25 June, 2022


Jaffna Uni Academics Call For University Operations To Commence On A Fresh Slate Over Abuses In Recruitment Practices

The Sub-Committee for academic integrity of the Jaffna University Science Teachers Association (JUSTA) has released a report on the abuses that have occurred in the recruitment processes of the university, where a significant number of highly qualified applicants had been deprived of their entitled opportunities.

SB - Minister Higher Education

SB – Minister Higher Education

In the report titled ‘Discriminating against excellence’, the Sub-Committee of the JUSTA has asserted that it found ‘blatant and endemic’ abuse across several university departments and units in the selection of academic and non-academic staff.

The report notes the most prevalent form of abuse lies in the selection of probationary lecturers (assistant lecturers), where highly qualified candidates holding 1st class degrees have been systematically excluded from consideration or have been denied of positions.

The JUSTA Sub-Committee has also highlighted evidence of systemic abuse and political manipulation for non-academic staff appointments such as Computer Application Assistants and labourers.

“Favours were given to laborer candidates that were denied to highly qualified lecturers whose service the university badly needs,” the report notes.

The academics have attributed the plight to:

  • political and personal patronage that operates at all levels of the university’s system
  • unwillingness of Senior professors and the administration to challenge it
  • Failure of the University Grants Commission to fulfill its responsibilities in the selection of able and independent council members and in the regulation of the administration of universities.

In view of their findings, the JUSTA Sub-Committee has made the following recommendations:

  • Review all complaints swiftly and call back the highly qualified applicants excluded at interviews.
  • To avoid retaliations on the applicants who have filed complaints, have the cases heard by a Special Review Board appointed in consultation with the Unions
  • Appoint independent persons of good reputation with an appreciation of university values to the Council as external members and student representatives and academic staff must be allowed to review their qualifications
  • Internal members of the Council should be advised to resign and seek a fresh mandate from their constituencies in the Senate and Faculties

The report notes the implementation of these recommendations would help university processes commence on a fresh slate where most independent internal members are not inhibited from speaking out against cases of abuse and political manipulation.

To read the full document click here

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Discrimination against excellence and the abuse of power by political stooges with NO qualifications happens in ALL Sri Lanka universities because the majority of third rate lecturers fear foreign qualified PhDs. This is not only to Jaffna University.

    A Ivy League Ph.D with very good record of high level research publication was discriminated against by third rate lecturers in the Sociology dept. at University of Colombo and never hired for a Senior Lecturer post despite applying twice in the 1990s The posts were filled by far less qualified people and the gossip was that the person was “OVER QUALIFIED”! This was because the person was an INDEPENDENT academic with high integrity and from Tamil Minority community.
    This discrimination happened during the time of Siri Hettige and Sasanak Perera were head of Dept. They clearly did not want someone with such a good publication record and better degree…
    All the universities of Sri Lanka are in a sad state because politicization and the RACISM, Sexism and third rate degrees of majority faculty members… Others keep their mouths shut and work quietly for NGOs! The Sri Lanka university system is rotten, beyond reform and should be privatized, and all the third rate lecturers sent home!

    • 2

      The Rajapaksa brothers are UNEDUCATED and CORRUPT. Not one of them – Mahinda, Gota the Goon or Basil the high school drop out has a degree from a university. The Jarapassa brothers are also uncultured (and so are their empty headed sons who love expensive toys and Brand names – lambughinis, FCUK, guns to play with), and their Cabinet of morons and clowns in the miracle of Sinhala Modayas! The Rot starts at the top and has tricked down. The Jarapassa notion of development is Brand names, fast cars and militarization!
      Every institution and sector – education, health, police, judiciary, has been politicized and ONLY the worst criminal DREGS are hired into the state sector. Educated people flee all govt. institutions because they cannot stand the culture of corruption and incompetence..
      These corrupt and criminal looters of the public wealth – the Jarapassa brothers assets must be seized..

    • 0

      This pinguthtaraya is appointed as the minister of higher education. But his nature is totally different ot his predecessors. They the previous men were talented in many langagues. Now without knowing good English today s minister of higher education has made the country a laughing stock to this date. Jayawewa… this is the nature of MAHINDA balu chintanaya and so called wonder in asia. No doubt if the nation would be entwined with mahinda balu chintanaya, reality of becoming wonder in asia will only be possible in 50 years or so.

  • 4

    Once upon a time Jaffna University was one of the best but unfortunately, it is now become a political institute governed by the so called Douglas Devananda who is a criminal. Not even a single appointment cannot be made without his approval from top to bottom. As long as Rajapakse regime continues, no one has the power to change the current situation.

  • 1

    Says the UGC Chairman in the Island, “If it is submitted to the UGC, I’ll definitely have a very impartial inquiry into their charges.” How can she, as the Chairman of the body that rubber-stamped the nominees of the EPDP as Council members, conduct an impartial inquiry? Like the army looking into its own murders?

    She has also claimed in the Island that “some time back the UGC had investigated the appointment of Jaffna University Vice Chancellor following a complaint that it had been made under political influence.” Who did the inquiry? Did she call for witnesses? Did she talk to the Council members in private about whether they were forced to vote as the minister wanted?

    I do not believe her!

    Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne also says in the Island that “the scheme of recruitment of non-academic staff, whereby the lists were vetted by the area Minister had been in practice even before Minister S.B. Dissanayake took over the Higher Education portfolio.”

    That is, if the previous minister did illegal things, that is an excuse for him to continue? One can see the leadership we have. In effect one has to be a member of the EPDP to get a job. What of the equality of all citizens in applying for positions? What of our fundamental rights? The highest man in the ministry does not have the brains to see this? The UGC Chairman cannot see this and allows these backdoor appointments to go on?

    What the most educated in our land like the UGC Chairman and the Secretary/Higher Education do to hold on to their jobs! Stooges!

    Jobless (because I refuse to join the EPDP)

  • 1

    There are a lot of things which have to be started anew. Higher education is one of them. It has been politicized with illiterate politicians appointing Vice Chancellors as in the case of the Jaffna University. The case of Jaffna is not unique. It has been repeated so many times over. We have had a succession of charlatans and plagiarists heading these institutions. Others have sat back and condoned the situation without protesting or simply left for overseas. This is a sad state of affairs. It will take ages to rectify the situation that has been created. What has happened in the universities has been repeated in the cases of every institution like the judiciary, the medical profession and the schools. Sad plight for the country and we have not reached the bottom yet.

  • 1

    I worked as a lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Peradeniya Medical Faculty. I returned to SriLanka after finishing training in UK. I left because of persecution by the majority community. I was adviced by a Senior Professor in O&G at the Faculty that the message is written all over and I am in a defensive mood hence, not able to read. I am ever greatful to this Senior Professor in O&G and of course my colleagues in the department of Medicine for writting on the wall.

    Given the thought of working amongst my community and feeling altruistic after being oppressed I applied and was given the Senior Lecturer post without even turning up for the interview. I was told that I will be Professor without any trouble and even a Dean or VC if I was ambitious by the then Dean of the medical Faculty at Jaffna, when I met him in Colombo. He then went on to give some wise and prudent advice, I should only open my mouth to eat and teach Medicine outside my home, i.e. talk nothing political.

    I self refelected and knowing my openness and giving my honest opinion with inability to see injustice and turn away and discussing with my close friends and family who adviced not to take up the Jaffna appointment. I am glad I left to the UK and article refects exactly what I am made to understand happens in Jaffna and the rest of SriLankan Universities.

    It is a shame and a wasteful state of affairs – I am ever greatful for my teachers back in SriLanka who happened to be the Senior Professor in O&G at Pera and Dean Medicine at Jaffna. There is a cohort of dedicated teachers still in SriLankan Universities who do a great job but they are a ever decreasing minority.

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