30 September, 2023


Jaffna University In Uproar: Govt Reneges, Promotes Tamil Extremism

By Ulagu Kudumban

Rage among University Employees

At yesterday’s (06 Feb. 2015) meeting of the Jaffna University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), visibly angry members demanded that the Deans produce a secret memo to the UGC or resign. The widespread discontent was seen in the unusually high attendance and the absence from the meeting of isolated Vice Chancellor Vansanthi Arasaratnam’s usual supporters of whom one was seen eavesdropping from an adjacent room without attending. This was Dean Management Studies Prof. T. Velnamby who was the Chief Liaison between the VC and the EPDP for the last VC election where he brought his relatively unknown student from Eastern University as the dummy candidate who did impressively because of EPDP pressure.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha - the State Minister for Higher Education

Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha – the State Minister for Higher Education

The background building up to this furore is this: a) the series of memos and protest letters on flouted recruitment procedures from JUSTA, the JUSTA Science Teachers’ Association whose members belong to the larger JUTA. b) the Employees’ Union strike on Jan. 31 blockading the external Council members from attending the meeting usually held on the last Saturday of each month; c) the government reneging on promises to FUTA and d) Jaffna Deans seizing the moment to deny JUSTA’s allegations. We will go over these in time sequence.

Abuse of Power by VC and Jaffna Council

JUSTA has for over a year been highlighting abuse of power by VC Arasaratnam in making improper appointments. Their numerous complaints have received no response except for the UGC Chairman Prof. Kshanika Hrimburegama telling the Island when asked that if the complaint were sent to her she would inquire. So JUSTA did just that and was again totally ignored. It was unshakeable arrogance on her part, doing anything she wanted.

Solemn Promises by PM

The issue of wrongful appointments is not isolated to Jaffna, and other universities too had been complaining. After the presidential elections, on 27 January 2015 at a meeting between FUTA, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations in which both JUTA and JUSTA are constituents, many promises were made of which the relevant three here, indeed the first three in the minutes of the meeting, are:

  1. Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe stated that all UGC Commission members including the Chair will be requested to resign. Request letters will come through the Secretary to the President;
  2. Minister Kabeer Hashim (the cabinet Minister in charge of Higher Education) stated that he requests all Council members of universities to resign;
  3. If individual universities present allegations against VCs, these will be investigated.  It was mentioned that Jaffna, Eastern, South Eastern, Colombo and Peradeniya have already submitted documents in this regard.

Elated by the new openness of our government and its willingness to listen, JUSTA presented the following to FUTA at the FUTA AGM on 30 Jan. 2015 to be pursued under promise 3 above, calling for the removal of the VC and Deans and their replacement by a Competent Authority:

“In a university that has a long history of administrative abuse, such as Jaffna, the gravity of measures needed to put things right should not be underestimated. When some malignancy has lasted long, long before the current VC came into office, we cannot see how any inquiry could be advanced without a competent authority. Over this long history the deans have learnt to cooperate and become part of the corruption. If they stand out they face isolation and victimisation while the other deans and external members remain silent.

If the Vice Chancellor and deans are left in authority, no inquiry could take place. They would remain in control of documents and would have enough opportunity to cover up. After all it is a system they had corrupted. They have also been able to order and intimidate people right down the line.

Those who come before the inquiry to receive justice should be assured that they could testify without any fear of reprisal. If a deserving person has been denied an appointment by those who have done everything and pulled every string to ensure that they are not exposed, can the victim expect restitution when the same persons remain in control?

Anyone instituting and inquiry should have complete control of documents and should be able to ensure that there is no interference and the victims are free to testify. Such a person must necessarily be a competent authority.”

Similarly on 31 January, the Employees’ Unions, driven by the expectations of change since the days of political control in everything that ended on 9 Jan. 2015, blockaded the Council meeting. That meeting could not take place.

Wijesingha: Throwing Cold Water

Imagine then the disappointment, consternation and even rage among the until-then appreciative academics and employees all over, when Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha the State Minister for Higher Education reneged on these solemn promises by Ranil Wickremesinghe. On 1 Feb. 2015 Wijesingha – Wickremesinghe’s first cousin who as State Minister is said to be charged with looking after the implementation of higher education policy) and was not present at the FUTA meeting – gave an interview to the Sunday Observer. Said he, gainsaying his Prime Minister, that:

“He will not sack the UGC Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama but will address many mistakes done by her.”

Pushback by Dr. Atputharajah and Deans

Emboldened by Prof. Wijesingha’s betrayal, Dr. A. Atputharajah, a relatively junior academic from Peradeniya who is illegally the Acting Dean of Jaffna’s Engineering Faculty decided to move. He does not wish to give up his position at the more stable University of Peradeniya where he is too junior to be Dean but wants to be Dean at Jaffna and has been trying hard. He has been known to bad mouth the VC and Prof. K. Kandasamy who after the previous Coordinator took over planning of the new engineering faculty and kept Atputharajah out from all meetings. Atputharajah at one time was cursing Arasaratnam and Kandasamy to friends in private even as he forced himself into meetings without invitation and was ingratiating himself in the their presence.

Jaffna Employees and some Students: Blockading the Council (31 Jan. 2015)

Jaffna Employees and some Students: Blockading the Council (31 Jan. 2015)

In this system the trick to getting loyalty is in making illegal favour-based appointments of the unqualified. The law requires the Dean to be elected by the Faculty Board from the Heads of Department. Now that there is an Engineering Faculty and there are heads in place at the new faculty there is no justification for an Acting Dean. Indeed the normal procedure when no election can be held before the formation of a faculty is to have a Coordinator as Jaffna once had until elections can be held. Atputharajah got around the VC with Kandasamy falling out after he objected to appointments from Douglas Devananda’s EPDP lists.

Now the ever grateful Acting Dean was prepared to return the favour. He got the Deans to sign a memo to the higher authorities denying all of JUSTA’s allegations. On 3 or 4 February Atputharajah, Prof. Velnamby and two others then went stealthily to the home of Dean of Arts, Prof. V.P. Sivanathan, to get his signature. Prof. Sivanathan had consistently voted against the appointment of EPDP nominees from then Minister Douglas Devananda’s list and therefore had little to fear from an inquiry. Not having his hands dirty in making these unlawful appointments, he asked for the letter to be left with him overnight to study. Then, fearing that Sivanathan would leak the contents, Atputharajah and party went off without even letting Sivanathan read the letter. Atputharajah is believed to have sent the memo to the authorities using contacts he had earned as Acting Dean.

JUTA Meeting

That is the background to the JUTA meeting yesterday, the 6 Feb. 2015. JUTA till then had not endorsed JUSTA’s positions. Now they were ready. They demanded two things, there being no sign from the government to keep its promises to FUTA. The first was to know whether the Deans had indeed written against the attempts to clean up the university and demanded to be shown the letter. Failing that, it was decided to ask every Dean to resign.

Second, they decided to join FUTA’s work stoppage scheduled for 12 Feb. 2015 in support of the demand for the UGC Chairperson’s removal, and in addition to call for the resignation of all external Jaffna council members. To call the public’s attention to the problem they would blockade the university entrance from 11:00 AM to noon that day.

There was push from members not to go to Prof. Wijesingha again as they felt there would be no point.

Government Foolishness

The month of January 2015 has been a time of elation for all, Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. The bad government is gone. All communities are expectantly looking to the future. A sign of the times is that Tamil mainstream politicians attended and celebrated Independence Day for the first time after 1972. Things looked good for all of us Sri Lankans.

And what of February 2015? At a time when the call is to build on this amity, the government is pulling the rug from under all of us. Horrible ministers of the previous regime are now in our government. Censorship seems to be still on. Rajiva Wijesingha wants to correct wrong-doers rather than remove them – that is, he is offering impunity. The list is growing by the day.

The government by its disregard for its promises has re-interjected politics into straightforward governance through administrative corrections and the sacking of the errant. JUTA therefore towards the end of the meeting suddenly added a third paragraph to its resolution that repoliticized the university after just one month of being free of the EPDP.

This additional third item condemned the two unnamed TNA members (who all know to be Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran and Mr. R. Sampanthan) who had attended the sixty seventh Independence Day celebrations in Colombo.

After some people pointed out how inimical this would be to the teachers’ demands for a clean university, it was added in parenthesis after this third demand that this would be kept away from the press in the interests of safeguarding the unity of Tamil Nationhood. Alas, it mysteriously appeared in the Thinakkural of 7 Feb. 2015.

In further politicization a stranger at the meeting was asking members to join the new party supposedly being formed by former editor of both Uthayan and Sudaroli, Mr. Nadesapillai Vithyatharan.

It would appear that by breaking a solemn promise to FUTA the government has halted positive changes among Tamils and begun to repoliticise the University of Jaffna.

The government must keep all promises on which it was elected. The people wish the government well and hope that good sense will prevail – indeed, return. We Sri Lsnksns cannot afford a return to extremism.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Hey Rajiva, racists like you promoted Tamil extremism all these years. You are one to talk now eh?

    • 0

      I guess you did not read the article or the article writer’s name..

      You just read the title and looked at the picture….:D

      Is that how you read? No wonder your comprehension sucks…….


  • 3

    How does Devananda still influence selections at Jaffna University though he is not in the present regime, nor in the opposition?
    It was reported that his “security” is allowed to exist.
    His goon squad is obviously intact.
    Is he influencing the minister Rajeeva W – who never held an administrative post?
    Has Ms Hirimburegama promised more honorary degrees from the Colombo University where her husband succeeded her as VC?

  • 0

    Perhaps allowing a few days for things to be organised and done would be sensible.
    There many things the government has undertaken to accomplish, all of which require appropriate time and energy, often from the same people. Patience, at least for one semester, would seem to be appropriate in this situation.

  • 9

    The Jaffna University must be closed down permanently.
    It’s a real waste of public funds. It’s full of half-baked academics, most of whom literally bought their higher degrees from sub-standard universities in Tamil Nadu and lack even the tiniest amount of intellectual vigour . One time Dean Science (who is also a professor in physics) can’t even speak a single line in English without mistake. The VC herself,with a first degree in Home Economics, completed her doctorate with a cut & paste research thesis in Bio-Chemistry, thanks to the personal crush the then VC Mr. Kumaravadivel had on her. Another self-made professor in the Law Department has big Tamil nationalistic political ambitions with a never- to-happen dream of replacing the TNA, is forcing the students to support his politics.Besides the allegations of rampant malpractices, corruption and favouritism, there are so many stories of sexual harassment on students by the lecturers and professors as well. The university has become a permanent abode of anti-social activities and total immorality. It has become a mark of shame on the Tamils and on the nation as a whole. IT MUST BE CLOSED DOWN FOR GOOD and all the erring staff members must be brought under public scrutiny.
    The government must take immediate action to safeguard the future of the young students from these pseudo-academics.

    • 5

      What a sad contrast when compared with the time when Prof.. Kailasapathy held the VC post and ran affairs at the Jaffna University.
      There was no murmur or complaints about corruption, favouritism through sexual harassment or nepotism then except for the occasional muffled outburst by certain misguided people because of their own troubled jelous nature.
      Those from the EPDP are no different to those who run the Uthyan and Sudaroli when it comes to corruption and wrongdoing and mafia style indulgences.

  • 7

    All politically appointed VCs including Colombo and SJU and Jaffna should resign and if they don’t then should be forced to resign.

    Not sure whether VCs of the other unis are also politically appointed. FUTA should take up this matter and force the govt to make the changes so that political stooges are kicked out.

    Rajiva has no spine and hence will not do anything unless he is forced to do so.

    • 5

      No Jagath, I beg to differ.
      it is not that Rajiva has no spine, he will play truant because his agenda tallies with that of the people in power, so he will not do anything to rock the boat he has climbed into.

  • 4

    the confused situation in the northern university is an indication of the inability of the tamils to run a premier institution obtained by them.the top class tamil academics are silent over the corrupt practices that unruly academics have taken the institu. into their own hands. as SJV said on a previous occasion let god save the tamils.

    • 10

      Tamils unable to run university ???????

      How it is possible to manage a university where academics were appointed without proper qualifications and half baked experience as VC s and Deans by goons and thugs licking the boots of MR and rabid GR (some Jafnna deans called this guy on direct line )..

      Tamils know what is education…others don’t have to tell them ……

      There are 100s of high qualified staff to run universities in North and East unfortunately these institutions were run by 2 uneducated political goons with their thugs in the past and still continue and this racist Rajiva love to permit this ….

  • 5

    he he he Tamil can’t expect remedy from this guy Rajiva Wijeyasinghe …when he was licking MR and Rabid GR `s boots he had many times told that youngTamils girls from camps were invited by Sinhala army top guys to tell Greek stories in the midnight ……….without realizing he also has daughters……

    Sinhala mind set will never change …they are living on borrowed war victory mode….

    • 5

      When did Prof. Rajiva marry, and when did he have daughters? Even then would he understand the significance of losing her chastity for a normal Tamil girl. Would he understand the plight of these poor girls reduced to abject poverty and extreme vulnerability with a such a good friend like Douglas who sold these children heartlessly into sex slavery? Douglas is an illegitimate father of a son, whose poor mother happened to be his hostess in Germany. HE would not understand anyway. Has Rajiva ever travelled in the bus to Jaffna even recently and seen mere children giving their age as 18 and marrying just anyone just to escape this worse-than death plight?

      Rajiva is hand in glove it appears with the perpetrators of destruction of the grand University that Sir Ivor Jennings crafted. Shame for all Thomians!

    • 0

      How sad the cholan cant still stomach prabha’s death….

  • 5

    It’s a shame Prof V.Arasaratnam must step down. She was a respectable teacher then. I never expected her to stoop to this level. UGC chair has been asked to step down. Things should follow otherwise government will have to face a major trade union action.

  • 0

    Rajive is [Edited out]

  • 12

    Dr. Atputharajah is a genuine teacher. A lot of Tamil students, including me studied under his guidance at Engineering faculty, Peradeniya. I know a lot of dirty political things are going on at Jaffna University, but Mr. Ulagu Kudumban, please don’t destroy the name of good teachers like Dr. Atputharajah.

    Actually he was offered lecturing post at one of world class university in Australia but he didn’t accept that and he is serving for our country. If he accepted that offer, he could have earned a lot of money but he didn’t do like that. For his dedication and sacrifice, you guys are destroying his name.

    At some point, Mr. Ulagu Kudumban, mentioned that he is a junior academic. This is very funny. Actually, he finished his Phd in 2003 which means he is having 12 years of teaching experience after his PhD. If he continued his career in abroad, now he must have become professor, but unfortunately due to poor evaluation system in Sri Lanka, he is still doctor. In Sri Lanka, it doesn’t matter how you good in academic career or research career, you will get promotion after your hair becoming white. I would like to see changes in these…

    It seems like a lot of competition for Dean position at Engineering Faculty, Jaffna University. That’s good, and right candidate must be chosen, but pls don’t destroy good name of teachers…..

    • 4

      Siva, If you studied under Dr. Atpu you must be very young. That is why you refer to the poor evaluation system in Sri Lanka that has prevented him from becoming a professor. You suggest that if not for the poor evaluation system he would be a professor by now.

      You are right that the evaluation system is poor, but you are wrong that it prevents people from becoming professor. Take a look at our teachers. They almost all publish at the IESL Annual conference and IEEE conferences and claim them to be journal papers to be professor. For this purpose the IEE Sri Lanka Conference Proceedings were retitled as IEE Sri Lanka Journal but still carries conference papers. Rare is the Peradeniya and Moratuwa engineering professor who did not claim conference papers as journal papers and rare is the Sri Lanka evaluation committee that rejected such papers.

      I suspect that Dr. Atpu does not want to resign his Peradeniya position because he will find it easy to be professor there. Take a look at professors and senior lecturers going from Peradeniya and Sri Lanka to Australia — they rarely become professors there and remain Senior Lecturers because Sri Lanka often does not teach us to publish and after moving we cannot change our habits. That is often a good reason for many of us to stay on in Sri Lanka.

      Having decided to contribute to Jaffna, I wish Dr. Atpu well. But I expect him to play by the rules. He must become Dean the right way. Elections form among the Deans is a requirement. It is not a position for earning National Development points for a promotion at Peradeniya. By corrupting Jaffna the way he is doing, he is making a bad situation worse.

      Unfortunately this is the rot started by the UGC. They allowed a Peradeniya academic to go to Ruhunu just like this and he returned to Peradeniya as Professor. A present UGC member was allowed to be Dean at Kelaniya after passing the retirement age.

      Once the rot starts, I fear no one can stop it without radical surgery at the top,

      • 7

        Old Lecturer,

        “Take a look at professors and senior lecturers going from Peradeniya and Sri Lanka to Australia — they rarely become professors there and remain Senior Lecturers because Sri Lanka often does not teach us to publish and after moving we cannot change our habits.”

        How is it that the people who did their Bachelor’s in Sri Lanka and then PhD in the Wast and join Western universities do publish quite a lot and even become ‘distinguished’ professors and Dept. Chairs/Deans, but those who go back after learning to publish during their PhD in the West stop publishing?

        It seems to me that there are multiple factors at play– and it is not that local universities don’t “teach” how to publish.

        In his mid 60’s, my old professor at a major US university still visits his lab during the weekend to talk to his research students. Most distinguished professors I know in the US have no time for politics or other distractions. Becoming an academic is quite a commitment.

        If there is peace and stability in Jaffna, there are a number of distinguished professors of Tamil origin, who can be tapped to improve matters at the Univ. of Jaffna.

        I know Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole and Prof. Mahesan Niranjan have helped. But there are many others.

        I list a few of the people I know below–

        1. Prof. Indira Samarasekara,nee Arulpragasam, President and Vice Chancellor of the Univ. of Alberta

        2. Prof. Anand Anandalingam, Dean of the Business School at Imperial College, London; previously Dean of the Business School at the Univ. of Maryland, College Park. Grandson of late Prof. Suntharalingam who was a Math tutor to the British Queen several decades ago.

        3. Prof. Bhavani Thuraisingham
        Endowed Professor of Computer Science at the Univ. of Texas at Dallas.

        4. Prof. George Shanthikumar
        Endowed Professor of Industrial engineering at California (Berkeley) and later at Purdue University in Indiana.

        5. Prof.Chelliah Sriskandarajah, Endowed professor of industrial engineering and management science at Texas A&M university. Previously at the Univ. of Toronto and the Univ. of Texas, Dallas.

        6. Prof. Murugesu Sivapalan

        Endowed Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

        7. Prof. Radha Poovendran, Dept Chair, Electrical Engineering at the Univ. of Washington, Seattle.

        8. Prof. Thia Kirubarajan, Distinguished Electrical Engineering Professor at McMaster University, Canada.

        All of them are of Jaffna origin though some of them might have grown up in Colombo. And while they wouldn’t want to get involved in some of the dirty politics in Jaffna, they would be willing to help in enriching education there under the right conditions.

        • 1

          Thank you. I should have been clearer. All the people you name are people who began working in the west soon after (if not immediately after) their PhDs. They did not get corrupted by the Sri Lankan university work culture. I was referring to people who returned to Sri Lanka after their PhDs for whatever reason, worked in the university system there for some time, got set in the bad work habits of the university system and then went abroad. They rarely are able to recover.

          I have great confidence in Sri Lankan graduates when they begin working abroad within a short period of getting their first degrees. If I sounded insulting of them, I do apologize. I hope we can all contribute our mite to our best youth who have the process of bringing out the best in them aborted by the university system.

          • 1

            This discussion is interesting. Could it be that those who did not return were at the right age to pick up writing skills that make them successful? I have worked with bright Sri Lankan students who cannot on their own write up their work for a paper? Is it possible that those who went back just did not pick the skills to be successful and when they did return to the West in mid-career were too old to develop language skills? Is it work habits or language?

            • 1

              Old Lecturer,

              There are complex issues here. Local culture in Sri Lanka, not being as money-oriented as in the West, does not generate the same “publish or perish” academic culture as in the West.

              Work habits depend on such pressure. Perhaps, those who go back immediately after the PhD are more comfortable with such a culture than with the West. I am not exactly sure that is such a bad thing if they at least focus on excelling in undergraduate teaching. Most Sri Lankan universities should compare well at least with the best 4-year colleges in the West. Research culture in Sri Lanka is a relatively recent phenomenon, and I am not even sure they have proper funding sources and supportive social environment for research.


              In Science and Engineering, it is the originality of the idea–the question of “what is new and innovative?”– is what is critical; writing skills are important but do not take precedence over producing something new. Most students with weak writing schools improve once they are in the West, so I don’t think that is what is holding them back.

        • 2

          Agnos — you have dug up names of several people and put them in public while yourself remaining anonymous. Is there an implied suggestion that should they not help, they are traitors?

          Instead, why not tell us what help YOU will give?

          • 0


            “put them in public while yourself remaining anonymous”

            What have you contributed positively by remaining anonymous in CT?

          • 0

            I ignore jobless people like you trolling the internet and having nothing better to do than playing with my alias.

            And by the way, I don’t need to “dig up” anything because I know most of them personally and others indirectly.

  • 0

    He is a kingpin

  • 5

    Siva, You have missed the point. What Udungan write is RELATIVELY junior, not JUST junior. For Dean usually 20+years required. He may be genuine teacher but not genuine Dean. If he really want to be Dean ask him to resign Peradeniya job, join Jaffna Senior Lecturer, get appointed Head and then contest with other heads for Dean, Everyone know how Dr. Sivakumar Atputharajah was boasting was displaced as coordinator by Atpu. If he genuine, tell him to not join Vasanthi Arasaratnam’s dirty tricks.

    I also know Atputharajah. He is a good teacher. Tell him not to corrupt Jaffna for his ambition. In Australia he cant come up by manipulating. That is why this is sad matter.

  • 9

    Prof Velnampy is a pundit in political working under EPDP agenda. He deserved all the critics. He has actually ruined and been ruining the faculty. The story and the procedures followed behind his professorship is utterly shame.
    He is not even well talent academic but

    He is supervising many PhDs across many unknown disciplines under the faculty (UOJ). When we raised questions many times, VC refuted and allows him to do whatever he wants

    A brief note of his supervising for PhDs, examples (he is presently supervising more than 5 PhDs)

    — Marketing department – Staff Marketing department, university of Jaffna (Ms. Shanmugathas)

    — Financial department – Staff financial department, university of Jaffna (V.A.Subramaniam , Ms.S.Anandasayanan ,Ms.s.Balagobei )

    — Accounting department – Staff accounting department, university of Jaffna (Ms.P.Muraleetharan)

    — HRM department – South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (Mr.M.B.M. Ismail)

    He is an expert supervising all subjects across all disciplines? Where going the title of PhD…

    Open to all academics

    Who is going to save this faculty?

    Who is going to save our academic intellectual across country?

    He is a professor in commerce, now working in accounting department and recently wrote a letter to UGC to transfer his professor in commerce to professor in Accounting. The decision is pending.

    Wait and see


    • 7

      Hi Ram,
      You have brought all minute details of PROFESSOR Velnampy’s supervision. I know this is a true picture. Not only this. He has also reviewed conference papers in all business disciplines and accepted papers for conferences without knowing anything about the topic. He is a research pundit.

      He is a solo artist for all concerts!!!!!!!!!!

      • 5


        (Do you still use Jaffna’s own Milk White Soap?)

        • 2

          Milk white soap!
          Thank you for reminding. Neem soap was sold as well in the by one entepreneur called kanagaratnam if I my memory is correct

  • 2

    Rajiva, Ranil’s cousin, should take a rest.

    He must visit the Jarapassa Meditation Center (JMC).
    [Edited out]

  • 4

    Another Kudumnban.

    First he should explain these things with respect to and in the context of Casteism among Jaffna Tamils. They want every thing to be done only by the people of their caste. Once all these people are removed, then another group start complaining that the new group is bad. We can see that abundantly with FUTA and BASL.

    All these bad people worked under a bad system. So, they should be given the benefit of the doubt and a chance to correct they themselves. IF they don’t stop, they should be fired. Those lecturers who promote extremism should be fired. That is why govt should not abandon watching these people.

    Remember good academics are not good administrators. I think this bad should be let alone and they should be asked to run it properly.

  • 7

    Mr Ram, You are right..
    Most of the academics at the faculty of management and commerce should take the responsibility for this shame academic culture.Do you know Dr (?)[Edited out]..He is also supervising number of Students from various departments with out any basic ideas..

  • 8

    Hello all,

    Please kindly have a look at the world ranking of Sri Lankan Universities,

    University of Colombo – 2,146
    University of Moratuwa – 2,497
    University of Peradeniya – 2,479
    University of Sri Jayewardenepura – 3,091
    University of Kelaniya – 3,194
    University of Ruhuna – 3,483
    University of Jaffna – 7,225

    Because of our dirty mind and jealousness, University of Jaffna is still at 7225. I can understand from these statistics how Faculty of Management and Commerce are working hard to improve the University ranking.

    Is there any written rules in Sri Lanka that you must have 20+ years of experience to become Dean?

    I think because of you guys, he didn’t resign his post at University Peradeniya. He may already have known that one day you great people throw away him from University of Jaffna though he is working hard to bring Engineering Faculty in a good position.

    Do you know what PhD students are doing during their PhD period? As far as I know, PhD students are doing research in a narrow area. By doing PhD, you could be expert in a very narrow area, even not in a discipline (ex: power engineering). I think doing PhD would help you to increase the thinking ability of person. It may also bring an ability to do a research and publish papers. It won’t allow you to master in one discipline.

    One of guy criticised that whether he has enough time to look after Dean position as he is spending time on supervision. Can I ask question? How many hours you are working at University? During my undergraduate period, I noticed that mostly he is at University from 9 am to 11 pm. You can understand that how many hours he working at University. Recently, I heard through colleagues that he and some of Engineering faculty staffs are working until 12 am. They are trying all the possibilities to improve the quality of Engineering Faculty, Jaffna. He is also communicating with other academies who finished PhD in abroad and working there. His intention is to bringing back talented PhDs to Engineering Faculty. For all these good work, you gave good name to him that he is doing corruption at Jaffna. This is very funny.

    If you don’t know what’s happening at Engineering Faculty, please have a look at this link – http://www.jfn.ac.lk/eng/

    You will understand what they are doing there.

    I can say one thing to all. Please stop criticising other and please do your good work to University of Jaffna.

    • 3

      Young Siva is an ardent defender of his Guru. That is a good thing. But working long hours does not make the case. The Rajapakses also worked long hours. The real issue is what you did in those long hours.

      A good/genuine teacher as Siva says teaches well in class but teaches far more important things outside subject matters through his personal example. Good teachers first teach their students to be good people.

      What is Dr. Atputharajah teaching by boasting of Douglas Devanada and the VC in his statements on gratitude for bringing engineering to us? What is he teaching by organizing a secret memo defending/denying Devananda’s appointment lists bypassing merit? What is he teaching by organizing a protest note denying all the illegal appointments in our university? What is he teaching by going to our senior chemistry academics in JUSTA who are struggling to uphold merit in appointments and blasting them for protesting? What is he teaching when he boasts about Dr. Sivakumar and brings him to us as coordinator and then kicks him out for him to be an illegal Dean? What is he teaching by stealing the dean’s position which belongs to a Head elected by the faculty board? What is he teaching when he joins the VC to reject an application to join the faculty by Dr. Sahayan who is senior to Dr. Atputharajah and was willing to work with us in Jaffna?

      I challenge Dr. Atputharajah to prove JUSTA’s allegations to be wrong. A good/genuine teacher must first be a good man.

  • 5

    To be a true academia, one should have the knowledge of high standard, be honest, and show his /her dedication and commitment. He/she should be proud of his/her students’ achievements. They should have an intellectual value and place in students’ mind. Everyone should work for the betterment of the community not the position and chairs.
    The so called “Gurus” should encourage the younger generation, welcome and support intellectually valuable and useful ideas from anyone young or old, colleague, and student, junior or senior. Should listen with open ears, mind and heart and be ready to accept mistakes. The university is for all our future talents and minds. Accept them, encourage them, and support them. No one is perfect. That doesn’t mean that you can run the organisation in an imperfect manner. Change yourself. Accept the damage you have done. If you can’t do it, better leave the place. There many with qualities (not quantities). Let them lead it!!

  • 6

    To be a true academia, one should have the knowledge of high standard, be honest, and show his /her dedication and commitment. He/she should be proud of his/her students’ achievements. They should have an intellectual value and place in students’ mind. Everyone should work for the betterment of the community not the position and chairs.
    The so called “Gurus” should encourage the younger generation, welcome and support intellectually valuable and useful ideas from anyone young or old, colleague, and student, junior or senior. Should listen with open ears, mind and heart and be ready to accept mistakes. The university is for all our future talents and minds. Accept them, encourage them, and support them. No one is perfect. That doesn’t mean that you can run the organisation in an imperfect manner. Change yourself. Accept the damage you have done. If you can’t do it, better leave the place. There are many with qualities (not quantities). Let them lead it!!

  • 5

    Hi RAM
    WHAT HELL IS GOING ON IN JAFFNA UNIVERSITY? All events are very miserable awful and abolishing all academic credibility of University? One person how could supervise PhDs in all different disciplines? Jaffna University misjudged what is PhD and behave as Kindergarten by unqualified people? These events are not only tarnishing university but makes PhD also very funniest thing>>>>>.

    Before all come to grave, first bring the university under scrutiny at immediate instance in UGC level. Appropriate body should be appointed to evaluate all academics standards from the bachelor’s degree level. Should elect good governance and outstanding V.C.and deans? Otherwise these all funny things extinguish all credibility of the university and inclined to shut down permanently by authorities.

  • 9

    The Dean/Medicine, Balakumar hold a 3 year ordinary science degree without class (and completed the B.Sc degree in the second attempt)
    This is an example of Jaffna University academic standard (particularly in the medical faculty)

  • 2

    I just heard from the maths department that Dr. Rajan Hoole’s retirement date has been extended to May 1 when he will finish the courses he is presently teaching.

    There is a complicated UGC circular letter on the date of retirement after the 65th birthday. Jaffna tried to retire another maths/stats lecturer in 2005 or so. He went to the USAB and got his period extended as in the UGC circular.

    Despite that USAB decision VC Arasaratnam tried to send Dr. Hoole away even though he was in the middle of teaching courses. He went to the USAB and kept working without pay. This is now the result.

    The lesson: if you meddle with Vasanthi Arasaratnm, she will break all laws and circulars to get rid of you. Unless you have the money, energy and time to file action, you had better not challenge her in any way.

    This is the lesson Dr. Atputharajah seems to have learnt after coming to Jaffna with a clean mind. The system corrupt even our best.

  • 3


    Kumaravadivel was never VC and Arasaratnam got her PhD before Kumaravadivel was Acting VC for a year. I think you are referring to Vasanthi Arasaratnam’s supervisor.

    But you have a point about that Professor of Physics who was Dean of Science once. A female was interviewed by him with VC Arasaratnam in the Chair. The candidate’s husband who was a year junior to this Dean had entered the university for engineering in the same year this professor entered for science. That is in my mind OK because some people falter at different times but stand up and go on to do well as this Dean had.

    But this professor/dean has a huge complex about it. As this female candidate told me, the first question at the interview was from him and it was whether her husband had entered on his first, second or third shy at the ALs. It went on. The chairperson did not stop this line of interrogation. The rest of the interview panel seemed to enjoy it all as if it was relevant before rejecting the candidate.

    This might explain Jaffna University’s problems. It is people with a complex keeping out the qualified. We need people who are confident of themselves and their achievements. For that, the present style of recruitment has to change and we must go for merit and by the law. No more Deans who are not elected, no more second classes when first classes are there, no more judging senior professors at Peradeniya as failing at the Jaffna interview in teaching, research and national development, no more of calling our own first classes as lacking in knowledge to get someone else appointed, no more talking about first shy and third shy after a person has got his PhD from a major research university, and no more professors without publications.

  • 8

    “You can’t destroy the Poles but if you give them power they’ll destroy themselves.” Otto von Bismarck

    As far as Jaffna Tamils are concerned, a few university appointments would do.

  • 0

    We agree Dr. Atputharajah started with good intentions and thought best to support those who are in power and get what he want to improve his faculty.- this may be alight. But, inorder to support the hierarchies, he went beyond that to scold other academics regarding some decisions, even if it is not related to his area – which he shouldn’t have started on. I wish he had kept himself concentrating on building only his faculty.

    At a time like this, when we have the opening to improve the University with a better atmosphere, rebuilding the place, free from the politicians influence and the freedom to re-build the place with better standards and academics with quality and the concern to bring back the standards – he should have supported it.
    When there is an opportunity to re-organise the place – why not support it and give a helping hand to rebuild the place rather than hanging on to the old system. As a young person with ability he must have the vision to rise up with the correct path, though it appears hard, rather than using short cuts – which will not be healthy in the long run.

    Note: I personally feel an article like this which brought out the nature of the appalling condition of the University of Jaffna and an appeal to improve the standards shouldn’t have included personal comments of people, which is not relevant here. It only reduces the quality of the article. Better stick to the major problems and leave out unwanted personal comments.

    • 0

      It is knowing who the people are and why they do what they do that makes the article authentic to me. Without those details I will not even know if the article is true. There is also “naming and shaming,” an important tool in making people careful not to do shameful things. Hiding these details will help bad people get away to continue what they do.

  • 2

    A very interesting development here in Jaffna for social scientists to analyse.

    Prof. P. Balasundrampillai, former VC of Jaffna, was an Adviser to General Chandrasiri and Douglas Devananda (till they left Jaffna). A man who went about on an old scooter before he became their loyal servant, was suddenly elevated to chauffeur driven limousines assigned to the General and the Minister. He is a Douglas appointee to the University Council and plans many of the VC’s diabolical moves for her. An Emeritus Professor, he calls himself Life-time Professor. as a result many believe that a Life-time Professor is higher than a Professor in service facing the prospect of retirement age 65.

    He was a very powerful man indeed in Jaffna. It seemed that he had standing among Tamils and was always elected one of three Vice Presidents of the Old Boys’ Association of the premier Jaffna Hindu College (while the Principal is ex officio President).

    This week, at the first OBA election after the political changes, Balasundarampillai contested again for Vice President and received just 3 votes out of 400 or so!

    What changed? The incident seems to say as much about Balasundarampillai as it does about the people of Jaffna.

    Will Vasanthi Arasratnam’s stooges also now abandon her?

  • 5

    YES, all the members of senate and council are ultimate accountability for all these nepotism, offering least quality degrees and violations of all ethics of university. We could not claim either one or two members of the university but other all were acknowledged mutely for all mishandlings.

    Therefore, all members should comprehend for these abuses and stepdown from their positions for themselves for the benefit of upgrading the university. Otherwise JUSTA AND UTA force them to stepdown and establish appropriate governance by electing outstanding deans and VC who were acquired prestigious qualifications and experience to lead forward the university to top education.

  • 0

    I am really worried about “No action talk only” scenario we are facing.
    I am not sure who is blocking, but it seems too much of trouble.
    1. Are they too worried about the number issue they have in Parliament?
    2. Shouldn’t we get into the roads and push the people to do that?
    3. What the other organizations are doing on this?

  • 1

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