2 March, 2024

Blog

Four New Universities: A Premature Budget Proposal For Cheats

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The Problems with Starting New Universities

With the 2024 Budget, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced 4 new universities! While I welcome more opportunities for qualified students who have no university places, I am truly concerned that he is playing politics with money we do not have to cater to elections next year. And staff? May be Peradenya and the Colombo Universities can poach from the others. So those vacancies need to be filled in addition to staff for the new universities. The recruitment scheme is so labyrinthine that to get a professor in will take 2 years. It needs fixing. Jaffna Engineering is already badly staffed. Well-wishing graduate students in America are teaching by zoom when we know that subjects with equations are not easily communicated by zoom.

The Provinces Left Out

There will be no provincial elections in 2024 and therefore no provincial government to ask for a university in Tamil-speaking areas. MP Sarath Weerasekera had planned to skip the budget vote because he thought the provinces would be establishing Sharia and Wahhabi universities until he received an assurance from the President that opening of Universities by Provincial Councils would be only on the basis of the UGC. I do not know what bugs him so about such universities when Kelaniya and Sri Jayewardenepura universities have their roots in low calibre Buddhist universities but have done well since. This kind of communalism is what prevented the Engineering Faculty for Tamils from being established in Trinco as requested by Mr. R. Sampanthan. At the time, Prof. Senake Bandaranayake wanted a security analysis of whether the LTTE would misuse Trinco and that was the end of it. 

Maithree Wickramasinghe: Senior Professor and President’s Counsel

The President knows too well how the UGC and Lankan Institutions operate – on influence. It was a time when Wickremesinghe was PM and had been sacked. His wife Maithree was a Lecturer (Probationary) at Kelaniya with the condition of having to finish her requirements for confirmation in post by getting a 2-year research degree within six years or be sacked. She lacked the wherewithal for it. Like many others in like situation, she should have been asked to quit. But she was not any other person.

The UGC was asked to accommodate her. I lacked the maturity and strength of character  then to oppose what was wrong. She was given a new appointment and is today Senior Professor of English and President’s Counsel. The new appointment was not advertised in violation of Ordinances. Her resume, deliberately I think, glosses over when she moved from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer as that would give away what happened. 

As Senior Professor she earns many millions in undeserved salary. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea summa culpa!

Dr. Maithree Wickramasinghe

So all that the President is telling Weerasekera is that he can ram anything through the UGC and he would be in control. Consider Vasanthi Arasaratnam who was put on the UGC by Wickremesinghe. According to the Auditor General (letter of 8 June 2004) Arasaratnam as Dean/Medicine had deviated from the procurement procedure and ordered computer network facilities for Rs. 3 million when the procurement was limited to Rs. 100,000 and the money available was Rs. 963,000. … The payment was made without any supporting document such as Invoices, Bills, Technical Officers’ or work completion or inventory certificate. … Not everything ordered was installed. … The entire expenditure incurred could be considered “irregular, unauthorized and fruitless.”

Arasaratnam’s scholarship was middling but I saw no evidence of her using predatory journals. Many of her papers are trivial such as on the glycemic index of thosai and side-dishes placed in start-up journals, and in Jaffna, Galle and Batticaloa. One serious ethics error was in placing the same paper with the same authors in two different start-up journals where the editor would have been desperate for contributors, and she for professorial points.

Why was the appointment of such a financially questionable person made to the UGC? I believe it is because corrupt governments need corrupt people under them to do their bidding. So when Arasaratnam first received her VC/Jaffna appointment from Mahinda Rajapaksa, she built Jaffna as her fortress putting unqualified persons in high office. One Ms. T. Mukunthan was made professor allowing her to claim 4 indexed journal papers when she had only one. Journals in volume 1 got scores for journals publishing three times a year. Such is the story also of K. Arunthavarajah who without a single indexed paper had claimed 10.

A third successful professorial candidate, B. Nirmalathasan, had claimed 20 indexed journal entries when he had none and his Dean T. Velnamby and his co-author has signed off on these claims as a co-conspirator in predatory publishing. 

Dr. Devanesan Nesiah then on the Council, objected in writing. He was ignored. After all, the Deans and academics on the Council owe much to the VC. He then wrote to the UGC, USAB and Tamil politicians. No one replied. The system is unassailable. With all these frauds in her team, Arasaratnam could do anything including finding me unqualified to be Senior Lecturer.

The system is flawed from top to bottom with stooges in strategic control. I have seen the same at Peradeniya and Moratuwa. For example, consider S. Walgama of Peradeeniya Engineering. Anyone there would call him principled. But in his four-author paper listed as in the Proceedings of the international conference on intelligent motion, he claims it as a journal paper that which he himself listed as a conference paper. Though 2nd author, he claimed 50% of the responsibility. This and many other fraudulent claims by him were accepted by the Selection Committee. A very senior academic who signed off on his promotion saw how fraudulent the process was and not daring to cross the VC gave me a copy of the documents. That is how hard it is to expose corruption in universities when even senior persons cannot stand up. That VC was found by auditors to be financially corrupt but was accommodated in a new university devoted to vocational technology. No one cares in a system where there is no shame,

I believe that by the evidence President Wickremesinghe does not want to succeed in eliminating corruption because it gives him control over the system.

Scholar Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

I will focus now on ongoing corruption at Jaffna to show that these goings on continue to this day as seen in the experience of Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan who has published widely. His Research Impact Metrics (in August 2023) are h-index 12, i10-index 16 – rare for an arts graduate because indexed journals are few in the humanities. For comparison, the current mathematician VC’s indices are 7 in each.

Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Sarvananthan joined University of Jaffna as Senior Lecturer Gr. I on 06.05.2019, but, since scholars are scarce and jealousies high, he was not fully accepted.

Sarvananthan’s first degree being from Delhi did not help in a system that only values local degrees. His publications and doctorate in Development Economics at  University of Wales did not matter either. He fended for himself, establishing in 2004, Point Pedro Institute of Development in Jaffna. For Jaffna, where various tinpot-institutes pop-up from ear-marked government money through foreign loans, PPID is unique. Sarvananthan raised his own funds and supported himself for over two decades. Foreign embassies and reporters sought his advice.

Sarvananthan was accused of mistakes that he readily admits. He was teaching two courses for the first time (Economics and Gender Economics) and the students complained to him that they knew not what questions to expect. He therefore released to all students sample questions, some of which appeared in the exam. This became his offense in Jaffna.

We all take questions from our tutorials for the exam to ease student’s stress. There is the infamous case of a Tamil Mathematics Lecturer, Dayanithy, who asked his tutors to run a tutorial just before the exam. The Tamil- and English-medium tutors did so, but the Sinhalese-medium tutors were not as punctilious. The Lecturer was sacked. At Peradeniya, a chemical engineering lecturer routinely gave 40 questions every term  from which five were selected for the exam. Few think it serious enough to file charges. 

When I was charged with politicizing the engineering curriculum by including human rights questions under the syllabus title ‘The Software Engineer and Society’, the then senior professor of Tamil laughingly told me, “I say you won’t be found guilty because even if you’re wrong these academics do everything wrong so that nothing will stick.” He was right!

However Sarvananthan’s charges were vigorously pursued. Funnily, the University relied on a partly illegible manual of procedures for conducting exams from Rajarata University that was never approved by the university and was stamped DRAFT. There was confusion over Chapter XII pertaining to candidate-offences and Chapter XIII for non-candidates. There was reference to “President” without saying who or President of what. The highly-qualified academics who had never looked outside their field were incompetent outside classrooms.

Sarvananthan appealed to the University Services Appeals Board (USAB). The USAB carefully issued its Order on 20 Sept. 2023 (Application No. 1042) that:

1. Sarvananthan’s Head was interested in the post of professor of economics, and Sarvananthan had pointed out untruths in that woman’s professorial application which were overlooked by the University’s Competent Authority, Prof. K. Kandasamy, who had wrongfully appointed a fact-finding committee without the prior permission of the Council;

2. The convenor of the formal inquiry, knowing that Sarvananthan could not make it from Colombo over COVID-19 and even if he returned would be unable to attend because of quarantine, did not postpone the inquiry;

3. The university appointed the Inquiry Officer, Prosecutor, and Convenor without framing charges and issuing a show-cause notice. The Board found the Council wanting the inquiry without waiting for an explanation. Sarvananthan was denied the opportunity to comment on and cross-examine witnesses. The Board determined that the absence of such opportunity is “a total violation of the rules of natural justice and fair procedure;

4. The Inquiry Officer and the Prosecutor wrote the report jointly and signed the report together. The Board declared that this showed the inquiry to be biased and one-sided, “giving credence to all the allegations that the Appellant made against the Respondents and the Inquiry Officer;” 

5. Sarvananthan was not given the opportunity to call witnesses on his behalf;

6. The appointment of Inquiry Officer S. Rajadurai was illegal, not “within the procedure established by law;”

7. The formal inquiry “right from the inception [had] one objectivity,  i.e. to find [Sarvananthan] guilty and terminate his services … the whole exercise in our view is contrary to law.”

Conversely, the Board noted that Sarvananthan admitted his misconduct and asked whether it warrants punishment in view of his admissions. He has not exculpated himself but there are mitigating circumstances:

1. He is new to the university system;

2. This was his first examination offence;

3. His prompt admission of guilt;

4. He always complied and complained;

5. The university did not think his offence fit enough to send him on compulsory leave or interdiction pending inquiry, nor did it cancel the examination results;

6. The Senate released the results finding no fault in the exam  standard;

7. All students received the disclosed questions;

8. The personal animosity that exists between certain members of the university and the Appellant.

Given these mitigating circumstances there ought to be proportionate punishment, the Board noted, adding that dismissal from Service is disproportionate.

Thus was one of Jaffna’s best scholars reinstated in service to serve the students and community once again.

All those who played a part against an innocent man – over 30 Respondents – continue in office. Jaffna has to change and conduct a postmortem and the wrong-doers punished.

Wickremesinghe needs to tell the UGC to put its house in order before starting any new university. If he wants our votes, he needs to show clean leadership, not sham universities to buy supporters.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    5

    “The system is flawed from top to bottom with stooges in strategic control”
    .
    .
    .
    “I believe that by the evidence President Wickremesinghe does not want to succeed in eliminating corruption because it gives him control over the system.”
    .
    Where has Professor Hoole been living all this time? On a different planet?
    .
    Of course Ranil isn’t going to fix corruption. He thrives on it. No one else would either.
    .
    We will be a developed country by 2048 with all the said flaws in the system and with the said stooges in key positions from top to bottom.
    .
    There won’t be any room for decent people with integrity who wants to do quality work, without being a stooge of anyone and contribute to the society and die PEACEFULLY.
    .
    We will see the ill effects of such a flawed but developed country latently.
    .
    That being said the said four universities if I am not mistaken are private universities, a piece of detail that seems to have escaped Professor’s attention.
    .
    Everyone is critical about corruption in the public sector but is corruption confined to public sector only?
    .
    Would private universities do better?
    .
    Perhaps are some questions Professor Hoole should ponder on.

    • 7
      1

      Ruchira, you stated “… the said four universities if I am not mistaken are private universities, a piece of detail that seems to have escaped Professor’s attention.“

      Has the SL government ever built private universities? I can imagine government subsidies being made available to private universities but a government budget allocating funds for building 4 new private universities?

      FYI:
      https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-to-establish-new-expand-existing-science-and-technology-universities-139753/

      Who has a vast share of the onus to curtail corrupt practices (wrt to faculty appointments) at private universities, i.e., the state (or whichever pertinent level of government) or the university’s oversight or governing body like a board of directors?

      • 0
        0

        Sugandh,
        .
        Thank you for the link. Ranil has been promising universities wherever he has been going lately, including one in Nuwara Eliya, and also in the Northern province.
        .
        Professor Hoole starts by stating: “With the 2024 Budget, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced 4 new universities!”.
        .
        There is no mention of government universities or government funding. Therefore I thought he was referring to the second set of universities in the list provided in the economynext article you’ve linked. Especially because he is implying in the title that these universities would promote cheats. My mistake. I should have sought more info.
        .
        The item no #4 on the list I thought is a graduate school, something like a post graduate institute.
        .
        I would assume the responsibility would primarily lie with the governing body of the institute. I would presume such universities would have a faculty board, similar to any other university with whom the responsibility would lie.

    • 5
      7

      R
      I do not want to go into details.
      Public interest is often a mask for private axes to grind.
      BTW
      Private universities have far less to do with education than making a profit by marketing degrees with little eucational value.
      Ask yourself why Europe and even Australia did not fall for Private universities.

      • 3
        5

        SJ,
        .
        Agree.
        .
        The fact that they pay whenever they go abroad to study, mostly to UK and to Australia, most people mistake these universities for private universities. Whereas most of them are not.
        .
        In fact in places like Switzerland and in many other European countries education, including tertiary education, if I’m not mistaken, is completely free.
        .
        That’s why some of the student unions in state universities are against private universities. But this opposition is often viewed by certain segments of the society and even by politicians as something arisen out of jelousy, stating it’s because state university students are poor and they don’t want people with money to get an education.
        .
        Not sure what the long term impact would be in the establishment of private universities. Some that tie up with recognised foreign universities might end up performing well in the long run. I think that is the idea too.

    • 2
      3

      Dear Ruchira,
      .
      You have asked
      , “Where has …………….. planet?”
      .
      I now run into trouble owing to your anonymity. Your good intentions, and the validity of certain observations are accepted. It’s you who are out of touch with realities and with specifics.
      .
      You read through my article on the Maldives Parliamentary Elections of 2019, but you haven’t followed all the links. The first led to this:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Report-of-the-Sri-Lankan-Observer-Mission-to-the-Maldivian-Presidential-Election-of-23-Sept.-2018.pdf
      .
      For five years, as an Elections Commissioner, Jeevan Hoole did all that he possibly could to be an independent voice. Search in Colombo Telegraph archives. He’s always dealt with specifics. Unfortunately, as I have told him myself, he strays into areas that he shouldn’t, but on most matters pertaining to Universities he’s usually spot on. Sorry, you’ll have to do the searching since I can reach you only through these CT comments, and I get pulled up often for straying from the subject.
      .
      However, not all the searching by yourself now would have yielded the report that I have directed you to. This is the reason why some Tamil readers have got mad with you. You can’t parachute into affairs here.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

      • 1
        0

        Dear Panini,
        .
        Thank you for your comment.
        .
        Yes, I didn’t go through the links that you had provided in your article about Maldivian elections, like I said it wasn’t particularly a topic I was interested in.
        .
        But you however is wrong when you say that I may not know Professor Hoole’s previous work.
        .
        Earlier I think I told you that I have from time to time read articles here on CT.
        .
        You may find it surprising that the very previous articles, written by Professor Hoole when he was an Election Commissioner, that you referred to, are among those that I have read.
        .
        I am aware of his work as an Election Commissioner and his criticism about partiality of his colleague Mahinda Deshapriya, though the specific details haven’t remained in my memmory. They usually don’t.
        .
        It was during Covid outbreak, another period during which I had free time and hence had the time to read articles here on CT.
        .
        I also read about difficulties that Professor Hoole’s duaghter encountered during this period with regards to quarantine measures that were under SL army supervision.
        .
        Another topic that Professor Hoole had written about here on CT. A topic back then I was critical about in some other forums that may not be familiar to CT subscribers.
        .
        TBC below…

        • 2
          4

          Dear Panini,
          .
          Continued from above…
          .
          My statement asking if Professor Hoole has been living on different planet was not because I wasn’t aware of some of his work, but because of his apparent surprise that Ranil Wickremasinghe may not address issues of corruption that he refers to.
          .
          In his essay itself he goes onto show how Maithree Wickremasinghe was unduely favoured to secure her position at University of Kelaniya. When he is aware of such history, his expectation that Ranil would act to curb corruption, make it look like he hasn’t been living in this world. Hence my comments. It’s figure of speech, not intended to be taken literally.
          .
          That said why some Tamil readers are mad is because I do not subscribe to their opinion. I will not go into this here as it is not related to this topic. But one thing I must say is I wasn’t looking for acceptance when I stated my opinion/s, so people are free to disagree. If some are mad, so be it.
          .
          I am quite familiar with online forums that are freely open to anyone and this isn’t the only forum that I have taken part in. Anyone who has an opinion can register and express them. That’s the usuall way they operate.

        • 2
          6

          R
          “I am aware of his work as an Election Commissioner and his criticism about partiality of his colleague Mahinda Deshapriya, though the specific details haven’t remained in my memmory. They usually don’t.”
          What did this critic of MD do?
          He facilitated the nomination of GR as candidate on some bogus count.

          • 1
            0

            SJ,
            .
            “He facilitated the nomination of GR as candidate on some bogus count.”
            .
            You mean by not quitting? How else did he facilitate? What was the bogus count? I can’t remember.
            .
            If I can remember right he tried to warn people not to vote for Gotabhaya as he has not effectively renounced his US citizenship by the time he was running for the president. A controversy in itself. But this again if I can remember right was met with the accusation that Hoole was being partial by speaking against a candidate, when as a commissioner he shouldn’t have been campaigning for or against any of the running candidates.

      • 0
        3

        Dear Panini,
        .
        I wasn’t going to comment here further. But certain comments made else where stating that my comments on the Tamil National Question are “childs play”, and are made without any knowledge of the history of the problem; and therefore should be discouraged and not tolerated made me think that some clarification is worthwhile.
        .
        I post here the clarification for your attention, as the comments in the particular article under which they had been made are now closed.
        .
        (1) The reality, that solutions and choices one could make are finite, doesn’t depend on historical facts or full knowledge of them.
        .
        (2) Choices could also be guided by possible and desirable futures that one is able to project, again regardless of historical facts or full knowledge of them.
        .
        These are two principles that I have based my comments on the Tamil National Question.
        .
        Calling them child’s play only shows ignorance of these principles.
        .
        Further the behaviour that the particular commenter displays is a one that is of non-tolerance, and of suppression of free thought and expression. It goes against democratic virtues and fundamental rights.
        .
        Contrary to what he has stated it is such behaviour that we should discourage.
        .
        Hope you have a pleasant day!

      • 6
        2

        “For five years as an Election Commissioner, Jeevan Hoole did everything he could to be an independent voice. Search the Colombo Telegraph archives. He always deals with specifics. Unfortunately, as I have told him himself, he strays into areas. He shouldn’t. . t, but he usually focuses on a lot of university related matters. Sorry, I can only reach you through these CT comments, so you’ll have to do the searching, and going off topic often drags me out.”

        Why on earth, Mr. Hoole could not come out of the 3-member Election Commission and protest against the nomination? , at that time, Gota, an American citizen, was nominated for the last presidential election. All these prove me that Mr Hoole to have not done his job properly. Now he might be having various excuses, however, if he acted like a brave person, his bold and fearless actions could have prevented the danger before the nation.

        This clown named Panini Ed is a real joker. He is highly biased. We need no more arguments about his ludicrous comments. While going with his friends who made him a hero, very unfortunately, he even forgets his family. This man is a real sick person. This 75 year old living symbol for stupidity is a good example of the mindset of some of our seniors in this rotten society.

  • 13
    2

    Jaffna University should be closed down and started anew. The corruption within it stinks. It was staffed by excellent teachers when it began but political appointees took over. It is known that Arasaratnam owes her appointment as VC to a politician and that her qualifications are meagre to say the least. But, this is so with most of the lecturers there as well. It is for that reason that they keep our expatriate Tamil academics who offer to teach free. They do not want the paucity of their achievements or the absence of them to become clearer to the students and to the public. It is a sad situation that a region that was so noted for learning now harbours an institution so steeped in fraud. This is so in other universities as well. So, it would be best that the higher education system be started anew than new universities be opened haphazardly. It will only lead to politicians getting PhDs without even passing their O levels.

    • 13
      0

      Cicero, after getting bored playing cricket, our crooked politicians are interested in acolytes getting higher education. ( money , power, post . . . . . .). System which found ways to promote A/L failed doctors, is nominating unqualified Prof / Dean / VC ………… ( remember those graduates who refused to receive titles from govt appointed Chancellor Rev. Thero.)

    • 6
      1

      Jaffna University should be closed down and started a new.
      Not only in Jaffna University but all the Universities and all the institutions in Sri Lanka including Universities are politicised and racism is spread like a Corona virus. It is no point of talking about free visiting lectures by expatriate lecturers. Are they prepared to live permanently in Sri Lanka? Unless there is a system change towards political system to end political interference, get rid of racism from all the institutions Sri Lanakns including Sinhalese have to suffer.

  • 3
    4

    Dear Professor Jeevan Hoole,
    .
    I’ll say what I know on this subject; but it won’t be much!
    .
    Please, those who are serious in your approach, listen to Professor Charitha Herath, (31 minutes) whom I have not had any personal contact with. I think that he’s a good man, but make allowance for his English which is satisfactory, but not good:
    .
    https://english.newsfirst.lk/2023/11/21/face-to-face-charitha-herath-our-current-political-crisis-20th-november-2023
    .
    There’s also this in Sinhala (41 minutes) : Tivlin Silva, two days ago. I’m just listening.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lufWt_b9TGA
    .
    The importance of English is also emphasised.

    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 3
      4

      This also is serious talk, isn’t it?
      .
      https://english.newsfirst.lk/2023/11/29/face-to-face-chathuranga-abeysinghe-the-npp-narrative-28th-november-2023
      .
      Another half hour in English.
      .
      This is Chathuranga Abeysinghe, a man I had never heard of. Please give this statement that I have just made the importance it deserves.
      .
      I’m an old man living in Bandarawela who firmly supports the NPP. And yet I say I don’t know this man who is important in the set up. So, what have I done? At 2.30 pm, I have just telephoned the NPP head office in Pelawatta (near Battaramulla) and spoken to the girl manning the telephone there for 4 minutes 21 seconds.
      .
      She confirmed that Chathuranga is a key person in the set up. I said that I wanted to know because I’m giving this link on Colombo Telegraph.
      .
      Let me also add that I have twice visited that Head Office and that I have met all three NPP Parliamentarians. This sort of specificity, transparency and consistency are very important for credibility.

  • 4
    1

    Jaffna University should be closed down and started a new.
    Not only in Jaffna University but all the Universities and all the institutions in Sri Lanka including Universities are politicised and racism is spread like a Corona virus. It is no point of talking about free visiting lectures by expatriate lecturers. Are they prepared to live permanently in Sri Lanka? Unless there is a system change towards political system to end political interference, get rid of racism from all the institutions Sri Lanakns including Sinhalese have to suffer.

    • 2
      1

      Sorry. Technical problem.

  • 6
    11

    “There is the infamous case of a Tamil Mathematics Lecturer, Dayanithy, who asked his tutors to run a tutorial just before the exam. The Tamil- and English-medium tutors did so, but the Sinhalese-medium tutors were not as punctilious.”
    *
    The problem arose because what was omitted in the Sinhala medium appeared in the examination paper. Also I think that It was probably Dayanithy who was the tutor in the other two (?) media (medium).
    As lecturer in charge, he could have been more cautious, because he intended part of the tutorial content was an examination question.
    I reject the charge against him that he was partial to Tamils etc. But examinations are serious business and a casual attitude towards any aspect of examinations is bad for all concerned.
    It was not only D who felt compelled to leave (I doubt if he was dismissed) it was also Professor Gangadharan the HoD who left.

  • 8
    11

    “This kind of communalism is what prevented the Engineering Faculty for Tamils from being established in Trinco as requested by Mr. R. Sampanthan.”
    It was not communalism but gross incompetence if not indifference on the part of the Eastern University that lost the Engineering Faculty.
    Professor Varagunam (Chancellor of the University) persuaded a retired engineering don to to make a comprehensive proposal for the said faculty. The VC appointed the person for the task. A three month time limit was set and met. Meantime, the VC was forced out by a group of bullies with political backing. Nobody protested, the Acting VC did nothing on the matter despite reminders by the former don concerned. Much later the Competent Authority who took charge of the University came across the papers and got in touch with the former don ad persuaded him to present the proposal to the Council. the Council was impressed, but before follow-up action, the CA was replaced with a new VC. that was the end of the story.
    The officer in Trincomalee in charge of the campus was not in the least interested in the matter.
    I am sorry to say that Sampanthan did nothing to help. At the time, the man was hardly resident in Trincomalee although an MP.

  • 10
    2

    “The officer in Trincomalee in charge of the campus was not in the least interested in the matter.”

    Its all the fault of TNA/Sambandan, Ponnambalam, Chelva, Amirthalingam,…..

    • 7
      1

      “Its all the fault of TNA/Sambandan, Ponnambalam, Chelva, Amirthalingam,…..”

      Why haven’t you mentioned Prabakaran? …….. Subconsciously even you know ……. he was the right guy! :))))

      • 6
        3

        nimal fernando

        “Why haven’t you mentioned Prabakaran? …….. Subconsciously even you know ……. he was the right guy! :))))”

        Haven’t you noticed ……. after Amirthalingam?
        SJ used to be a great fan of VP, then of course he would not fault VP would he?
        By the way SJ used to be a great fan of Pol Pot, Abimael Guzmán, ……

        I still wonder why you have lots of love for mass murderers, like VP, Rohana, Gota, Mahinda, ………

        • 2
          1

          “Mi ankoraŭ scivolas, kial vi amas amasmurdistojn, kiel VP, Rohana, Gota, Mahinda, ……”

          Ne mi amas Mahinda, Gota, ……. sed via heroo Ranil! ……. Li eĉ iris festi la Naskiĝtagon!

          Vi devas ripari vian kapon! :))

          • 0
            0

            I wondered what sort of language this is, placed it in Google Translate, and found it to be Esperanto.
            .
            “Mi ankoraŭ scivolas, kial vi amas amasmurdistojn, kiel VP, Rohana, Gota, Mahinda, ……”
            .
            gets translated to
            .
            “I still wonder why you love mass murderers like VP, Rohana, Gota, Mahinda, ……”
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
            .
            It was the sort of noble experiment that the World has now forgotten, and since Google Translate works so well there can be no place for an artificial language which has to be mastered laboriously and with dedication.
            .
            That, by itself doesn’t matter, but idealism has been replaced by justifications for selfishness.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

          • 1
            0

            Estas parlamenta kutimo, ke ili festas unu la alian naskiĝtagon…….
            Nenio sinistra en ĝi.

  • 11
    1

    People should not only focus on individual cases of corruption and fraud, but look at the biggest frauds leading the blighted country to new levels of poverty. All this hot air about a knowledge hub and exporting higher education is just all hogwash and utter bunkum. These parasitic monsters who ruin our motherland are only interested in their power and influence over the poor beggars who vote for them. Do try to concentrate on changing the system by dismantling this utterly corrupt and destructive set of mechanisms that reward the criminals and imprison the genuinely committed and progressive young people who dare to speak out or are committed towards a future for this otherwise paradise on earth.

    • 9
      0

      The number of Universities is immaterial, it is the integrity of the institution & good academic content that matters.

      I remember when I applied for a job in SL in the early 90s, the qualifications asked were, a Degree or Diploma. Obviously, the employers were unaware of the vast difference between a degree & a diploma. In the SL motor trade, many with no formal qualifications, some, not even with an apprenticeship, call themselves Engineers. There is even a ‘Doctor’ among those I know. Another person I know who was in UK a few years ago on his wife’s temporary work permit, has an impressive website promoting his marketing consultancy company, claiming that he has a MBA & was a lecturer in UK but in fact, was a security officer at a shopping mall. Then there is the Rajapakse brat who claims to have 2 PhDs. Qualifications in SL have become a joke, either untrue or dished out by some obscure institute. The danger is that people are unaware that it is a fraud & is misleading.
      Cont.

      • 9
        0

        Cont.
        Free university education is not sustainable. As in UK, the govt. should offer student loans to cover fees & expenses while in Uni & recovered in installments once employed. Anything free is not appreciated, & in this way, it is not a burden on the tax payer. Universities can be independently managed & should attract competent tutors, the ‘quality’ of education rated, at least, among those in SE Asia. That is the only way students can getter a good education they deserve & benefitting the country as well.

        • 1
          4

          Though in the UK students pay by borrowing money from the loan company, what I have heard is that it is still a loss (i.e. students who earn below a threshold don’t have to pay back the loan), so the tax-payer is still paying!
          The UK system is not built on any understanding of the purpose of higher education. Nor is it based on precise calculations of what tax is collected and how its spending could be prioritised. It is driven by ideology — of focusing on the individual than on the society — which dates back to… well, leave you to guess!

          • 6
            1

            Universities in UK were state funded till the late 70s when it was free for anyone. The Thatcher govt. decided that foreign students should contribute to the cost & began charging fees. Then, Tories in the 90s decided to extend the fee for all & now everybody pays but grants are available for the poor (after a ‘means’ test) & govt. student loans for the rest, which are repaid only if gainfully employed. However, Scottish students still get free University education in Scotland.

            The objective was for Universities to be more competitive with the funding from students to improve facilities instead of depending on the govt. but the huge income, particularly, from foreign students, have blurred the objective, leading to lowering of standards with less stringent entry requirements. As a result, some foreign students receive a half baked education, while others drop out, unable to cope. However, there are independent University performance league tables for every area of study & those who are fortunate to get into a good university, receive an excellent education. In fact, it is the awarding University & not the Degree per se that matters when it comes to employment.
            Cont.

            • 6
              1

              Cont
              SL universities offer many non job oriented courses but if education is fee levying, students will select the subjects depending on their ability, instead of accepting anything that is thrown at them. Non employable courses will be automatically dropped out due to lack of demand. Whether a graduate is employed or not, or have sought greener pastures abroad, would be on the choice made but not at the expense of the tax payer. Universities should funds their own programmes & will have to earn their reputation, which will need the right people, not cronies & fraudsters.

            • 2
              5

              Please check:
              “Universities in UK were state funded till the late 70s “
              this is the reality:
              “There are two main elements of public spending on higher education –direct funding through the funding councils for teaching and research and student loans for maintenance and fees.”
              [https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7973/]
              The government has eliminated the idea of zero tuition fees.
              But state funding persists.

              • 3
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                SJ
                What I meant was university education was free for anyone, which was obviously possible due to state funding. As far as I am aware, current funding for universities is minimal, if at all, & Universities are expected to raise funds on their own by attracting foreign students in particular & from the alumni. Also, most universities have good relations with the industry, which funds research programmes. Even small businesses employ Universities in the area to sort out problems, such as, improving productivity, CAD/CAM programing, testing of materials, etc. However, vocational training is mostly funded by the govt.
                In contrast, higher education in SL is state funded & there is much resistance to private Universities. It is upto the Ministry of higher education to ensure that private universities comply with the standards required & recognised, not allowing back street tutorise to masquerade as Universities.

            • 2
              5

              “The Thatcher govt. decided that foreign students should contribute to the cost & began charging fees.”
              Collecting fees from overseas students started before Mrs T.
              But there was a subsidy.
              The way things are, is there a rise in demand for British degrees now?

              • 2
                0

                SJ

                As far as I am aware, it was the Thatcher govt. that introduced fees for foreign students. I am sure the previous Labour govt. was not responsible as it would have been against their policies at the time. Certainly, my cousins who managed to come to UK in the mid 70’s got their higher education free.

                I don’t know the demand for British Degrees compared with European, US, Australian, Indian & Chinese Degrees but there seems to be a lot of foreign students, mostly Chinese, & I am aware many in SL find British qualifications desirable but the high cost being a deterrent.

          • 2
            5

            SAV
            The country was a leader in university education and research before the privatization mania gripped UK under Mrs Thatcher.
            State subsidy has gone in several ways I agree. To what benefit?
            Why are private universities not catching on?
            *
            “It is driven by ideology — of focusing on the individual than on the society — which dates back to… well, leave you to guess!”
            Which ideology then and now?

        • 0
          0

          Dear Raj-UK,
          .
          All humbugs must be mercilessly exposed. I have done that here, but why haven’t you latched on to this:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/chelvanayakams-124th-birthday-the-need-to-honour-him-with-transparent-cms-administration/
          .
          A major problem is that few will dare what I have done in those comments, especially the last ten or so. Do readers feel that I ought not to have spilt the beans.

          • 0
            0

            PART ONE

            I wanted to write more there, but that part of my “confession” submitted itself without my volition.
            .
            However, it may have been a good thing that the challenge now faces readers in the starkest possible form.
            .
            For more than fifty years I was curbed by love of family; I thought I had to be faithful to familial ties. Then I began to see that it is such cover-ups that lead to corruption on the scale that we see in Public Affairs. I’m not perfect, but I began to see some siblings as evil. They may even escape punishment, but the school elections (secret ballot stipulated by the Rules) must begin to be conducted properly. In 2024, these elections MUST be held between the 1st of January and and the 31st of March.
            .
            This is what happened in 2020:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/challenging-three-cheating-thomian-pharisees-and-not-doing-it-from-behind/

          • 0
            0

            PART TWO
            .
            I will soon be pushing up the daisies,
            having lived for three-quarters of a century. Let my generation, as a final exercise of civic duty, expose all corruption where-ever it is to be found. I’m confident that a future NPP government will expose the instances that continue to lead to inefficiency.
            .
            In this instance, you know all the background, Palitha. How do you reconcile all the scruples that you claim, and yet lend yourself to this corruption? There has to be a total moral revolution, preceded by the realisation that the cheats aren’t faithful to any inherited values, but force us to accept the bogus and the unprincipled claiming that we have a duty to safeguard the honour of our families, when they themselves pay scant respect for human decencies.
            .
            Shame on you for not denouncing this total absence of standards so close to your spiritual home!
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe, born in then STPS, Bandarawela Now at age 75, determined to clear the path for future generations.

  • 5
    8

    // prevented the Engineering Faculty for Tamils from being established in Trinco //
    Gosh. Why would anyone want to establish an engineering faculty specifically for Tamils?

    • 6
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      SAV
      No faculty of Engineering, Medicine & the Sciences in state universities is for any community. The claim is thus flawed and you are dead right on that count.
      *
      To be fair, I think that the question is based on a wish for locating an Engineering Faculty in the North or East. The idea initiated in the late 70s was followed by a feasibility study and a positive move during the war years under Premadasa , only to be abandoned, revived and abandoned. Ultimately after the end of the war there were two proposals. The revived UoJ proposal took off somehow. The EUSL idea for a faculty in Trincomalee was a disgraceful failure not for any malice on the part of the government, as I have explained elsewhere.

  • 5
    2

    4 NEW UNIVERSITIES eh?

    Most people by now would know the style of President RW. He has mastered the art of Flying Kites.
    He is promising Champagne when there is no money even for Toddy.

    It appears that EX.VC/Jaffna Vasanthi Arasaratnam [ name rings a bell !] has done extensive research on the glycemic index of Thosai. Did Greenlands hotel down Shruberry Gardens Bambalapitiya fund the research?

    Hope Prof. Hoole would check the British Medical Journal of the relevant period………..
    To be recommended by a Hoodlum to be a ViceChancellor speaks volumes about the University of Jaffna……………..

    • 2
      3

      Dear Plato,
      .
      We’re hobbled by restrictions, yet we fight on!
      .
      You’re quite right! Throw out Ranil Wickremasinghe, masquerading as President, and most problems will be solved.

    • 7
      1

      Plato, I too was thinking on the same lines. What kind of research is this on Glycemic index of Thosai and side dishes ??? Now that one third of population cannot even afford such luxury anymore whatever the findings / conclusion, derived are of no use. Keeping in mind Thosai can be made with various ingredients, mixtures of various quantities ( Ragi, whole wheat, rice , atta flour, ……….., ), types( plain, masala, ghee roast ) same with side dishes. Each ingredient has it’s own Glycemic index …….. including onion, chilli and even curry leaf . I wonder about the quality of Uni, standard of education provided by fraud / fake acolytes, and the benefits to graduates, attending Lanka’s educational system ???? If interested take a look at the recent speech given by Dr. Janaka Silva ( one of the few picked as best international scientist / researcher) at PGI ( Lanka Medical post graduate Institute)

  • 1
    0

    Plato, Funding for 4 universities may be corrupt by printing money. But how do you duplicate staff apart from Maitree style?. Human reproduction is a slower process

  • 7
    12

    “She lacked the wherewithal for it.”
    Rather judgmental is it not?
    “I lacked the maturity and strength of character then to oppose what was wrong.”
    Only then?

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