the people who rely for their education and livelihood on EUSL as usual.

  • 1

    Is Mr Sumanthiran appeared in this case against Dr Kobi? If so, we advise Dr Kobi to withdraw the case since he cannot get fair judgment in the case because of strong connection and friendship between Mr Gnanathasan, Mr Sumanthiran and …. .

  • 1

    Reading through some of these comments,ostensibly from academics,I am reminded of that famous quote of Cicero…O tempora O mores.
    I have read elsewhere in these columns that the EUSL had conferred an Honorary degree on K.W.Devanayagam,its Founder more than 10 years after his Death!
    Again my thoughts are with Cicero in a different context.Small people in big Places at the EUSL!

  • 1

    Prof. Thanks for the data.

    Could you also show us VC Vasanthy Arasaratnam’s cv. I ask because when my sister was a medical student at JAffna university the current VC who was their lecturer did not know what she was teaching. you can ask the medical students who studied at Jaffna university medical faculty in the eightees about this. Now my neice is there.

    I copied this from another comment sent by a reader of CT to you earlier:
    “UGC instructions in our advertisements for VC” : “The successful candidate should possess a record of high academic achievement including a strong research profile, proven leadership qualities and interpersonal skills to interact objectively with diverse interest groups, a clear understanding of policy issues and a commitment to the effective implementation of decisions.”

    Based on this circular once the UGCs gave points for the three candidates elected by the university councils and chose the best of the three as the circular demands. The late Prof. Arudpragasam/UGC was meticulous about the points he allocated in the UGC’s final VC selection. The UGCs afer that, Jaffna and EUSL seem to have no idea about how VC selections should be done.

    The President should safeguard the quality of our universities. He appoints VCs, the UGC etc. He cannot disregard merit for the circular demands it. On top of that Minister Kiriella wants to give autonomy to the universities to aid his friends with their corruption. The tax payers should demand accountability from these men and women or their children will come out of these universities de-educated and their heads falling low.

    Alas irresponsible and dishonest people are governing these institutions suppressing the intellectual advancement of Sri Lanka. The students are getting a very bad deal in the name of free education. Private universities with needs based scholarships must be looked into before Sri Lanka falls even lower in its university ranks.

  • 2

    dr Hoole

    A person went to the LLRC and spoke about his VC dream, and tried to become Vc when UGC circular clearly says applicant should have atleast 3 years more in service —– who is sick – look at the mirror

    • 1

      False propaganda.

      Prof. Hoole was in service at Peradeniya teaching and establishing the Elect/Comp eng dept. He was teaching there for more than 10 years when he applied. He was in service at Galle too.

      Now who is sick?

    • 0

      What circular? Nothing I have heard of.

      It looks like people can write anything here just to libel others.

  • 2

    Thank you, Musician.

    Yes, I did write the ordinance. Prof. Senake Bandaranayake also was with me on that 2-person UGC Sub-committee committee that after extensive consultations came up with a scheme to absorb the Vipulananda Music School into EUSL, giving senior accomplished musicians time to get the traditional qualifications required in a university. If we had not done that, they would have lost their jobs and there would have been no one to teach these skills in EUSL after absorbing the school. We did the same in the South in setting up the University of Visual and Performing Arts (a name suggested by Prof. Senake B).

    However, ultimately it was collective action by the UGC as we worked to see how the music people with traditional qualifications could be absorbed as Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, etc which required formal degrees and did not quite fit into our standard circulars and schemes of recruitment. The ordinance I wrote, was written after discussions with Prof. Senake B who co-signed our report, approved by the UGC and then tinkered by the Legal Draftsman.

    As a matter of principle I do not want to address every untruth being put out in these columns. Doing so would dignify those untruths and invite more of these untruths. It would keep me occupied round the clock. Readers know that history is not made from these comments, particularly when the comments are anonymous.

    I write this only to put Musician’s statement in proper context and acknowledge my fellow UGC members from that time and the Legal Draftsman’s role.

  • 1

    Although Prof Hoole is DSc I wonder about the “ethics”. Is that okay to send someone CV without there concern. It is fundamental. Be an academic how can we accept these type of academic culprit works??

  • 2

    Dear Hoole Sir ,

    As a student of EUSL I like to convey my feelings here. In my view University is the place where student can discuss, make mistake and learn how to correct it. But we lost our confident in EUSL during 2013-2014 because former VC always threatened the students and send the student to Police station. He even file the case against the students. Teachers are like god they have to correct the student and they should know how to correct the student without sending police station or court. I am not telling false story. If the case is serious then okay . But here he sent a student union president with false allegation that he plugged of a plant in the university premises. It was very pathetic situation of the university. After Madam Uma Coomaraswamy arrived we feel free. She is like our mother. She talked nicely. He worked at the university upto night 12.00. She work hard for us.
    Also Dr Jayasingam Sir is a gentle man very senior person and he has the all qualification to be a Vice chancellor and he can managed this university as he was in the university during the war time without escaping from the war situation
    Please dont blame anyone. In my view if madam supported Dr Jayasingam that is the good decision as he know the situation of the university than you Sir as she is has more experience in the higher education system nearly 50years too.
    If I am wrong excuse me. My English is poor please accept this.

    This from a student of Eastern University, Sri Lanka

    • 2

      It looks like you are confirming that Uma Madam took sides.

      If VC Dr. Kobi S bad, we must vote against him, not keep him off the ballot. I think that is all Hoole Sir is trying to say. Sadly we do not read and instead read what we think he will say.

    • 2

      Don’t trust Prof. Coomaraswamy. She smiles and and undercuts the Tamil students. When she was VC at the Open University we wanted to have a Tamil festival. The Sinhala students would not let us bring our vehicle in with stuff to make pongal etc. When we asked Prof. Coomaraswamy she did not allow us. She said there are problems. So we parked the vehicle far away outside the premises and the Tamil students had to carry the rice bags on their backs and all the needed stuff in slowly. Even when she was Dean Science she was manipulating with a big motherly smile. She is always with the administration however unfair, and she allowed Tamil employees to be stepped on to gain favors. She put her ambition over the well being of students. She and the other Profs. JNO Fernando and Nalini joined together and flouted circulars. Soon some of the Tamil staff left one by one. Open university Tamil students did not trust her and were afraid because she was unfair and was with the Adminstration. She was trying to please her Sinhalese bosses to become bigger and bigger.

      When our students like Sunnyston were taken into custody wrongly she did not help at all. Prof. Hoole helped us a lot then. He started network and all IT for Open University.

      Anyone who betrays the trust placed in them is never to be trusted.
      Dr. Jeyasingham badly neglected the Trincomalee Campus rarely being there and running to Colombo for his lucrative NGO projects or was in B’caloa at home. What can he show for his appointment there? That place was so badly neglected and was like a jungle till the visit of the minister. How can he now build up EUSL?

      Prof. Coomaraswamy and Dr. Jeyasingham are among the academics who only work for their own professional and monetary advancement, with an outward smile.
      Why are you crying for these two people?

  • 1

    It looks like someone in the name of a student (Suranimal)is trying to justify the lawlessness action by Uma to bring Dr T Jeyasingam as a VC. It is pity. Please do not insult Dr Jeyasingam by justifying Uma

  • 0

    I trust that Uma Coomarasamy [Edited out]

  • 0

    Dear Zonda,

    You misunderstood. I am not saying Madam Uma took side. I used the word “If”. Dont to you see that? Actually present VC election is repeat-election. Because, earlier, university had the election and sent the name list to president office with majority vote for Dr Kobi. After that Presidential commission came to the university and based on the negative report, malpractices, financial misconduct and the non eligibility of the Kobi they requested to re advertise. I am sure this may be the reason university did not accept the Dr Kobi’s application.

  • 2

    Hi Suranimal,
    You learned better English between few hours? Great. In your first comment, you had admitted that your English is poor and asked the reader to accept it but in the 2nd comment, you have used better English. How? My guess is correct. Some academics use students’ name as nick name to write comments, may be they are desperate. Sick and illogical academics. I feel sorry for the students of Eastern University

  • 0

    Prof. Ratnajeevan – I weep for thee!

    Please try to keep you reputation first, not to be taken away by Dicks and Toms like Dr. K. Kobindarajah. It is not surprise that you try your best to get into the university system, as that of Dr. K. Kobindarajah, since you two sail in the same boat, to be recognized by the society you need the Sri Lanka university, stating that you want to serve the country, still holding a duel citizenship.

  • 1

    God has to save the Eastern University, Sri Lanka from all kind of academic manipulations just stage their own man. It is regret to learn even after the appointment of Competent Authority, Prof. Uma Coomaraswamy, has articulated this kind of act against the UGC circular. I trust the present Government should intervene and find out the so called academic culprits of EUSL who master minded this selection processes. It appears Easternists trying to in-breed their own products/families in the university, faculties and the departments.

    It appears that another competent authority is to be appointed by the UGC/Government to explore these above findings.

  • 1

    It is sad to reflect from this article that Prof.Uma Coomarasamy has lost her prestigious academic track and timely caught up in the corrupted hands of T.J’s team.


    I strongly urge the UGC authorities and Hon. President of Sri Lanka to take appropriate action to stop this contagious disease being spread to other universities in our mother land.

    Save the Children of our Island.

  • 1

    Mark my words — influence and not the law will win the day. If Dr. J is not appointed, it would expose the UGC, its Chairman and CA. Perhaps the CJ too. By past practice, the President is not committed to the law.

    But Prof. Hoole, thanks for bringing out all this. We must know our system to usher in good governance, knowing the obstacles and obstructionists.

  • 0

    The appointment of the EUSL VC should not be rushed.There is more more to this than meets the Eye!

  • 1

    Yahapalanaya has appointed Dr Thangamuthu Jeyasingam as the VC just 2 days prior to the date of hearing of the FR Case. Well done Sumanthiran MP and _____ and entire Yahapalanaya Team. The People who supposed to be the guardian of the Law of the Country break the Law. I WEEP FOR THEE MY MOTHERLAND

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