17 December, 2017

Blog

Electing A VC At Jaffna University: A Window Into Erosion Of Quality In Sri Lankan University System

Colombo Telegraph continues its exposure of corruption in Jaffna University which is ruinous for the development of the region and indeed the nation. By turning a blind eye to it, the Government and the education authorities, are by default, creating a climate where the entire system of education threatens to become toxic. In most universities where there is space for change, a change of vice chancellor is an opportunity to welcome new ideas, new academic culture and new administrative practices to the precincts of higher education. This does not mean that it is only an external candidate who can breathe fresh air into the university and the manner in which it functions; rather, the university and its decision making bodies should be open and willing to consider external candidates and act in a flexible manner so that decision on an application sent from a far away place like the USA is not solely based on whether or not the application sent by a candidate reached the university before the deadline.

One of the principal functions that determine this decision is the spirit and freedom in which a new vice chancellor is selected. Unfortunately, we do not see anything that could be considered encouraging and hospitable in the procedure followed in the election of the new Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna. The agenda (click here to view the file) for the special meeting of the University Council scheduled for the 26th of February 2017 and the minutes of the previous meeting held in late January (click here and read section 14) shows that an external candidate with an excellent academic record in his field has not been included in the slate of candidates for the election on the grounds that his application reached the university a day or two late. Colombo Telegraph has addressed the issue in its report (click here to read the report) published on the 13th of February 2017. Not to leave any room for speculation, we give the reader official records of matters due for decision on 25th and 26th January 2017 at the Council.

Natural justice to both Prof. S. Thiagalingam (whose application posted early from the US arrived a day or two late), the university community and the region’s people requires overlooking the minor postal delay in the receipt of his application to the position of Jaffna Vice Chancellor (VC) sent from the USA and treat it with the spirit of openness. Importantly, Prof. V. Tharmaratnam (Chair), members Prof. S. Sivasegaram and Prof. R. Ravirajan who formed the Evaluation Committee, went through the applications painstakingly on Friday 27th January after opening them the same day. They saw no issue in the small delay in Prof. Thiagalingam’s application which had arrived ten days earlier. They found it an application eminently worthy of consideration and scheduled it along with the others (Click here to read the Report of the Evaluation Committee).

The advertisement for the post of vice chancellor on 25th November 2016 had an ambiguity (click here to view the advertisement). In one place the advertisement says to be sent to reach…before 3.00 PM on 16th January 2017. This was done by Prof. Thiagalingam. The last sentence says applications received after the closing date will not be considered. The advertisement also states that the application should be either hand delivered or sent by registered post. It is noteworthy here that Prof. Thiagalingam, unlike the internal candidates, did not have the option of hand delivering the application as he was based in Boston, USA.

At the Council meeting held on the 28th of January, a day after the Evaluation Committee scheduled Prof. Thiagalingam’s and five other applications for consideration, the Vice Chancellor highlighted merely the last sentence above. The Council was not informed about the report of the evaluation committee, a committee appointed by the council itself to ensure quality in choice. Nor were its members asked to explain their decision to include Thiagalingam – there was no discussion on his credentials at that meeting of the Council.

Dr. N. Jeyakumaran, a member of the University Council, said that the application should be accepted as it was posted in the USA on 27th December 2016. Prof. Tharmaratnam argued that since the application was posted in the USA on the 27th of December 2016, the applicant could not be very much faulted for this delay.

Then comes a tricky claim in the alleged minutes (click here to view the relevant section – read section 14), the kind of which is always suspect: “Most members emphasized that this application cannot be legally accepted since it has not reached the office on time.” There was neither a legal discussion nor a vote. As most members were not lawyers, what the Council in fact decided was to seek legal opinion (see below). What is worse, five deans who were applicants for the VC’s position were present for the discussion instead of recusing themselves over their conflict of interest, or being asked to leave by the Chairman. The one notable speech was by the Dean of Technology, himself a candidate, advising rejection. Little else of note was said. Some of these details have been excluded unintentionally or otherwise from the minutes.

It was then the Vice Chancellor put forward legal arguments for the rejection of Thiagalingam’s application.

  1. According to procurement procedure, bids received after the closing date and time will be rejected.
  2. The application was not forwarded through the head of his institution.
  3. The applicant has not mentioned his citizenship

This was neither a legal argument nor did it account for the special needs of a university that must be flexible to attract quality. Reason 1. above treats the university as a trading agency trying to stock its warehouse and the Vice Chancellor as a mere commodity. Reason 2. as is well-known only applies to applicants from the local public sector. Reason 3. does not apply as it was not asked for in the application form. At this point the Council decided to seek advice from the legal officer of the UGC on the three points above.

In this climate of uncertainty, Prof. Sivasegaram advised the Council to “take decisions since there are legally acceptable reasons to reject [Thiagalingam’s] application.” Although it is unclear what decisions Prof. Sivasegaram advised the Council to take, it should be noted that he signed the report prepared by the Evaluation Committee the previous day and granted his approval to include Prof. Thiagalingam in the list of candidates scheduled for consideration by the Council.

The VC then reported that an absent council member Miss. Abimannasingham PC communicated another bit of legal advice over the phone that the late application ‘cannot be accepted’ because the advertisement says that the application should reach the registrar’s office by a certain date and time. But most lawyers would tell you that the advertisement does not create a rigid law barring the institution from considering a late application as Miss. Abimannasingham apparently suggested. The VC then recorded that the other five applications be sent to council members. Thiagalingam was thus excluded by a sleight of hand without actually saying so. The council members are themselves vague about what had happened.

Academic sources say that Prof. Tharmaratnam, when asked why he did not speak up, said that Miss. Abimannasingham was a lawyer while he was not, though he had argued his own case in the Supreme Court. He dismissed what allegedly came from Miss. Abimannasingham without being argued out, and written down, as not legal advice. He said there was nothing for him to say until he had consulted legal references and had thought about it. What the VC claims the Council has done is wrong – that was to drop Thiagalingam by stealth on such facetious grounds. If there were one good legal argument the VC had, why include duds 1, 2 and 3 above? Some members of the public questioned the role of the Vice Chancellor in the decision making process. They argue that as an outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam should have recused herself from all discussions on the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor and allowed the rest of the Council to make a decision on Prof. Thiagalingam’s application. Given that there are serious allegations of irregularities in recruitment during her tenure some note that she may not like an independent candidate becoming the next VC as he or she may order probes into those allegations.

Why this charade?

To many, the desire to keep out Prof. Thiagalingam may look strange. The current VC has imposed her stamp on the University for six years. Candidates 1 – 4 (click here), have enjoyed her patronage or had served her. Candidate 2 is reported to have played a crucial role in 2011 by introducing her to the EPDP leader Mr. Douglas Devananda which was important in making her VC, but had for a time visibly cooled towards his protege. 1 and 4 had closely supported the rigging of the 2014 VC election with Mr. Devananda’s involvement (click here to view the story), Candidate 3 somewhat evasively. Candidate 4 had brought a dummy candidate from Oluvil as part of the plan executed by the EPDP. Some members of the academic staff say that Candidate 5 is the most independent, adding that even with Candidate 2 they could work, though Colombo Telegraph learns that several teams of the academic staff at the University are campaigning for the other three candidates as well.

Candidate 1 has most visibly enjoyed the VC’s patronage. She installed him as Dean of Graduate Studies, enabling his wife to step into the position of Dean, Agriculture. The wife was appointed as Chairman of the Search Committee by the Council on 12th November, along with Prof. R. Ravirajan and Prof (Fr.) Pilendran (click here to view the names of the members). Candidate 1’s wife no doubt knew that her husband would be an applicant (date of application 9 Jan. 2017) and should have recused herself. Over the two months it had, the committee was not able to persuade any external candidates to apply.

The other point not lost on academics is that Prof. Thiagalingam started his career in Biochemistry, the same field as the VC’s, obtained his PhD from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University on DNA repair mechanisms and is currently Associate Professor in the Biomedical Genetics Section, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

How appointment of eminent academics is blocked here is evident in the cases of Dr. Siddharthan Maunaguru, also a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, on the facile premise that as a doctor of Anthropology, he was unfit to teach Sociology (click here to read the report). Prof. S.R.H. Hoole DSc Lond., FIEEE USA, to avoid delay in processing for professor, applied for senior lecturer I in Electrical Engineering and was found unsuitable by the Selection Committee. The Council emphatically rejected this supposed finding and in July 2016 asked for the selection board, which is chaired by the VC, to reconsider the matter. After unaccountable delays, the Council Minutes of the meeting on 21 Dec. 2016, produced verbatim, records as follows:

“The Council having considered the report of selection committee on the clarification made by the Council on the selection of Post of Lecturer Gr.I in Electrical and Electronic Engineering accepted (emphasis ours) that expertise of Mr. Hoole is not adequate to teach the existing under graduate programme in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.”

Also recorded in the minutes of the same meeting (21.12. 2016) for approval at the upcoming council meeting (25.2.2017) is, ‘the Council approved the following observations of the Selection Committee’, among which was included as reason for dismissing Prof. Hoole’s application: ‘he has not sent the application through the Head of the Institution, i.e. the Rector of Michigan State University’. It is the same fictitious legal advice adduced against Prof. Thiagalingam.

Why this has to change

If one has time, money, patience and energy to challenge the deceit practised by the universities in the courts, much of the self-serving legal advice they use would be thrown out. But then who cares?, not the universities, their deans or vice chancellors, not the UGC and not our political leaders. They had their way, they bought time and they have nothing to lose. Meanwhile our educational standards sink and the young are denied hope. They become as cynical as their mentors, and in time brutal and destructive. Do we want to condemn the young to such a fate?
As for Prof. Thiagalingam’s case it is almost pointless dabbling in legal arguments. Many of our institutions, including the Examinations Department go by the postal date and not the date of receipt of an application. We often take refuge in legal arguments and rules when we lack common sense and a proper measure of charity.

Prof. Thiagalingam had acted in good faith and with good intention and we would be destructive cynics to question that. Keeping these in mind, the Council should create good traditions of openness and hospitality by removing obstacles barring Prof. Thiagalingam’s candidacy. A straightforward way of doing it is for the Council to postpone the closing date. That would be unquestionably legal. University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association (UJTA), the union that represents the academic staff of the University and Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) have already appealed to the University Council to consider Prof. Thiagalingam’s candidacy (click here to view the letters – links to the letters given at the end of the story). There is still time for the Council to set things right and make University of Jaffna a place that welcomes talent from the outside. Let’s hope they will set a good example to the rest of the universities and other institutions in Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    The rule that an application should come through the head of the applicant’s institution is based on ignorance of international best practices.

    An employee needs to be able to submit his application for a position without his employer knowing about it. If the application is successful and references need to be checked, then it will be OK to check with the employer. Until then, it should be illegal to demand that the application be made through the employer.

    It seems the rule was made for transfers within universities in Sri Lanka, all governed by the same UGC, without any consideration of international practices, and it is being blindly applied.

    One reason that the outgoing VC shouldn’t be part of the council meeting on this is that the council should be able to candidly discuss any shortcomings of the current VC with the new candidates individually, and question them about how they plan to address the issues. It is a normal part of interviewing for a replacement. Needless to say any applicant should not be part of the council meeting as well.

    • 6
      12

      If Colombo Telegraph is supporting this particular candidate, Then this person should not be elected to the position. This person will be more politically motivated than the actual duty he is tasked to be carried out, and as we all know Colombo telegraph does not do its full propaganda (PR) to promote a person who is not lined with their thinking and outside influence from certain left over travelers. As the many stories about this article shows its political motives. Just like what one group did to other groups in the north minus the guns.

      • 9
        2

        Krishna,

        Colombo Telegraph has all the right to point out a problem in the procedure. A flaw in the procedure. And how that flaw relates to the larger corruption at the University in the areas of recruitment, academic freedom, memorialization, etc. All of these have been well-documented. Remember it is Colombo Telegraph that has been publishing details about the corruption and irregularities at University of Jaffna for the past six years.

        Colombo Telegraph does not ask anyone to vote for a particular candidate. Even if it asks so, it is their right. Remember many newspapers in the US endorsed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy when she ran for the post of President. By the way, what is wrong with Colombo Telegraph’s line of thinking? What is your line of thinking? Who are the left-over travelers? Name them if you can defend your arguments.

      • 2
        0

        Krishna,

        Colombo Telegraph has all the right to point out a problem in the procedure. A flaw in the procedure. And how that flaw relates to the larger corruption at the University in the areas of recruitment, academic freedom, memorialization, etc. All of these have been well-documented. Remember it is Colombo Telegraph that has been publishing details about the corruption and irregularities at University of Jaffna for the past six years.

        Colombo Telegraph does not ask anyone to vote for a particular candidate. Even if it asks so, it is their right. Remember many newspapers in the US endorsed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy when she ran for the post of President.

        By the way, what is wrong with Colombo Telegraph’s line of thinking? What is your line of thinking? Who are the left-over travelers? Name them if you can defend your arguments.

  • 6
    2

    CT,

    Thank you for continuing with this subject and especially for the copies of the minutes and other relevant documentation. Please keep obtaining future minutes to expose what is going on!

    “Colombo Telegraph continues its exposure of corruption in Jaffna University which is ruinous for the development of the region and indeed the nation. By turning a blind eye to it, the Government and the education authorities, are by default, creating a climate where the entire system of education threatens to become toxic”

    Can we seriously expect that most of the government, UGC and MPs want to see a first class university in Jaffna?

    Is it not easier to deal with a corrupted B-team at Jaffna University turning the most talented Tamil youngsters into passive public servants unable to take any initiative and with almost no skills to survive in the private sector?

    The best and brightest Tamil students and others will continue to leave the country. For the remaining population it is enough to offer some bread and lots of circus.

    • 1
      0

      Lone Wolf

      I just searched for a recent comment by you in the hope you will look at these postings again.

      I must offer you an apology as I have checked who made that unkind comment about me on CT and find it was an MSN. How on earth I came to link it with you I do not know.

      Please accept my apology.

      Manel Fonseka

      • 0
        0

        Correction: MSJ not MSM. Mobile playing tricks

        • 0
          0

          I’ve just rechecked and the pseudonym is actually Maha Sudhu Johnson or something like that. He/she commented on Charles Sarvan’s review of The Long Watch.

      • 0
        0

        Manel Fonseka,

        “Please accept my apology.”

        No problem. I have thick skin but was worried about you. Hope that you are fine.

        • 1
          0

          As fine as a thin-skinned old woman can be, thank you very much!

          • 0
            0

            Manel Fonseka,

            “As fine as a thin-skinned old woman can be, thank you very much!”

            I am sorry to read this. I understood earlier already that you are very upset.

  • 3
    2

    CT has been publishing exposes on the university system and the one in Jaffna, in particular, for several years. This time it has produced graphic evidence that is hard for apologists for this state of affairs to gainsay. Such information has no doubt been going to the UGC Chairman, the Ministers concerned, senior officials and to the Tamil MPs.

    The public has been confronted with almost total indifference by these people, partying, jetting and going about in posh official cars.

    Their attitude is if you are wronged, go to the courts, where too, while expenses have skyrocketed, justice has suffered the same qualitative decline that has overtaken the rest of the country. They would either not lift a finger to help or offer processes that lead nowhere. Eventually the youth tragically see violence as the way out.

    The Tamil MPs are so preoccupied with Geneva that they don’t notice the dirt piling up under their very noses and stinking to high heaven.

    One hopes the VC’s election will be fair this time and Prof. Thiagalingam is given the opportunity to contest. His training and contacts would be a great boon to the young.

  • 4
    0

    OK – this proves beyond doubt that Prof (Mrs) Mikunthan was the Chair of the Search Committee.

    It also proves that Prof. Sivasegaram has signed the Evaluation Committee report along with Prof. Tharmaratnam and Prof. Ravirajan. And the report clearly indicates that Prof. Sam Thiagalingam’s application was scheduled for consideration in the council.

    The minutes show that Prof. Sivasegaram the following day said that there were legally acceptable reasons to reject Prof. Sam Thiagalingam’s application.

    It also shows that the minutes are dodgy in the section on what Prof. Sivasegaram suggested as decisions.

    The UGC opinion has been sought by the VC. But it has not been presented to the Council and the merits and demerits of UGC opinion have not been discussed yet. But the VC without the Council’s consent and without a vote has decided to reject Prof. Sam Thiagalingam’s application. She does seem to have a lot of power.

    Disappointing.

  • 5
    1

    The Evaluation Committee met on the 27th, scheduled 6 candidates, including Prof. Thiagalingam???
    Then Why was his name dropped without proper discussion? This being an important Issue, Why was this Evaluation Committee Decision not CIRCULATED and made known to the Council Members at the Jan 28th Council meeting, before the VC candidacy was discussed.
    If it was circulated, all respected Council Members would have agreed with Dr Jeyakumar, including the Deans who are contesting.
    We trust that, this is an opportunity after the war, to show the Tamils abroad our willingness to accept others returning.
    We trust the Honoured and respected Council Members discuss about it among them before hand and rise up and do something , to welcome all the candidates including Thiagalingam, scheduled by the Evaluation Committee.

    Fortunately, all other candidates are also from the Council members, so it is easier, if they all together, agree to accept this and show their broad mindedness. We don’t say he should be elected, but welcoming a past pupil of the University, to contest, showing our potential as academics and reasonable.

  • 4
    2

    The University source says present vice-chancellor prefers either Prof.velnambi or Mikunthan as a next vice-chancellor. Both are known for their corruption and were close to EPDP. We are discussing/arguing here is waste of energy and time for sure.

  • 6
    1

    What is the duty of the so called Council members? Why didn’t those members rise up and ask queries from the minutes. The War time practices are still continuing, acting as though they fear the gun, even though they don’t need to.
    All 5 DEANS contesting? Isn’t it a joke? Aren’t they academics? Why can’t they unanimously agree to one among them. What is this animal passion for? POWER?
    Why not they concentrate more in teaching and improving the place? Wanting to gain power to enjoy life as a Militant Leader. Or what else?

    An academic shouldn’t be leaning towards these things, but on their Students and Subject matters.
    What does it show, if all the so called academics and Deans, never rose to say, that they should accept Thiagalingam’s candidacy.

    Why are they keeping quiet? Why? What does it show?
    We lost hope in the politicians?
    We still want to have hopes to improve our educational Institutions to bring in people from different experiences, so that our University standards and Yours too will rise up.
    We appeal to the council Members including the contestants, please show your colours and agree with the Evaluation Committee. Post pone the election by another week, and agree to interview him through SKYPE. Let there be a change of heart in the academics and let others see your potential and integrity as academics.

  • 3
    2

    At a council meeting, a vice chancellor and other members are equal except that the VC acts as a co-coordinator in listening and compiling different views and conducting the meting. They have to work as a family, as a panel in the interest of improving, first the quality of teaching, then into other matters. In recruiting new academic staff, they have to work as a group of planners. Anything related to those fundamental things , they should raise questions rather than just accepting what the VC says.

    The was over 8 years ago. But still we are lingering on the characteristics of the so called militants, wanting to have a hold on everything.
    What is happening even after 8 years in this University?
    We value the Competency of the Deans. Let others who are voting decide; but why blocking the candidacy of another academic, just for an Administrative Post? Show your academic credentials!

  • 5
    1

    I notice that the game has been moved to another court with the same ball.
    It is not easy for one to respond to half truths and selective information.

    There is the Council and there are rules and procedures to abide by.
    If certain Council members have private opinions they are entitled to it. One cannot comment further unless they confirm exactly what they revealed to CT.

    Sad to note that personal insinuations from the other “game court” are spilling into this.

    I await the day when the whole truth will come out.

    • 5
      2

      SJ/Sekara/Prof. Sivasegaram,

      The evidence you wanted for the following appears in this post:

      1. That Prof(Mrs) Mikunthan chaired the Search Committee

      2. That Prof Sivasegaram signed the Evaluation Committee report which scheduled Prof Thiagalingam’s application but the following day he spoke in support of the VC’s claim that there are legal reasons to reject Prof Thiagalingam’s application

      3. The names of the Search Committee members that you requested appear in this post.

      At least now acknowledge there is evidence to the claims made in the comment section.

      Instead of ruining the university along with the VC ,do something good to the university and the larger community by rectifying the problems because many in the community have a lot of faith in you. Liberate yourself from your servitude to the Vice Chancellor and be true to the revolutionary Marxist ideology that many of us think you are a follower of.

      • 1
        1

        There are key distortions of the truth which I will not explain here.
        Some suggestions imply too many assumptions and I would rather let time, not far away, reveal the truth.

        So I will just sit back and watch the fun.

        If you are truly keen on Marxism, kindly let me know, I can put you in touch with a couple of political leaders here.
        BTW which brand do you like?

  • 8
    1

    ” We often take refuge in legal arguments and rules when we lack common sense and a proper measure of charity.”

    A very relevant case that happened in Madrass University in blocking the admission of the greatest Mathematician of 20th century, Srinivasa Ramanujan to do research in Mathematics on the request of then Prof Hardy of Mathematics at the then best university in the world.

    Brilliant Mathematician Ramanujan was ignored when he failed his PUC(First Examination in Arts) at the university and was working as a clerk in a Madras Port Trust (Shipping Company) whose head was a white British. His work in advanced Mathematics was noted by the head of Port Trust, who advised him to write to Prof Hardy to gain admission to Cambridge.

    Ramanujan could not go directly to Cambridge as he wasn’t even a graduate. Hardy advised him to get some experience at Madrass University. The Senate considered his application to enter the university.

    Some in the University Senate raised ” legal arguments and rules” to say that Ramanujan was not even a graduate to enter the Research Department as one of the rules said that anyone was allowed to do research must be a graduate of a recognised university. Fortunately some in the Senate had “common sense” and argued that those rules were intended to promote research and the greatest Prof in Mathematics was saying he was good enough to enter it to do research at Cambridge, why not at Madras University?

    Ramanujan entered Cambridge and published 83 research papers in 3 years, a record in itself, admitted to the Royal Society as a Fellow (FRS) , the first to get it without any objection and became the greatest Mathematician of the 20th Century.

    Why Jaffna University remains at the low ebb of the academic world is because of the curse that it was politicised by alleged criminals, the leader of those accomplices are still in wanted list in India. He imposed his political stooges as deans, VCs and Professors to control the university and thereby discard the future of the higher education in the province and the country into dustbin.

    • 4
      0

      Saro:
      A minor correction on Ramanujan:
      The full list is 37 published papers between 1911 and and 1919 including one posthumously in 1921. (A few titles are repeated, certainly not to increase his paper count.) Eleven of them were in Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.

      What may be referred to here may include some of the numerous communications as well. These communications were of great academic value. He also produced several thousand highly original results, of which some were discovered much after his death.
      It was meticulous quality that characterized the work of this humble Indian.

      India produced some brilliant scientists. But Ramanujan was unique.

      • 1
        0

        SJ,
        If you were a member of the senate of the Madras University at that time, We would have lost Ramanujan. Thank God.

        • 1
          0

          Good.
          There is some wit at last.

    • 1
      5

      As some trying to imply if this candidate is highly intelligent, the best place for him is where he is right now, because he gets enough funds to do research. As well as he can enjoy teaching.

      but, if he becomes the VC, he he has to stop doing research. Instead, he will be doing a management job.

      VC positiom needs only the good organizers with overall knowledge and ability and not very good researchers.

      So, the decision is right. It is something good they did by not selecting this candidate as the VC.

      • 1
        0

        A VC is not a manager of the University. He has to create the conditions for fairness and justice in a public institute so that the place will be able to attract talent. The issue here is not about the candidate’s abilities. The moves to deny the candidate the opportunity face elections are based on a technicality, not based on his qualifications or organizing skills. So don’t confuse issues.

        By the way, how do you know that all good researchers and bad administrators? What empirical evidence have you got to prove your theory? And what evidence do you have to say that Prof. Thiagalingam is not a good administrator?

        • 1
          0

          Manu,

          I normally ignore Jim Softy because he is a hardline Sinhalese nationalist whose past comments have been blatantly racist toward Tamils.

          But he brings up a point here that needs to be addressed fully.

          Basically what he is saying is not that Thiagalingam can’t be a good administrator, but that a good researcher can be more productive by continuing his research and teaching, instead of getting into administration.

          There is some truth to it, but this ignores the different motivations and aspirations of individual researchers; it also ignores the fact that in a university like Jaffna where a massive transformation is needed, an accomplished academic who goes back as VC can motivate other talented expatriates to go back and raise standards at the university. It will have a chain reaction for the better and benefit students and society at large.

          In the US, there have been instances where non-academics have become university presidents, but they had accomplished careers already ( lawyer+ governor+ senator), as with David Boren ( Univ of Oklahoma) and Bob Kerrey ( The New School of NY), and the universities have academics as provosts reporting to the president.

          But the VC system in SL is different, and Jaffna at this stage needs an accomplished academic to be the VC.

          Perhaps one day when the standards have risen from abysmally low levels and the universities have more autonomy to raise funds and pursue their own academic programs, the focus will be more on pure administration–fund raising, strategy and outreach, student and faculty retention, motivational speeches, etc. When that happens, even the UGC may allow SL universities to be headed by non-academics as VC’s, with academic pro-VC’s reporting to them.

          • 1
            0

            Agnos, Jim S,
            Generalizations are dangerous.
            The demands of the job vary from country to country.
            Brilliant academics have done good jobs and other brilliant ones have been a disaster in the past two decades in the island.

            Political pressure has been manifold in Jaffna for long; and managerial skills are important I think.
            Much of the attack on the UoJ has been subjective and not taking into account the conditions from which it has been recovering. If people think that it is rotten one cannot convince them otherwise; nor can one persuade those who like to think that all is well.

            But when it is a vote that decides and campaigning is involved, choices are not quite rational.
            The recent negative campaign in CT has done harm. I fear that whoever the next VC will face more bitterness than he deserves.

            Somehow one has to pick up the pieces and plod on for how long I do not know.
            That prospect is not at all funny.

            • 1
              0

              Prof.Sivasegaram,

              CT exists so that whistle-blowers who have no other avenue to air their grievances can do so here.

              There have long been several complaints here on CT about Jaffna university academics and administrators and much of the allegations here is not really new. It is just those allegations are coming back within the context of a VC election, so it shouldn’t lead to any new bitterness.

              I don’t think any serious person here is asking the council to choose a particular person; only that the council should give all applications a fair, credible and honest review, and use its power to interpret rules in way that is consistent with the realities on the ground as well as international best practices.

              • 0
                0

                Agnos,

                Thank you. I fully agree with you.

                • 0
                  0

                  My main objection is to the abuse (or the intended use?) of this space to launch uncalled for vile attacks on specific candidate, which has nothing to do with the issue at stake.
                  Is there no likely agenda there?

                  If none thinks that there is any agenda at all, let God (if He/She/It exists) have mercy on us.

                  This is Dark Comedy without humour that I am watching— takes a while to absorb.
                  But one tries.

              • 0
                0

                But it is often difficult in the isle of splendour to tell between whistle blowing and selective sneaking.
                If you think that the abuse hurled at selected candidates is in good taste, I am unable to share that taste.
                It has got so stupidly nasty that it is best to sit back and laugh even in disgust.

                • 0
                  0

                  SJ,

                  “But it is often difficult in the isle of splendour to tell between whistle blowing and selective sneaking.”

                  How very true but who can decide when facts end and abuse starts? You alone?

                  Are you really in charge of some kind of a committee for grievances from the staff or/and students? If you are you must have details of many complaints.

                  It will be interesting to share the details.

                  Please don’t even try to suggest that they are confidential.

                  • 1
                    0

                    Check the credentials of the whistle blower, and ensure that the whistle is ‘whistle clean’.
                    Use your intelligence to figure out if what is blown is a whistle or someone’s own trumpet in disguise.

                    Jaffna is notorious for its tradition of writing petitions on everything, including a neighbour’s son entering a good school.
                    I think that CT has provided a great platform for petty-minded petitioners posing off as whistle blowers.

                    I can imagine why some who know the truth are still silent.
                    This is an amended synopsis of a poem that I read in another language years ago:

                    The local militiaman, the village headman, the policeman, the prosecuting officer and the judge—
                    each of them asked the tribal woman:
                    “Do you know of Naxalite presence here?”
                    “I know not” was her response.
                    Said each of them to her:
                    “Tell us the truth, we will not hurt you.”
                    “I know not” was her response again.
                    They tortured her. And each of them assured her:
                    “Tell us the truth, and we will let you go.”
                    “I know not” was her firm response.
                    She knows the truth and she loves the truth:
                    that is why she is protecting the truth from its enemies.”

                    One speaks the truth where truth is respected. Silence is the only option amid a sea of lies.

                    • 0
                      0

                      SJ,

                      “Check the credentials of the whistle blower, and ensure that the whistle is ‘whistle clean’. Use your intelligence to figure out if what is blown is a whistle or someone’s own trumpet in disguise.”

                      Most of us readers and commentators do not blindly believe the accusations made.

                      It is not for us to decide what is the truth. It is not for the accused to decide.

                      There should be independent investigations to find out the truth.

                      Do you agree?

  • 4
    0

    Mr. SJ, Who are you?
    Why can’t you see what the 3 members of the Research committee agreed upon, which an average person could see, who has the concern for the people here. Why bring in here great laws? This shows how small your mind is!
    You must be happy that someone on their own applied, willing to come back to the place where he studied. This place need more people to come back.
    What is your problem here?
    Your English shows you an educated, eloquent.. probably an old man likes to show he upholds law, but not interested in the welfare of the people.
    We have lost so much and we are saved/escaped as Tamils, because somewhere at some point we all either told lies or didn’t abide by the law. We have no right to bring in great law etc for a simple thing like this, which an average farmer could accept for the benefit of the Institution, for the sake of his children or the people in his community. Where are you from ?
    A farmer’s son

    • 5
      0

      I am fine as long as I do my job the way I am used to.

      If you have a problem, seek good counselling.

  • 3
    1

    Yes SJ, the same ball game unfortunately according to your rules – total evasion. It is good to know that you seem to agree with Saro. As others have asked you, what are the selected facts and half truths you are talking about? People make reasonable inferences from what is recorded in the Council minutes, which are obviously selected and summarized in order to give the sense of what you said. If this record is misleading you could simply explain and the problem is solved. Half truths is an evasive term because people always take what they see as relevant from the mass of facts to address the problem at hand.

    This is the real problem. Thiagalingam did not have the luxury of consulting astrologers and handing over his application to the Registrar at the auspicious moment. He had to depend on the errant postal service. He did what was expected of an applicant. Can you not be charitable and argue the case to let him contest the VC election at the Council on the 25th? Please don’t mislead your readers with allegations of selected facts and half truths to run away from what is your duty as a human being.

  • 3
    0

    student@JFN.

    Mr.SJ who are you?
    My Goodness! I thought you would have known HIS identity.
    Introducing SJ/sekera/sivasekeram. A member of the council of the Jaffna University.An allrounder,he bats,bowls,fields and keeps wickets simultaneously!
    Just read his comments. I would earnestly beg of him to add to his portfolio another pseudonym-Pandithasekera. No malice intended though.

    • 3
      0

      Plato,

      “Who are you?” is not just checking identity. When Gota asked the BBC reporter “Who is Lasantha?” was he just clarifying identity?

      If you say “Who are you?” in Tamil/Sinhala and say it aloud, you can get the deeper, often context-dependent meanings, which vary from “What is your role here?” to “My daddy is bigger than your daddy.”

  • 4
    2

    Why CT is suppoorting this candidate. what is the reson behind it. There may be other factors that CT is not revealing. Every where, if the basic qualifications and experience fulfill the requirements, preferred candidate is the choice.

    • 0
      0

      CT is only revealing the flaws in the process. A media institution needs to expose the corruption and flaws at our public institutions. There is a concerted attempt to deny this candidate to face elections despite appeals made by the Teachers’ Union. The issue needs to get the attention of the larger public.

      • 0
        0

        If Tamils are trying to protect their culture, I am for it. If it is simple discrmination based on Caste, I am not for it.

    • 2
      0

      JS
      With some kinds of support one’s opponent needs no campaign to win the battle.

      With the kind of vile campaign that has gone on, the plight of the next VC (whoever he may be) will be pretty much unenviable.

      Cool it, join me, sit back, and enjoy the fun for now.

    • 0
      2

      You should white van CT

  • 1
    1

    Mr.SJ, Is it true that you are Prof Sivasegaram who is one of the Evaluation Committee member? My God? Some say you were a Marxist? I never expected it from a Great man like that to have fun out of a serious matter.
    Are you writing as SJ as some others pointed out.
    You don’t know what it is for us students, longing to have some improvement, wanting to have newly prepared lecture notes, Lecturers and people to whom we don’t have to fear and ask doubts, rather than just taking down notes.
    You can’t understand our student days and life from childhood. You never underwent what we had to go through. Why are you blocking or having fun about a serious matter, writing in good English to impress others, telling half truth and half lies, for what …. all these? ….? It may be a playground for you, but for us with few facilities, it is disappointment and grieve.

    it is better if you come and teach English instead Sir. You will find how poor the standard is. But I wonder whether you are keen on such things. May writing comments is a game for you and not a burden to you.

    • 0
      0

      As I said before, if you have a problem, seek good counselling.

  • 4
    0

    All the VCs in Sri Lankan public Universities are appointed through political contacts. They appointed their heads and deans through their personnel network. More than 40% University Lecturers are relatives to each others and they give degrees to each other (Husband gives PhD to wife and girlfriend/mistress getting PG degree, sons, daughter and son-in law and daughter- in-law). MY3 clean University system and sack fake professors and University mafia system. Some Dept are family trees. We well know how they recruits and promoted in University Mafia. First find a person and then advertise according to his/her requirement and send aboard for their friends’ places for PhDs. Go beyond Sri Lankan airport and see International job market. Even in Middle East job market, without PhD from accredited Western University you cannot become even Assistant Lecturer. But in Sri Lanka more than 80% professors do not have PhD. The countries they (University teachers) go to do higher studies, no person is going to studies: China, Malaysia, Thailand and India now many are doing PhDs locally in their own work places or under friends and lovers. See Colombo University Economics Dept all the recruitment done in outdoor connections and son and his friends also got as lecturers. Even PhD applications outright they rejected at Dept level and only interview called for friends. This happen in all Universities.

    • 1
      0

      This has quite a bit of plagiarism, I think.
      I have read it repeatedly for weeks posted by same person.

      To indulge in such learned pratices, are you an academic seeking merit promotion in a university?

  • 3
    0

    University of Jaffna is trying to squash the application – rather clumsily.

    1.According to procurement procedure, bids received after the closing date and time will be rejected.
    The postal service as our elders know is being eroded. Postal delay must not be held against the applicant.

    2.The application was not forwarded through the head of his institution.
    This is something the head of the other institution must worry about – certainly not University of Jaffna.

    3.The applicant has not mentioned his citizenship
    Was this required in the advertisement? Email the applicant and ask.

    • 1
      0

      KP
      There seem to be Council members who are forthcoming with information.
      You may ask them to resolve your issues.

      Sivasegaram plays by the rules: as inflexible as the rules you may say.
      That is Sivasegaram and that sums up his situation.

      It is a shame that very nearly every player here has no resentment about the personal abuse that has been hurled at individuals with private grudges.

      What can I do but laugh at the idiocy.

      • 3
        0

        SJ,

        “It is a shame that very nearly every player here has no resentment about the personal abuse that has been hurled at individuals with private grudges.”

        What if some or all of the accusations are true? What can be done to investigate them? What if the next VC or the council refuses to take any action to investigate the accusations?

        You know the rules. I don’t. Please help me.

        Some of the accusations are relatively easy to check.

        How does a child go home from school?
        Is a temple registered and was it built with correct documentation?
        What is the quality and nature of the journals where articles have been published?
        What is the quality and quantity of the articles that have been published?
        Has a complaint or many complaints been suppressed?

        I don’t understand why the candidates and council members have not defended themselves.

        Thank you for all the time you have spent commenting.

        The fact that all documentation from the university is now available for all hopefully will act as a deterrent in the future.

        What bothers me most is the fact that the majority of the staff and students appear to accept the situation.

        No hope of Paris 1968 in Jaffna?

      • 3
        2

        Sivasegaram does NOT play by the rules. He is a cheat.

        To be a Senior Professor the requirement is 8 years as a Professor. He does not have those 8 years.

        This is the man who has been put in charge of the Grievance Committe at Jaffna. He continues to cheat and lie, and even corrupt by forcing juniors on selection Committees to sign patently untrue things to have his vengeful way.

        At the time CIMOGG was toying with the idea of public interest litigation. David, the Peradeniya AR got into a pic and called me begging me to get CIMOGG not to do it because it would jeopardize his job. The case was not filed because of the lawyer getting into trouble after arguing that while the president has immunity, his decisions can be reversed by courts

        • 2
          0

          Prove his involvement if you can.
          Shady transactions by other interested parties could surface in the process.

    • 0
      0

      K. Pillai,

      “3.The applicant has not mentioned his citizenship”

      Applicant Dr Srisatnakunarajah is according to an earlier CT article a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia. When he became Australian citizen he automatically lost SL citizenship.

      The only proof of dual citizenship is a certificate from Dept. of Emigration and Immigration. It shows that the application procedure for dual citizenship has been successfully followed.

      Can Dr Srisatnakunarajah please show his certificate of dual citizenship?

      The same of course applies to candidate Dr Thiagalingam in case he has other citizenship(s) in addition to SL.

      I am suspicious because many others just continue renewing their NICs and SL passports despite having obtained foreign citizenship.

  • 4
    0

    Hi, we’re out of our minds? Why we were in stone ages when the applications could be submitted by online instantly, in lightening speed, and back it up by post the hard copies. It all shows the authorities’ sinister ways and bad intentions. Does any one in their sane minds could entrust the good future of our future generations in the hands of these rotten lot?

  • 1
    0

    How the Search Committee Fared

    Circular 839 of 2004 for appointment of vice chancellors specified:The advertisement calling for applications and nominations…shall be disseminated as widely as possible within and outside the University System…

    Subsequent circulars 880 of 2006 and 1744 of 2016 carry the same intention – [The committee] to search for and encourage eminent persons to apply. It implies the overseas applicants should be invited and given adequate time.

    In Jaffna the search committee was appointed on 12 Nov.2016. As to what it did, it reportedly told the Registrar to tell unspecified academics to find suitable persons. The closing date was 16 Jan.2017. Towards the end of December 2016, the Registrar sent emails to the departmental addresses of selected academics (which many don’t check) asking them to find people. The question that immediately arises is why have a search committee? Why not have left the Registrar to search? That no one was found was to be expected. The committee in retrospect was a sabotage operation to block distinguished overseas and local applicants. The search committee for Eastern University did really search.

    • 6
      0

      The Search Committee business at Jaffna University seems to be a farce. The Council should ask the Committee to submit a report with information about the local and international candidates that the Committee encouraged to apply for this position.

      University of Jaffna Teachers’ Union has slammed the Search Committee for failing in its duties. This is what their letter says:
      “The said Committee in our view had not acted properly failing unintentionally or otherwise to use their mandate to the best of their ability and widen their search for the candidates with a broad and far-reaching vision for the University and the larger society that it serves.”

      If what you say is true, then the Search Committee has delegated its responsibilities to some others. Yes, then why should there be a Search Committee in the first place?

      This needs to be investigated by the council. Otherwise the Council will also become a joke.

      • 0
        0

        Trust,

        “This needs to be investigated by the council. Otherwise the Council will also become a joke.”

        There are many things that should be investigated. Alleged corruption, scientific fraud, sexual and other abuse of power. This has maybe been going on during many years and as far as I know all investigations if any have been stalled.

        The next VC will inherit the problems.

        If a dishonest candidate wins nothing may change.

  • 3
    1

    What CT does is commendable in that justice must be done to the able candidate who is unconnected with the political underhand work that has been going on for years in the university. It’s damaging to the university and the country. The best able person must get the job with due consideration given as to the delay in delivery of the application to the appropriate authority. Well-frog is unaware of the unlimited boundaries that sea-frogs enjoy and experience until the over flow of its habitat.

    A foreign experience will enrich the running and management on top of reorganisation of the institution.

    It’s the same thing in politics, too, that a defeated power greedy and corrupted yesteryear man is trying to come back to complete the ruination of the country and fatten the bank balances of his family members in foreign banks while many leaders of decent countries retire with contentment with much less years of servce.

  • 1
    0

    student@JFN.

    Writing in good English to impress others …

    My dear fellow.
    Sekera operates in Jaffna/Trinco where English was never spoken or written.
    In that part of the world he can pass off as Prof:Henry Higgins!

  • 3
    0

    Let us have a Job Description for the post of a vice chancellor before searching for a Vice Chancellor.

    If we have to be more specific let it be the Job Description for the Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University, then everything will fall in line.

  • 2
    0

    Singham.

    Your line to SJ/Sekera.
    ….Liberate yourself from servitude to the Vice-Chancellor…..

    This is something not new:Even Edward V111 abdicated his throne…..

    • 2
      0

      Plato
      Do you expect originality from people repeating myths.

      How will you advise aSingham on:
      How would one respond to a instruction like: “Stop sodomizing children in your back garden?”

  • 2
    0

    The Postal Rule Fiasco: Miss. Abimannasingham’s Civic Duty

    Singham, you asked about the opinion of the UGC’s Legal Dept. That is irrelevant here. Its Legal Dept. has a deputy secretary who is an LLB and has been in the Treasury. It is well known for blindly backing the UGC line – which is to protect vice chancellors and university administrators like themselves. They will not give argued out opinions – but simply one or two sentence dogmas.

    Jaffna University has a Law Faculty with a Dean and it has Miss. Abimannasingham PC on the Council. But the VC got off to a wrong start. The lateness of receipt of the application is a preliminary objection. It became invalid once the application had been opened and studied by the Evaluation Committee. This Committee appointed by the Council had not been given a written mandate or rules such as not to open applications received late. They simply acted in good faith.

    The postal rule has long been a taken-for-granted rule among administrators. On seeing that Thiagalingam’s application was dated 27th December in the US, two senior administrators, Mrs. Kumarasamy and Fazna, felt it was in order. The Registrar mistakenly confused this with procurement procedure.

    In speaking to the Council the VC repeated the Registrar’s opinion, which was backed on the phone by Miss. Abimannasingham. The postal rule is part of our law. Many lawyers know it but few would spend the time chasing up references. Miss. Abimannasingham is duty-bound to make the correction, better before the council meeting on the 25th. After all the applicant is kept waiting at this eleventh hour. She should not have allowed being hurried into committing herself.

    • 4
      0

      Thank you, running commentary.

      Once they opened the application packet, processing had begun and it was too late to disqualify it.

      If that is allowed, it is like having the option to pass candidates they like and fail candidates they do not like.

      It is too late now to say the application was late.

      However, here is what Chapter III of the e-Code says.

      “18:3:2 Applications in response to advertisements whether internal or public advertisements, should have been received not later than the last date and time stipulated in the advertisement for the receipt of applications. The applications should be date-stamped as they are received and should be in the custody of a senior officer.

      “18:3:3 Applications received after the stipulated last date and time should also be date stamped on receipt, but should be kept physically separate as they will not be taken up for consideration.”

      These sections have already been violated insofar as the late application having been processed and having left the custody of the Registrar.

      Several violations have happened. 1) Opening and processing a late application. 2. A specified method of application (registered post) that made it difficult if not impossible for applicants abroad to post their application to be received by the closing date. 3) A search committee whose chair had a conflict of interest and who apparently did not do her job and tried to ensure her husband’s application had no competition.

      I say start again. Cancel the advertisement and readvertise or extend the deadline with a proper search committee truly looking for potential applicants for the university to have real choice.

      • 0
        0

        Well-Wisher

        The interpretation of every law is contingency-based and administrators should be free to exercise their discretion to make exceptions after stating their reasons clearly in writing.

        We people are up against laws staring down at us like huge walls that seem to fault us when we are not to blame. Laws should be more human. The language of the e-code appears to look down on us. Take the relevant advertisement:

        To be “sent under registered cover to reach the above office before 3.00 pm. on 16th January 2017…Applications / nominations received after the closing date will not be considered.”

        The stipulations above are contradictory and reflect administrative traditions that have atrophied into complacency. Because of it Thiagalingam has undeservedly to be looked upon as a delinquent asking for favours.

        Thiagalingam posted the application to reach the office well on time. Nothing more could justly be expected from him. After that he had no control of it, and the last clause penalises him for something he had no control of.

        • 0
          0

          Thanks for explaining this. Hope Miss Abhimannasingham will correct it.

          • 0
            0

            Singham,

            “Hope Miss Abhimannasingham will correct it.”

            I expect Miss Abhimannasingham to make a statement to be recorded in the minutes of the next council meeting explaining what kind of advice she gave.

            In my humble opinion the council members should explain what happened at the meeting. The minutes appear foggy.

      • 0
        0

        Well-wisher,

        Thank you for your information.

        “These sections have already been violated insofar as the late application having been processed and having left the custody of the Registrar. Several violations have happened. 1) Opening and processing a late application. 2. A specified method of application (registered post) that made it difficult if not impossible for applicants abroad to post their application to be received by the closing date. 3) A search committee whose chair had a conflict of interest and who apparently did not do her job and tried to ensure her husband’s application had no competition.”

        From this I gather that I am not the only one who does NOT know the rules, e-code etc. Maybe these are cases of knowing the rules but choosing not to follow them?

        Why does the e-code etc exist if breaking the rules is allowed without consequences?

        Who is supposed to keep an eye on the members of council?

        “I say start again. Cancel the advertisement and readvertise or extend the deadline with a proper search committee truly looking for potential applicants for the university to have real choice.”

        I agree totally.

  • 0
    0

    Thank you, running commentary.
    It seems that Miss. Abimannasingam’s legal opinion was based on half truths and selective information. I hope that once she study the entire case she will revise her earlier legal opinion. Giving a legal opinion (spontaneously) over the phone is very difficult for a professional lawyer.

  • 1
    0

    CT is all pout to discredit Jaffna whereas it is silent over whats happening in other Universities in Srilanka. For example why no word on whats going on in the medical faculty of Colombo university.Wake up CT and be fair in your reporting IF THAT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU.

    • 0
      1

      Umberto,

      It is unfair to say that people up here are out to use CT to discredit the university in the land of their birth. If your neighbourhood is on fire, you would spontaneously join your neighbours in putting out the fire. It does not mean they are unsympathetic to people confronted with fires elsewhere.

      We are all finite. It is hard for us to leave the daily grind here to go and find out what is happening in the Colombo Med. Fac. Like the university up here in Jaffna, the Colombo faculty is part of a corrupt system.

      Please make inquiries, write a feature about the med. fac. in Colombo Univ., and CT would no doubt be happy to give it serious consideration.

      • 1
        0

        Suggestion
        The above article was not written by the jaffna people BUT by CT staff who are bent on discrediting Jaffna and its people. Never write anything good about the place always something bad. Whereas they don’t write all the wrong doing in other universities in the country .

        • 0
          1

          Wrong, Umberto! Actually CT is always siding with Jaffna Tamils by making critical articles about them, so that they can improve. It is only by pointing out the problems one can improve, right?.

          CT editors don’t care about the rest of Sri Lanka, they don’t want the rest of us to improve, so they leave us to think of ourselves as the miracle of Asia with 2499 year old civilisation, a six inch long tooth of the Buddha, and nice marble-paved footpaths along in Baththaramulla!

  • 0
    0

    UJTA and JUSTA,

    I posted earlier that:

    “What bothers me most is the fact that the majority of the staff and students appear to accept the situation.”

    The students apparently are passive but you have approached the council.

    I wish to thank you and apologize for my mistake.

    I hope that you continue your co-operation and whistle blowing with the CT in the future.

    Best wishes.

  • 2
    0

    Postal Rule

    ‘the court held that the offer had been accepted as soon as the letter had been posted’

    Standard reference:Adams V Lindsell | Contract Law Case
    The case of Adams v Lindsell (1818) 1 B & Ald 681

    https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/contract-law/adams-v-lindsell.php

    This means the date of receipt of Thiagalingam’s application is 27th December 2016

  • 6
    0

    Running Commentary is doing a nice job running around technical details – thanks.

    But what is at stake is more alarming from the point of view of the University.

    A Dean of Faculty could not judge her being chair of a search committee while her husband is a candidate to be wrong.

    A member of Council could not judge him engaging under a pseudonym to mock and pick on those who raise objections (“how did you know” / “how come you know the name of the chair but not the other members?”) than answer the concerns raised very formally by the trade union to be wrong. A prompt reply to the unions’ letters clarifying the Council’s precise position could have nipped these long exchanges here in the bud.

    Five Dean of Faculties could not judge that their engagement with the decision to reject the application of the sixth candidate while they themselves were competing for that job to be wrong.

    Many making nasty random comments in the form of personal attacks, including references to caste, fail to judge their behaviours to be wrong.

    What is the value system we subscribe to? Where is their sense our decency?

    We should also note that this is an all-Tamil affair (all members of Council and applicants to this post are Tamils).

    If any Sinhala chauvinist wants to find out a very efficient way to destroy Tamils, here is the answer: give them Eelam!

    • 1
      0

      Good questions, Luxman.

      But you err in saying
      “We should also note that this is an all-Tamil affair (all members of Council and applicants to this post are Tamils)”

      The Council has one Muslim, Prof. Hasbullah and one Sinhalese, R.M.W. Ratnayake, an electrical engineer attached to the CEB in Kilinochchi.

      Poor chaps, both, known to be passive and contributing little. Ratnayake is on the selection committee for engineering, the actions of which have run into heavy controversy. After signing selection committee decisions that no one could justify, he is known to keep away from the next council meeting where questions may be raised and he would have to justify his signature.

      By being members of an otherwise all-Tamil council that is wrecking the place, it leaves it open for Tamil chauvinists to say that the Muslim and the Sinhalese are flies in the Tamil ointment, who are actually the cause of the ruin.

      They are like selective decision by groups where the dictatorial chair decides and the others without balls sign. Then the dictator says “Don’t look at me. Everyone agreed. It is not my decision.”

      Likewise the one Muslim and the one Sinhala on the council are passive, playing the role of letting the VC say council decisions have a Sinhala and Muslim endorsing, whereas they really are decisions and messing up by Tamils.

      • 0
        0

        Interesting.
        Now we have full profiles on Council members as well.
        Does talking less make one docile? How patronizing!

        • 0
          0

          SJ,

          “Now we have full profiles on Council members as well.”

          Not a bad idea at all. Who will provide the profiles? I have used a search engine but there is not very much to be found on many Council members or the VC candidates.

          • 0
            0

            No objections.
            It is interesting and I am amused.

        • 1
          1

          Talking less or not at all is VERY docile — especially when

          1) the council minutes record decisions never taken

          2)everything is manipulated, the council is lied to, to recruit friends falsely claiming they are retired profs in MechEng, and to not recruit people you do not like again falsely saying they have not taught for long time.

          The only forgivable docility is when council members keep quiet to avoid unpleasantness when an Alsatian dog barks at them, effectively shutting down any debate.

  • 0
    1

    Oh my! “… and the others without balls sign.”

    Looks like the Imam was careless. But what happened to R.M.W. Ratnayake?

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