15 September, 2019

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FUTA Clarifies Misconceptions Over Kshanika’s Resignation

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has today called upon all those who are responsible to put an end to the uncertainty with regard to the leadership of the University Grants Commission.

Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama

Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama

Issuing a statement on current situation at the University Grants Commission, the FUTA said;”We also appeal to all concerned to engage constructively and collaboratively with all stakeholders in the university system in resolving problems. We strongly urge the government not to further politicise the university sector by using it as a site for resolving power struggles within different factions. The university system has suffered long enough due to incompetent leadership at various levels and also due to an unprecedented degree of political interference during the past decade. It is time to close the chapter on a decidedly unsavoury past and to move towards a more democratic and transparent future in which the cherished academic principles of academic freedom and university autonomy are valued.”

We publish below the statement in full;

FUTA wishes to clarify certain misconceptions regarding the resignation of the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission that have arisen recently due to various media reports.

The FUTA requested the UGC Chair, Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama to resign due to several critical issues which she has failed to address during her tenure. These include issues of conflict of interest, misuse and abuse of power and directly contributing to the politicisation of the university sector. These issues have been communicated to Prof Hirimburegama several times during the past two years. However, Prof Hirimburegama has consistently failed to respond adequately to the requests made by FUTA to clarify these issues. Consequently, the academic community, has lost confidence in Prof Hirimburegama’s ability to provide leadership to the university system and therefore requested her resignation.

If the government wishes to inquire into these allegations, we most certainly welcome such a move. It is not FUTA’s responsibility to make inquiries into such allegations, it is the responsibility of the government. However, as a responsible trade union, it is FUTA’s obligation to function as a watch dog and to bring to the notice of the relevant authorities instances of wrong doing by those appointed to positions of authority. As a trade union, FUTA will continue to function as a pressure group on behalf of its membership as well as for the advancement of the sector it represents.

Prof Kshanika Hirumburegama, represents for FUTA and its membership, all that was wrong with university administration under the previous regime. Her continued presence at the UGC, sends an extremely negative message to the university community as a whole – eagerly anticipating a change to the dismissive and authoritarian manner in which it was dealt with under the previous regime. It was under Prof Hirumberegama that the UGC deteriorated from an independent body overseeing the administration of the highest academic bodies of this country to a mere political appendage of the previous regime. Therefore, the misrepresentation of FUTA’s call for her resignation, as a form of political victimization by the State Minister of Higher Education is either deliberately mischievous or astoundingly naive.

We call upon all those who are responsible to put an end to the uncertainty with regard to the leadership of the University Grants Commission. We also appeal to all concerned to engage constructively and collaboratively with all stakeholders in the university system in resolving problems. We strongly urge the government not to further politicise the university sector by using it as a site for resolving power struggles within different factions. The university system has suffered long enough due to incompetent leadership at various levels and also due to an unprecedented degree of political interference during the past decade. It is time to close the chapter on a decidedly unsavoury past and to move towards a more democratic and transparent future in which the cherished academic principles of academic freedom and university autonomy are valued.

Sgd

Dr Prabhath Jayasinghe -President and Dr Harini Amarasuriya – Secretary

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    FUTA.

    There is another Joker who is a blotch on the Landscape. The Defacto VC.of the Eastern University.Unless,something is done soon he may apply for the post of Chairperson UGC!

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
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    Mediocre “graduates” who would not be qualified to wash the feet of the great academics of the Peradeniya era have taken control of the so-called academic world and are playing dirty politics of the only type they know.

    They can do these things, but they are loosing respect of the average “non-academic” Johnnies of Sri Lanka with common sense.

    To hell with FUTA.

  • 5
    1

    Honorary degrees to undeserving political figures may now the norm to ‘purchase’ favours in the university system.
    The rot was commenced by the Hirimburegamas, only in the University of Colombo.
    This lady and her husband ‘purchased’ their appointments, by disgracing the university.

  • 3
    1

    It is Rajiva who is retaining Kshanika out of spite for FUTA. He is throwing tantrums sending in his resignation but keeping the vehicles. What a joke! He is acting like a bully making various accusations against Ranil and Kabir Hashim knowing that they being decent people won’t fight him in public. If he contest an election he won’t get a seat. Being a national list MP of a three wheeler party he demands a Cabinet post. It is Chandrika who has asked Ranil to appoint him a cabinet minister but Ranil appointed him only as a state minister. if he remains the minister of higher education he will carry out the world bank agenda to turn our education system to one that trains our graduates as labour in the tourist industry as bell boys and room boys and girls!

    • 0
      2

      doesn’t seem like an academic argument. wrong place!

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
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    This woman is no better than a vagrant on the road (I don’t want to insult the vagrants!) She has prevented the Dean of Colombo med faculty from getting a permanent post? She did not allow the prof surgical post from being revised in spite of MR’s orders. Posts of many chairs were not filled till her Mafia schoolmates get suitability? What did she do in influencing people to vote in the Jaffna university! You don’t need inquiries for these blatant violations!

    However, Her father Prof Sannasgala and Sam Wijesinghe, Rajiv’s father were friends! Her son and Daham Sirisena were classmates and friends? What else do you need for the blue bottles (nila messa) TO Cling on to?

  • 3
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    The authorities must listen to the academics on this matter – not to Rajiva Wijesinghe – and make the urgent changes needed to restore the stature of the Universities after the calamitous period that they went through in the recent past.

  • 2
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    The system is: The council takes a vote and nominates a person from the council as VC and it is a mere formality for the president to confirm the appointment. However, when Kshanika was first appointed with only 6 votes against 2 others with the highest getting 18 votes and the other maybe around 11! Apparently MARA lobbied by Chamal had said this is ‘our person’ and appointed the one with minimum votes? This was the dictatorial position by MR. The hubby was appointed when Kshanika was appointed upstairs through a similar process!

    I hope the Yaha Palanaya will adopt a legal process without appointing one of their catchers!!

  • 0
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    The RAJAPAKSES are really great.They appoint the wife upstairs and the Hubby downstairs!

  • 1
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    Why does the Government of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremasinghe need to mollycoddle Rajiva Wijesinghe? To me as an outsider to do so looks extraordinarily stupid. Has he wormed his way into the path of MS and RW like he did into Chandrika’s and Mahinda’s? Is he relying on the laurels of his father Sam, just like his friend Dayan Jayatilleka does on his father’s laurels?

    As a Minister what he has displayed up to now is a lack of flair for putting together a group of people to work together. The only ‘assets’ he has are his predisposition to prevaricate and an irritating Oxfordish accent.

    What he has displayed however is his determination to sink his claws on the power that goes with a Ministry.

    To get an idea as to how his convoluted mind works please read his last two dozen articles that were published in the Colombo Telegraph.

    He is not even of any use to bring political strength to the Government. The average Sri Lankan disposition is allergic to his inclination to drool at the feet of authority, an adjunct of which is to back stab at the opportune moment. Politically he is only a liability. More so, his loyalty, especially to the Government is open to question due to is allergic to his inclination to drool at the feet of authority, an adjunct of which is to back stab at the opportune moment. Politically he is only a liability. More so, his loyalty to the Government is open to question due to his steadfast closeness over the years to Dayan Jayatilleke, the Government’s sworn enemy. Watch the “Nugegoda Rising” video.

    It will be in everyone’s interest, certainly in the interest of education, to please let him go.

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