19 November, 2019

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Colombo University Teachers Union Wants Senate To Boycott The Meeting Today

“Stand with us in solidarity to show our dissent to this appointment. You can start by boycotting the senate meeting today as a symbolic gesture of your support.” the Executive Committee of the Colombo University Federation of Teachers Unions wrote to the members of the Colombo University Senate.

UGC Chairperson - Hirimburegama - (Center)

We publish below the letter in full;

Dear Senate Member

We write to you to draw your attention to the unprecedented controversy that has been created due to the appointment of the vice chancellor of the University of Colombo. Please take a few minutes of your time to go through this letter and give serious consideration to the issues we raise. If you feel that there is merit in the arguments we present here, please stand with us in solidarity to show our dissent to this appointment and boycotting the senate meeting today as a symbolic gesture of our defiance.

1. University of Colombo is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in this country. In the past it has been led by senior members of the academic community, with great stature and vision such as Prof. Nicholas Atygalla, Prof. B.A. Abeywickerama, Prof. P.P.G.L. Siiwardene, Prof. Stanley Wijesundara, Prof. Nandadasa Kodagoda to name a few, who have commanded the highest respect, both within and outside the university system. To continue this tradition, we believe that whoever is appointed to this post as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, should be a person of exemplary academic achievements, preferably having achieved the rank of Professor in the university system, and also having a track record of leadership and administrative experience.

2. It has been argued that Dr. Hirimburegama posses the minimal qualifications required for the post. Most of you have sat at interview boards to recruit people to post graduate courses, Departments etc., In these instances we use minimal qualifications to shortlist the candidates for the interview. But do we recruit the person(s) with minimal qualifications to the post when there are highly qualified candidates who can be recruited? Think of situations that you know of, where we have failed to follow this important principle in the past and have recruited persons with minimal qualifications for positions in the academic ranks and how they have performed subsequently? That is the level of stringency we apply even when we recruit a probationary lecturer the lowest academic rank in the University because we wish to maintain high standards. Yet, when it comes to the Vice Chancellor of the University are we prepared to overlook this important principle? Shouldn’t we always strive to get the best candidate?

3. As the new Vice Chancellor happens to be the husband of the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission and former vice chancellor of the University of Colombo it will seriously undermine the autonomy and independence of the University of Colombo. The UGC chairman has already violated the University act by sending all three names recommended by the council to his Excellency the President instead of recommending a single name for appointment which is clearly stated in the act. Further, she has actively canvassed for her husband, to be appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo which is highly unethical and that goes against the norms of decency (see the article that appeared on The Colombotelegraph on the 23rd May, 2013. (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/last-night-dinner-at-sbs-residence-mr-to-appoint-ugc-chairpersons-husband-as-the-vc-of-university-of-colombo/)).    

“Stand with us in solidarity to show our dissent to this appointment. You can start by boycotting the senate meeting today as a symbolic gesture of your support.”

Thank you for taking the time to go through this. We hope you will do the right thing.

Executive Committee

Colombo University Federation of Teachers Unions (CUFTA)

List of the Senate Members;

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Latest comments

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    25% of senate members are the out door connection recruitments of grandfather emiritus of so called family dept in Arts faculty. Where were these FUTA whren WD Lakshamn recurit his second son as a lecturer to his own dept and his another son sending to Medical faculty in Kalaniya University without Sri Lankan A/L with foreign passport. Now FUTA is using this man even to speech. Poor FUTA Colombo University problems are more deeper than this VC appointment. Correct that. Why not appointing a Committee to check this Emiritus wrong doing while he was in VC position. Interesting thing this is the lady in Friday forum gave cover-ups for all wrong doing of this VC but now protesting against this legal VC appointment of country’s president.

    • 0
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      Anyway, you comments need proofs – please add the references.

      Else, even any grand mother would join to continue your sort of comments. CT readership would be thankful if comments could become some constructive and containing facts.

      I really cant realize why lankens seem to have no respect towards the education. I think two or three decades ago, we respected lanken universities to be great universities. Today unfortunately the very same ones have become just institutions handled by politicians so that honorary doctorates to be awarded to any guy who just own a BA or that level basic degrees. Where I am located, it is unthinkable to be awarded in that way..This is unfortunately not a good sign for the lanken future. I am personally very against Mervin, Rajapakshes or the calibre to have been given such degree titles deliberately disrespecting the great acceptance of those titles.

    • 0
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      A court case should be filed and a stay order sought against the appointment of a husband of a wife who stinks as the VC of Colombo University – this is a classic conflict of interest case with the potential for much corruption, very similar to the appointment of Shiranee Bandaranaiyake as CJ and Hubby as head of National Saving Bank – so that the duo will be the puppets performing the Rajapassa dance!

    • 0
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      Eben politicians appoint their university – graduated children or reltaves, it does not matter from what university, as lecturers.

      there are some people who did not get the admission to Sri Lanka universities because their grade average was not enough. Yet, they are university lecturers because they could graduate via govt offered foreign scholarships.

      Now, there are vice chancellors who have only a three year degree as the first degree.

      The next thing will be home science students or agricultural science students of politicians entering medical faculty. I heard that happened in the private university.

    • 0
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      If you are genuine make your academic achievements public and do google search about Prof WD Lakshman’s second son Dr. Rajith Lakshman. Then you can realise that Dr Rajith Lakshman is one of the best products which Economics Department of the University of Colombo ever produced.

    • 0
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      I dont why are you talking about WD Lakshman’s two sons. What about his daughter? She also a lecturer at the Colombo University. She joined University after completing her PhD in a foreign university. So do you think prof WD Lakshman can influence that foreign university to offer a PhD? WD Lakshman’s son who joined as a lecturer also obtained his PhD from one of the prestigious universities in the world. So do you think that WD Lakshman has again influence that foreign university unlawfully? Now I know WD Lakshman’s elder son who is a doctor is working as a doctor in UK. So do you think that WD Lakshman is treating every patient who is coming to him? So WD Lakshman must really powerful character who has lots of powers around the world.

  • 0
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    Details of attendance at the senate meeting, University of Colombo for which there was a boycott call from the Colombo University Federation of Teachers Unions (CUFTA) today.

    It is reported that all University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) members of the senate (04 in number) except the Director boycotted the senate meeting.

  • 0
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    HAVING ONCE DELIVERED SUFFERENCE TO SO MANY DUE TO TH UNQUALIFIED ARROGANCE OF THE FUTA,,WHICH THINKS TOOMUCH ABOT ITS OFFICE BEARERS, ARE AGAIN MAKING AN UNSUCCESSFUL BID TO MKE A MOLE HILL LOOK A MOUNTAIN.MAKING UN SUPPORIVE BASE ACCUSATIONS IT NOW WANTS THE INDEPENDENT SENATE TOO DRAGGED INTO ITS CHEAP POLITICS.THEY ARE VICIOUSLY AND VIGOROUSLY INCITING THE ACADEMY ,THE STUDENTS AND THE PRESIDENT TO SET ONE AGINST ANODHER. FUTA THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT CIVIC MATTER NEEDING YOUR FULL TME ATTENTION. DOT WAST YOUR VALAUABLE TIME ON TRIVIAL MATTERS LIKE DRAGGNG SHAMELESSLY MR & MRS.HIRIMBUREGAMA. SHELFISH FUTA SHAME ON YOU.FIGHT TO INCREASE YOUR OWN SALARIES ONCE AGAIN

  • 0
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    The bad part of this hirimburagama appointment is; in future non of the capable high caliber acadamis will not contest for the VC position other than political henchmen. that will be a grave situation for sri lankan university.

  • 0
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    this is the really sad situation of the country.when JR appointed Karunasena kodituwwaku to sri jayawardanapura university all students when ageist that political appointments.this time family take over century old great education institute of the country.our all politician are doing same shed no matter whose are them.they believe they are own the country and people are selves.

  • 0
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    I am made to understand that three names had been nominated by the senate or what ever the body has the power to chose one of them as the VC by the President. the Senate or the UFTU did not object for the nomination. If was the fault of the NOMINTERS and not the appointment. I beleave UFTA is too late now.

  • 0
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    Dinelka Roosmary
    If are you genuine make your academic achievements public and do google search about Prof WD Lakshman’s second son Dr. Rajith Lakshman. Then you can realise that Dr Rajith Lakshman is one of the best products which Economics Department of the University of Colombo ever produced.

    • 0
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      People are really misinformed. I remember when Rajith got a scholarship for his PhD, some newspapers reported that University of Colombo sent him for PhD using government money. Those who dont know about universities, they tend believe that lectures who go abroad for higher studies use government money. No lectures have ever gone abroad using government funds. One PhD costs more than Rs 10 million. Most of the lectures who go abroad after obtaining private scholarships obtained personally. Some people talk about free education.
      Yes university lectures have gone through the free education. So what about other people who have gone through the same process now doing nothing. All the drug addicts, thugs ever one has gone through the free education.

  • 0
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    Dear all,

    It is great pride that we to announce that the boycotting of the convocation was a complete success. In the afternoon session only 15 academic staff members (excluding VC, DVC, Deans and the two postgraduate institute directors) attended the convocation procession. In the morning session about 20 members (including sub-wardens) went on the procession.

    Around 100 FPUTA members joined to distribute nearly 4000 leaflets (printed in Sinhala and Tamil explaining the reasons for the boycott) to the grandaunts and their parents and to congratulate the students prior to attending the parade.

    This shows that Peradeniya University Academics overwhelmingly disapprove the politicized appointments that have plagued our beloved University

    There will always be traitors, deceivers and sycophants in any system, but mercifully in our University, they are a minority.

    We thank all our members for their tremendous support, and highlight this success as a tribute to the genuine academics of our University. We are sure that you will stand up for any issue that will inevitably befall our University in the future.

    Best wishes,
    President and Joint-Secretaries (on behalf of the exco)
    Federation of Peradeniya University Teachers Association.

  • 0
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    Among those who attended the first senate meeting chaired by Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama, reportedly were Premakumara de Silva, K.A.P. Siddhisena, Dushyanthi Mendis, Neluka de Silva, W. Wimalaratana Thero.

  • 0
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    University teachers should do what the tax payers in the country expects them to do -i.e teach. not distributing leaflets. They are paid by the public money and should work NOT involving in corruption.This is the down fall of sri Lankan education .These lecturer’s were the product of free education which to them have no value and don’t appreciate.

    • 0
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      tax payers dont expect from university lecturers to teach only. University lecturers have a responsibility other than just teaching. They have voiced against injustice and unfair decisions made by the government. Their salary is for all of that including distributing leaflets. This is required now. Otherwise people like you wouldn’t do that.

      • 0
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        TO Marvan: This is the problem – Petty minded people have only tunnel vision. The university lecturers are the product of free education which is unfortunately destroyed by them. If there are grievances there is a proper legal system in place. Tax payers DONT pay for the lectures to boycott. If the tax payers pays the lectures to distribute leaflets and not teach the most intelligent young generation in the country…my pray is God (who ever it is and where ever he is living) please help !!!!

  • 0
    0

    TO Marvan: This is the problem – Petty minded people have only tunnel vision. The university lecturers are the product of free education which is unfortunately destroyed by them. If there are grievances there is a proper legal system in place. Tax payers DONT pay for the lectures to boycott. If the tax payers pays the lectures to distribute leaflets and not teach the most intelligent young generation in the country…my pray is God (who ever it is and where ever he is living) please help !!!!

  • 0
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    Rev. Wimalarathna who attended this senate meeting recurited by [EDITED OUT] WD lakshman during his time through [EDITED OUT]
    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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