14 April, 2024


Hatch Removed From USAB Chairmanship By Minister Kiriella

Nigel Hatch, Chairman of the University Services Appeals Board or the USAB, was asked by Minister Lakshman Kiriella to resign and he has done so.

The USAB as a specialized court was established under the Universities Act. It was meant to be a simple tribunal without elaborate rules where university academics could write a letter, speak for themselves and be heard. If they did not know the law, the chairman, a lawyer or retired judge, and two retired administrative service officers on the 3-person USAB would help them. There was little formality. This was the case in the old days.

Nigel Hatch PC

Nigel Hatch PC

In our universities where the concept of autonomy is used by Vice Chancellors to do anything illegal with total impunity, the USAB formed a healthy check and balance – only for a while though!

For, under Judge G.W. Edirisuriya who was USAB Chairman for 2 terms of 5 years each, the USAB lost its simplicity where an ordinary academic could navigate the system without lawyers. Letters would no longer do. They had to be “motions.”Objections from the universities spoke of “in limine,” and “ab initio.” It became an expensive long drawn out process where lawyers made money. Even young lawyers from the Attorney General’s trying to overawe academics with their Latin, misspoke, writing garbled phrases, thereby adding to the pandemonium. Judgements tended to side the university and Edirisuriya’s second term saw only under 200 cases being filed because there seemed no point in filing cases.

With the new government, a fresh panel was appointed. Nigel Hatch, a President’s Counsel, was the pick when the law college saw scandals involving Namal Rajapaksa and he filled in as Acting Principal.

“Hatch did a fine job clearing cases very quickly, some ten years old. However, he faced several administrative hurdles as the university system, claiming to run in English, really cannot. Stenographers at court could not take down notes correctly and Hatch would be seen angrily reprimanding the staff. Even the UGC’s filings were in garbled English. Yet, issues were resolved quickly by Hatch. Some of the Board’s decisions went against universities for a change and this had angered the authorities.” a source closed UGC chairman told Colombo Telegraph on the condition of anonymity.

Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that Minister Kiriella demanded Hatch’s resignation and Hatch complied. It is not clear whether the other two judges also have been fired or not. They are Mrs. K.P.M. Speldewinde (a retired SLAS Officer) and Mr. D. Kalansooriya (lately Chairman of the Ceramics Corporation).

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  • 20

    Maybe this guy Kiriella does not like english scholars working with him. He demands everything and is making a mess of yahapalanaya.
    These are the kind of ministers of yahapalanaya or shall we say yakopalanaya that has come from the voters.
    Anyway all good things must come to an end and with yahapalanaya it will end very soon. Goodbye Yahapalanaya and welcome back Rajapalanaya.

    • 14

      Hon Ranil,
      High time for you to get rid of these 3 idiots like Kiriella, Ravi and John asap.

  • 35

    So sorry to hear this. This further proves that Sri Lanks is no country for gentlemen or those fluent in English and want to abide by the law.

    Mr. Nigel Hatch had class, a very quick brain and was willing to hear both sides of the case. The Minister should rethink his decision. He is obviously playing to the gallery. Each succeeding minister of higher education competes with the former to further ruin the universities. Sick people who cannot even understand the e-code are now running the universities.

    • 4

      there is very little latin in the english language though i was made to believe. yet lawyers even in england refer to latin. There is more of German.
      If they had the proceedings in sinhala then they would look at sanskrit even though there is portugese. Tribunals in the UK are a way out to help the poor than pay high legal cost. Also in some instances when its a technical like accounting, engineering etc the judge would order to first take the matter up at tribunal level where one of the 3 members is a specialist in that tech or accounts and call over.

      The point here is the rich always find a way out because the rich always win.
      The rich here is the UCG. Tribunals have gone back to the queen when supreme judges have ruled against them and stopped the tribunal from carrying out judgement on that section of the law over again.
      the case: leaseholders of london vs biggest landlord of london.
      Loss because of 1 word of the dictionary- `estimate` which most think is the final sum which is not. Though parents studied latin and greek i did not but at our missionary school we often had to obtain a `bona fide`certificate which is same as estimate or approxmiate or variable. If the landlord the landlord had given a fixed sum then the sum is fixed whether it cost him more or less.

      Rich always win and the rich always break their promises to the poor fools who vote for them. Like voting MR2 back because a dying former revolutionary monk hijacked the common candidate.
      Good luck guys move away from trouble while studying because its expensive and dangerous.

  • 8

    The surprise is that some people seem surprised at this turn of events.

  • 16

    OHEPALAYANG continues ! Nigel Hatch may not be the most amiable of people but I’m sure he would get a job done.

    No room for even that, by the looks of it.

    Sri Lanka “slip sliding away” in the words of Simon and Garfunkel.

  • 13

    Somebody please convince Minister and do the followings and clean University system. As a tax payer, I feel sorry about pathetic situation in public corruptive University system.

    1) Identify and transfer all family members work in same University/Dept/Faculty as Lecturers. Recheck how these all family members came to system and penalize the responsible. Sometime wife is writing articles putting husband’s name for articles and husband getting professorship without shame (what ethics) presenting these to promotions. So called best Technical University in Sri Lanka, last week this happened. Therefore both H and W have to interdict for this unethical practice.
    2) Recheck all Lecturers and Professors qualifications and publications based on that re-grade them.
    3) Never sent job applications received for academic positions to the respective academic depts. If you sent these applications they remove qualified PhD people and only interview henchmen.
    4) Remove good business subjects from Arts faculty and hand over to Science and Technology faculties. See how Arts faculty destroyed good names of many good disciplines. Today Arts faculty products (graduates) are a symbol of unemployment.
    5) Famous family dept must be closed and appoint President Commission to check inside and FCID must be called to checked inside for last 20 year period.
    6) Never give professorships for jokers.
    7) Reduce retirement age for academics 65 years to 60 or 58.
    8) Follow strict rule while appointing Professors: In order to be a real international professor your PhD from world top 100 University, minimum 20 articles in ISI/SCOPUS indexed journals, 10 text books with international publishers and three countries have to appoint you as a Visiting professor.
    9) Never allow any dept to issue first degree if you do not have sufficient number of PhDs in that dept. Take some Universities many Deans do not have PhDs. This is a recipe for disaster.
    10) UGC can directly take task of recruitments of lecturers and give to respective Universities. This must be done quickly.
    11) Select the best Lecturers with help of private sector independent body and sent to world top 100 universities with strict bond requirements.
    12) Many of these so called academic jokers are now entering into professional bodies or they themselves create own fake professional bodies and they destroyed that profession also.
    13) Develop comprehensive web sites for each University and say to show Publications with indexing place to public by each academics (not joke conference papers) and degrees where (Country and the University and international ranking of that University) they got their PHD. Today the most important thing is your PhD must come from accredited, ranking (at least 100) best University of the world to recognized your University basic UG products.

    • 2

      Yes Kalaniya University Commerce Dept is a full family dept and many faculties this is normal. Some time all the key University positions among the family members.

  • 9

    It is this kind of arbitrary powers with the ministers that acts as spoke in the wheel. As long as such powers exist, no government is of any value to the people. Such decisions should be taken by a responsible body after an inquiry and assessment. Minister Kiriella seems a spoiler.

  • 16

    ……Some of the Boards decisions went against the Universities for a change and this had angered the Authorities…..

    So the Minister has sacked Nigel Hatch PC!
    Great Good Governance[GGG] Or is it Chi!Chi!Chi!

  • 3

    So Hatch has been hatched ?

    • 7

      are you joking with regard to your comment or are you serious. ???
      This is not a joke of any sort and please dont compare Mr Nigel Hatch to a a——e like Kiriella.
      Mr Hatch is a learned man and Kiriella is a walking disaster.
      What the idiotic buffoon Kiriella has done is the same that SWRDB and his wife SDB did in their time. They removed all the learned people from top posts so that they could safeguard their illiteracy and cover their failures. That is why Sri lanka is a mess today, a total stinking mess and down the ages the other buffoons contributed to this stinking mess and now Kiriella has added his excreta to the mess.

      Its a pity why persons like you take these cockups as jokes, and when you do you are contributing to the mess. You had better get your hatches prioritised before you get hatched and when you next comment make sure your comments will help Sri lanka clear up its mess.
      We dont want to know who you are and dont care who you are but learn to see the difference between a Stallion and a Donkey.

      Take care & good luck.

  • 20

    Nigel Hatch was respected across the spectrum and carried out his work without fear or favour. But those like him, work in this land with the constant spectre that some ‘half-past-six-bugger’ will cut his legs behind him if things do not go the way of the clown in residence.

    Kiriella has a proven track-record (and there are more like him in our blessed land) of making sliding tackles to take out those who cross his path. Kiriella, and those like him, remain the perennial curse of our island political world.

    What God can we dash coconuts to, to rid of this pestilential breed?

  • 12

    Nigel Hatch PC should not accept any State Appointments.The State makes use of him and then dumps him!
    Nigel was a classy guy even at College,and I have also heard him in Court;Streets ahead of most of them.
    The problem,I suspect is that the UGC is not comfortable with CULTUR types.

  • 3

    Hatch was on the USAB while serving on the Colombo University Council. This he cannot do as the USAB hears appeals from the decisions of the Council. Hatch is not held in high regard. He was a lackey of Mohan Peiris.

    • 1

      If this is the case why the HELL doesn’t the Government issue a statement saying so ?

  • 0

    Frankly,I was not aware of this part.
    There is a conflict of interest no doubt!

  • 5

    Both Eddusuriya and Hatch were jokers at the best of times

  • 12

    Snr Hatch asked to resign… Jar Hatch put on ice by HSBC for irregularities and “other” activities.

    • 4

      HSBC is a stupidly expensive and complicated bank.
      most banks carry out money laundering and HSBC is still at it. When Osborne comes into opposition their headquarters at London would again have a rough time. It is definitely not a British owned bank. India has sub contracted a small portion of HSBC customer service call center but not total back office.

      • 3

        Yanne koheda malle pol!

  • 18

    It is hard to find educated men and women volunteering to come forward
    to handle important govt. depts. for fear of interference by the minister concerned and by other ministers & MPs who poke their fingers at times. We have heard high ranking officials get sacked or trans-
    ferred due to corruption and nepotism but never heard of sacking an educated man who is also a PC for doing a great & honest job of work as the Chairman, USAB. Understand he stood for what is right. He also
    used English language as medium of instructions to the staff, which was Greek to them and that should not be the reason for sacking an official.

    When sacking a man of his calibre, the minister should have explained
    the reason in the media. There is a general belief that ministers do
    not like to have educated people in their ministries as they will not, as a rule, cooperate with them when they engage in doing nefarious activities.

    It’s in the media reports that President/PM have realised that certain ministries like Finance ,Justice, Higher Education and Inland security
    are not functioning well as expected and they are contemplating a swap
    of ministers, shortly. Hope this happens early so that the higher education,Inland Security and Judiciary improve in this country.

  • 9

    If any one thinks that ability to speak in Englush is the prime quality of a gentleman it is a mith. Hatch at one time went behind UNP and shifted caps because he did not get brief. Then he sucked the SLFP and Chandrika and beged and got his PCship when there were many eminent personalities such as Dr Sunil Coorey, Ananda Wicremasekera of Gall, Winston perils of Kegalle and Chandra Jayasekera of Kurunegala with many others overlooked.
    Then he sucked the Rajapaksha’s and Mohan Peries and got these appointment.
    He gas no principles.
    He never stood for any cause of the Bar.
    He supported Dr Shuranee B to be illegally impeached.
    He us a political cronie and a brief less lawyer with a few cases in the labour tribunal.
    He deserves the treatment he has got and there should be a top administrator to be appointed to the University’s appeal board.

  • 12

    Nigel Hatch is not a lawyer of any principle. His treatment of other lawyers, especially juniors, is appalling and he does not hold any regard among the bar association especially due to his political opportunism. He is well known for going behind whichever leader is in power at that time, which resulted in his dubious “president’s counsel” over the heads of many others. His sycophantic conduct towards Mohan Peiris’s predecessor mysteriously changed when Mohan Peiris was appointed and Hatch seemed to forget the past. His lack of principle has spread into his family (as someone else has pointed out) as his daughter (appointed due to her father’s connections and not due to any special ability – except perhaps appearance and attire) is presently suspended from the foreign bank she worked for due to being party to various illegal manipulations of the management there (and supposedly party to other more private ‘activities’ although one cannot comment publicly on these). The father is strangely silent on these although his usual reaction is to sue any and all around him as he does not have any other cases worth much attention to spend his time on. No doubt he tried a fast one with Kiriella, who is not above some sycophancy himself, which did not work out. Tough luck.

  • 11

    Lanka Watch.

    Your Line…

    There is a general belief that Ministers do not like to have educated people in their Ministries as they will not,as a rule,co-operate wit them when they engage in doing nefarious activities….

    Very True.I could not have said it better!

    You may have your own reasons to be not complimentary about Nigel Hatch.Fine.
    But, is it fair to drag into this his Daughter?

    • 12

      What’s wrong with Hatchling s comments. Hatch is a known arrogant scum.. There is no need to be nice about it.
      I guess it filters down with the family.. Especially with the daughter who not for the first time has been reprimanded for extra curricular activities and now party to manipulation of rates: construed to be fraud…. Guess beneath these so called high class personas it’s nothing but third rate scum.vsay it as it is…..

    • 12

      If the man is unable to instil his so called high class and ‘principles’ in to his own daughters conduct then the whole lot of them should be exposed in public as the matter is now public information to anyone in the industry anyway. These are not minor misdeeds but wilful ignorance that has likely made a few people very rich and the economy all the poorer while the young lady ensured that other more talented staff were sidelined in favour of her. No doubt she will get away by pleading ignorance or due to daddys threats to the incompetent fools who run the show there at hsbc sri lanka. I am not sure how much of it was her own fault versus others sucking up to her but high time all these frauds including the so called foreign banks were put in their place.

  • 3

    We know how bad Kiriella is, now we hear Hatch has his own bad deeds. So it boils down to ‘ Pot calling the Kettle black ‘. Ultimately citizens ‘talking about the few ‘ who want to live by fair deals, end up with the wrong end of the stick.

  • 25

    In relation to the allegations about Mr. Hatch’s daughter:
    she interened with HSBC as an undergraduate and upon graduating with a Second upper degree in Economics was asked by the Bank to send in her application based on her performance as an intern and her academic qualifications. Mr. Hatch had nothing to do with her getting the job, which she did by working hard at her degree and being a high performer.

    The allegations made against her in this forum are false. She has never to date been accused of fraud/misdeeds/ “other” or “extra curricular” activities.

    I am shocked that Colombo Telegraph that claims to be journalists and reporters of the truth stooped to the level of publishing these false comments about a third party not even related to this article.

    If you are a woman and successful it HAS to be because of “other” activities? Because a woman is clearly incapable of professional and academic excellence without resorting to such “activities”? It is sick that some Sri Lankans still resort to such defamation and character assassination of any woman who is successful on her own merit. It is the cheapest and most unsubstantiated accusation successful women are forced to put up with. What’s more disgusting is that “journalists” decide to publish it.

    Clearly this “Hatchling” / “hatchet” individual is a sore loser who resents anyone who performs better. Maybe they would do well to instead of defaming others to TRY and make something out of their lives. Jelousy made no sucess stories!

    • 16

      “A woman” you might be well meaning and close to Jnr Hatch.
      But facts are stubborn…. Ask around HSBC.

      She amongst others including her boss who does her work were all suspended for interest rate manipulation and systemic fraud. She just got back to work after being served a warning and bonus terminated as she was deemed complicit in this whole charade.

      About a year or two ago she and her boss (who is married) were investigated and penalised for purporting to be on client visits outstation but quite to the contrary. Please feel free to check and verify.

      Yes she was offered a job but this was the same cabal with whom she was hand in glove with these irregularities… All of them including the head of corporate banking who is still suspended…………

      Yes there are many females in the organisation who have stella careers… But none of them have stooped to suc derogatory levels.. Barring a few like her

    • 10

      Woman are you the official spokesman for the HSBC or for the family? Or are you one of stupid managers at hsbc that is filled from top to bottom with incompetance. Why are you so keen to defend someone against there are serious queries (altho we now hear she has been let off lose as the bank is scared that daddy boy will file a case against them). this is a well known story in the industry and the management of the place is also now a well known jokers.

      You say she was hired due to her amazing performance as an intern and because she has a degree. How many other people interned at the bank over the last few years (we know that theres a public internship programme with two other companies) and was her performance better than all of the others? On what basis was her performing judged and invitation extended? Was the position advertised (we are aware that it was created as a special favor over the heads of many others qualified for the job). On what basis was she hired to the role without any experience and kept in that role despite many customer complaints that she is clueless and that she was incapable of executing anything without her boss intervening? How about those unethical and ‘extra curricular’ behavior (smarty panties has already stated that you have outright lied about this as she was investigated for her bad behavior with her boss while his wife was pregnant)? When others complained of favoritism due to who her family status why did her superiors and hr department just sweep it under the carpet? looks like they all were caught with their pants down in the end.

      what a bunch of jokers.

    • 7

      A Woman

      I guess the writing is on the wall…… Seems like upstart little tot has been terminated from her employment as at last afternoon… wonder why.
      Poeple in glass houses they say… truth is a stubborn son of XXXXX…

  • 19

    The appointment of Mr. Nigel Hatch P.C. as Chairman, USAB was subsequent to his appointment to the Council of the University of Colombo. As such, he immediately notified the Council of the University of Colombo that he would recuse himself from any matter that came up before that Council that fell within the jurisdiction of the USAB. This is minuted.

    In the couple of matters that came up before the USAB that were in relation to Colombo and involved Council decisions prior to his appointment to the Council, Nigel disclosed to all parties that he was a Council Member of that University and that he would recuse himself if there were any objections. There were none. In a subsequent matter he in fact recused himself and did not even sit on the USAB Panel. Therefore the allegation that there was a conflict of interest or that he has not acted honourably is baseless.

    As regards some of the vicious comments in relation to Nigel, first and foremost he is a highly respected senior President’s Counsel at the Bar today. His integrity and honesty has never been questioned or put in doubt in relation to his practice of the law or any other office he has held.

    He is the author of a great academic work in Labour Law that is still highly sought after by the Bench, Bar and students and has been even quoted by the Supreme Court in its decisions. It must be noted that this is a book with an analysis of the law; as opposed to a mere reproduction of statutory provisions and case law with no analysis and sometimes not a word actually “written” by the author which sadly seem to be the local trend of “law books” being published today.

    At “Dimitry” – It is clear that you are utterly ignorant of the significant victories in the Supreme Court that Nigel has had apart from labour law which has created new principles of law in SL. If you are a lawyer, clearly you have not read any Law Reports/ Supreme Court web reports; if you are not a lawyer you still should have checked up on your facts.

    Furthermore, Nigel has always helped Juniors who are unconnected to the Bar (through family or otherwise) and who are hardworking and bright. He has no tolerance for incompetence or mediocrity (sadly a malady that plagues the Bar today) or those who do not pull their weight but believe that the Bar owes them a living simply because of a family connection.

    Clearly it is because he is learned in the law and can present an argument in any Court lucidly and with clarity and because he is honest, has integrity and is not afraid to express a point of view or take a decision that these traits invite resentment.   

    Therefore it is extremely clear that these attacks on his character and practice which are utterly and disgustingly false are by those plagued by the green eyed monster.

    A note to the Editors of Colombo Telegraph: Colombo Telegraph should not permit the baseless vilification of people like Nigel. If you do not stop it decent and educated people will stop patronizing your website and you will be left with those with hang-ups, the ignorant and those with fetishes who just want an outlet to vent their spleen (i.e. “Guti”/ “Hatchling” and others of that ilk).

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