19 October, 2017

Jaffna University Unions Voice Indignation Against Bar On Thiagalingam For VC

Colombo Telegraph has published two reports (Report 1 and Report 2) on the developments in the election of the new Vice Chancellor at the University of Jaffna. After many bitter years of stagnation, many people have come to see the University as the obstacle to openness and progressive change. This is evident in the fear of the mere the candidacy for VC of Prof. Sam Thiagalingam, who has had a successful academic career in the USA.

Prof. Sam Thiagalingam

Apart from the fear of an outsider (who in fact graduated from the University of Jaffna), there is anxiety that he might champion reform that all know is necessary.

Adding to the palpable excitement over the council meeting tomorrow (25th) that would decide the fate of Thiagalingam’s application, the University Students’ Union (USU) and the Employees’ Union (EU) have joined forces with the University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association (UJTA) and the Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) to demand the acceptance of Prof. Thiagalingam’s candidacy for the VC’s position.

How dire the situation is could be seen in the University’s inability to reform even when an opportunity presents itself. For the 2014 VC election the present VC and the EPDP that earlier controlled Jaffna paced the border of intimidation to dictate how each councillor should cast his three votes. Thanks to the regime change in 2015, this time there has been no intimidation by political parties and the election has descended to the market place. Reckless promises are being made to canvas votes as though the new vice chancellor would own the University. With the Chancellor reportedly not in the best of health, his office has been thrown for auction into the market place. Candidates have been known to promise university positions not only to those who would lobby for them, but also to their spouses.

These manipulations show the extent to which recruitment to university positions has become corrupted. As the Employees’ Union points out in its statement of yesterday, there was a promise of reform with the change of government in 2015, reports of abuses were submitted to the Council, the UGC and to state functionaries, and had inquiries proceeded as promised, we would be in a different position today.

The Students’ Union, deferring to the current reality in the University, instead of confronting the Administration head-on, ask in its statement for a re-evaluation of Thiagalingam’s application for the position of vice chancellor and to take due steps to erase the ‘disgrace’ into which the University has fallen. The fear among student leaders to take up this issue was quite visible, for the fear of victimisation.

The University Employees’ Union which represents the non-academic staff of the University of Jaffna has, in its statement, expressed its displeasure over the moves to reject a well-qualified candidat[e] on the grounds that [his] application reached the University a day after the deadline. Concurring with the statements issued by the University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association (UJTA) and Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA), the Employees’ Union notes that it would like to be informed about the procedure followed and the tasks carried out by the Search Committee appointed by the Council for the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor. The Union also requests the Council to give adequate time to Prof. Sam Thiagalingam (without mentioning his name) to present his vision for the University [to the University community] if his application is accepted.

In the first half of the statement, the Employees’ Union notes that since the mid-1990s, politicians who have held power have appointed self-seeking individuals who had no qualms about acting as the former’s puppets as Vice Chancellors of the University. Giving a detailed account of the last VC election held in 2014, the statement reports that at a pre-Council meeting held at the office of a political party prior to the election, instructions were given to the Council members as to whom they should vote for.

The statement notes that although new external members were appointed to the Council in 2015, irregularities in recruitment continue even today and questions prepared for recruitment exams are leaked to known persons. The statement adds that students continue to face vengeance and that there is no safety for female students in the University at present. In such a context, the statement cautions the Council members to decide carefully as to whether they should vote for their second and third preferential candidates. The Union makes this cautious remark as its members are of the view that some candidates for this year’s VC’s election, if elected, may take the University back to the 2008-2014 period when the administration of the University was heavily politicized.

In the meantime, Colombo Telegraph learns that three VC candidates. namely Prof. Mikunthan, Prof. Vigneswaran and Dr. Raviraj, have informed the Council in writing that they have no objection to have Prof. Thiagalingam as a fellow candidate in the VC’s election though the latter’s application posted from the USA reached the University two days after the deadline. The University Council meets tomorrow, the 25th of February when it is expected that a decision on Prof. Thiagalingam’s application will be made.

Well-wishers of the University and the larger public are closely watching this crucial election which will decide whether the University will get a new leadership that will be supportive of the efforts taken by a section of the academic and non-academic staff over the past six years to fight corruption and protect academic freedom in the university.

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    Security has to be beefed up; Watch out for Sekera and his Water Pistol!

    Best of luck Sam; I have no vote; But my vote is for you!

  • 7
    0

    “Well-wishers of the University and the larger public are closely watching this crucial election which will decide whether the University will get a new leadership that will be supportive of the efforts taken by a section of the academic and non-academic staff over the past six years to fight corruption and protect academic freedom in the university.”

    Some members of the Science Teachers Association and the Employees Union have worked hard over the years to bring out reports about corruption. As the Council is meeting today, my thoughts are with these teachers and non-academic staff who took great risks to challenge the authority and authoritarianism of the EPDP, the present administration, their teachers and their colleagues. It is very easy to be critical of Mahinda Rajapaksa or Prabhakaran or Sumanthiran whom we never meet in our everyday lives and with whom many of us do not have any personal or emotional connections. Psychologically, it is not going to affect you in anyway. But these individuals – the teachers and the non-academic staff – have challenged their friends, their batchmates, their teachers, their employees, their colleagues, the people they meet in their Senior Common Rooms all five working days of the week. Theirs is the activism that we need to celebrate. I hope justice will prevail.

    • 1
      1

      Do not underestimate the RAW’s tight control in the North and the East, including on Universities. Before bringing a change you must get an approval from the Indian government. Welcome to the reality ;-)))))))

  • 6
    0

    If this election goes ahead with only the five Deans of the University being accepted as candidates, we, in the south of the island will conclude that the election has been rigged, and that this government of ours is just not concerned what happens in our Universities.

    True that we are “well-wishers of the University,” but the issues here go far beyond namby pamby “well-wishing”. It indicates a lack of concern with what sort of world we leave behind for coming generations.

    So, this is the decisive day; be sure we will be following the outcome of all this, even though we are unaware of all the intrigues going on there.

    • 3
      0

      Sinhala_Man,

      “If this election goes ahead with only the five Deans of the University being accepted as candidates, we, in the south of the island will conclude that the election has been rigged, and that this government of ours is just not concerned what happens in our Universities.”

      I don’t know how much interest exists in the South and some there will be very happy to see that the mess in Jaffna continues.

      Just to remind you and others of the fact that the president chooses the VC. Please flood his office with requests to promote the best of the three candidates elected by the Council. We can only hope that at least one of the three is acceptable. I repeat my humble opinion of three of the candidates having been badly stained and never investigated.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Lone Wolf,

        As you say, “some there [in the South] will be very happy to see that the mess in Jaffna continues”.

        Yes, let’s not be naive – there is truth in this.

        The sort of guys who think politics all the timed will be happy. However, the ordinary folk, who get on with their lives, don’t want to wreck a part of our country. On the other hand, they are unlikely to have heard anything of all these happenings in Jaffna University.

        It is SAITM that is being talked bout here in relation to Higher education.

        • 0
          0

          Sinhala_Man,

          “On the other hand, they are unlikely to have heard anything of all these happenings in Jaffna University. It is SAITM that is being talked bout here in relation to Higher education.”

          You are correct. I follow English language newspapers because I have zero knowledge of Sinhalese. I have not seen a single word about the VC election in Jaffna online except on CT.

          To be fair other VC elections also are not big news in the media. Usually only the result is published without any background.

  • 2
    2

    This is trade unions and their well wishers deciding for the university. That university is not governable. Just like Tqamils. Caste comes to front of everything.

    Sinhala man is a Tamil. Tamils live every where in the island. He looks very dishonest., Typical Tamil behaviour.

    • 3
      1

      You hypocrite, I’ve given you my name, email address, may be I haven’t given you my phone number. But I’ve told you that if you email me giving me an e-mail address, we could have a chat – in either SINHALESE or English, but NOT in Tamil, since I don’t know the language.

      We are humans, and we’ve got to have certain values. That’s why I’m concerned. Looks dishonest? Ah yes, you saw my photograph here, when I wrote three articles under my real name, and I remember that you commented,

      This was the second article:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-whited-thomian-sepulchres-the-pharisees-who-cheat/

      You can get at the first article through a link at the top of this second article.

      As for the third, the Board of Governors of the schools persuaded this website to truncate responses. That was in many senses a situation similar to this, and they made no response themselves:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/

      So, what it all points to is that we want to divide our society into little groups that can’t challenge the breaking of rules and regulations by fellows like you. But we know nothing of you, except that you keep fishing in troubled waters. That you do full time!

      This has become National News. What I reported may have been even more outrageous, and it was only four schools involved. I don’t have the fire within me to start writing more about that problem.

    • 0
      0

      If you are are true Sinhale why o you have a English name? Typical Sinhala hypocrisy

  • 3
    0

    EPDP Commissar Douglas Devananda was the virtual Vice Chancellor during the dark era of Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Rajapaksas allowed a free hand to Douglas even to commit murders in return for voter support. Douglas ran the University as though it was his fiefdom. It is a shame on the part of the University academics that they go after politicians to get appointed as Vice Chancellors. Vice chancellors hold charge of the university in trust. At least this time around, the University Senate should make the right decision based purely on merit.

    • 2
      0

      Thanga, don’t be too harsh with Douglas. His conduct has been reprehensible, but not worse than that of academics and leading members of society who used him, as they used Prabhakaran, Jayewardene and the Senanayakes in the past.

      Just look at how the cream of our society betrayed the Indian Tamils. Our elite class have descended like flies wherever they scented power and influence. Douglas was no fool. The senior academics and vice chancellors who paid him court and used him, praised the LTTE to make out that they were no traitors, no sooner his back was turned. The game suited both and they played it cynically. Did our intelligentsia care about the dead or respect and celebrate genuine sacrifice?

      If you answer that question, you will know what ails us.

      • 2
        0

        At a critically difficult point of time survival instinct precedes to prevail.
        May be the senior academics & Vc’s feared the powerful President of the Medical
        Student’sUnion of that time and the intelligentsia got into a Rip van Winkle mode for
        the same reason like that Sooriyakumar’s roommate described in ‘Palmyra Fallen’.

      • 0
        0

        Dr Rajan Hoole,

        “you will know what ails us”

        What is the treatment you suggest?

      • 1
        0

        Rajan Hoole
        If you wish to know more, I can name a few academics who used Douglas.

  • 5
    0

    Whole Sri Lankan low quality public University system is full of politically appointed joker VCs. You name any public University in SL, VC is appointed through political contacts. Some Universities already started this appointment campaign even before end of current VC regimes through political connections. Now Moratuwa University full time private sector employed (but he has University also full time fake professorship) this campaign started with help of Southern UNP Minister. Rather helping him to get VC post he must be sacked from the current University job because he is doing full time job in private degree offering college. In overall, Kalaniya University recent VC appointment creates hell of problem there. In general Sri Lankan University professor appointment are hell of corruption. All the professorships given to jokers must be cancelled. In order to be a real international professor your PhD from world top 100 – 500 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. But all these Sri Lankan Professors are jokers and more than 40% University Lecturers are relatives to each others and they give degrees to each other. MY3 clean University system and sack fake professors. Some Dept are family trees. Grandfather Emeritus and all others are relatives, henchmen, lovers, pimps, etc. We well know how they recruits and promoted in University Mafia. First find a person and then advertise according to his/her requirement and send aboard for their friends’ places for PhDs. Go beyond Sri Lankan airport and see International job market. Even in Middle East job market, without PhD from accredited Western University you cannot become even Assistant Lecturer. But in Sri Lanka more than 99% professors do not have PhDs from world recognised Universities. The countries they (University teachers) go to do higher studies, no person is going to studies: China, Malaysia and India.

    • 0
      0

      Shanika,
      Quite true.
      There was even a Vice Chancellor who forcibly sent women undergraduates for a “test” of/for “virginity” !!!

  • 3
    0

    Prof Thiagalingam’s candidacy must be accepted as he is very well qualified and the Evaluation Committee also has written in their report that he has got a “very active research career by winning 15 research grants and substantial contributions to several editorial boards” and scheduled along with others.

    If a rule is considered sacrosanct in deciding matters the Mathematician of 20th Century would NOT have been known to the world as Srinivasa Ramanujan was disqualified to join research at Madras university because he wasn’t a graduate of any recognised university. A common sense approach opened the best university Cambridge and elevated the poor clerk from some hidden corner to the top of prominence of Mathematical world.

    Jaffna University Council must be magnanimous and unselfish in accepting this only application from abroad as it posted it in good time for it to reach the destination. This will open to broaden research, gain different talent and widen scope for the entire university.

  • 1
    1

    “All eyes are on Prof. Tharmaratnam who will, as he had let it be known, argue the case [for the inclusion of Thiagalingam] before the Council [today]. A formidable opponent, as his detractors would find.”

    One could also witness the Chief’s alsation dogs go into action and perform their zombie roles, and also loud filibustering by ‘Clueless-sores’ who have refined their skills on the pages of CT.

    The utter desperation to stop Thiagalingam could be witnessed in the absurdity and laughability of the legal advice the Chief has been able to muster to this end.

    Today could see a new dawn for the University or yet another damp squib.

    One should never underestimate the forces in Jaffna that all the time want us doing poojas or paying obeisance before their worshipful highnesses. What they detest is for people to think even a little. This could be seen in the servile behaviour that has become normal at the University. By comparison the non-academic staff are more defiant.

  • 3
    0

    Crucial day. The University’s future is in the hands of people like Dr. Jeyakumaran, Dr. Luxman, Prof. Tharmaratnam, Prof. Hasbullah and Dr. Devanesan Nesiah. Hope they will be able to persuade the other members to accept Prof. Thiagalingam’s application. The next hurdle is the election. As the Employees Union has requested in their letter, Prof. Thiagalingam should get enough time to do his campaign.

  • 7
    0

    These open protests are a sure sign that as the VC goes, the unions, especaially the students’, no longer fear her and are speaking up. The UTA is also notable for breaking out from under her skirts where they were ensconced till recently.

    This morning I met Dr. Nesiah who with a broken arm, has come for the meeting by bus from Colombo. I just learnt that he goes to the Council meeting by trishaw,whereas many others who side with the VC have university cars picking them up. After a year of nonpayment of his travel expenses, he was paid his travel allowance from Colombo which was delayed by asking him for his train ticket which is taken away when passengers disembark. Even this payment was only for some of the early meetings and is far from complete. (I too am owed Rs. 52,000 from 2011 but that is another story).

    This is the kind of heartless, vengeful administration we do not want. Jaffna has to break free using the peace we now have.

    The Council must vote for change, for a new face, without fear.

    • 1
      0

      Dr Jeevan Hoole,

      “These open protests are a sure sign that as the VC goes, the unions, especaially the students’, no longer fear her and are speaking up. The UTA is also notable for breaking out from under her skirts where they were ensconced till recently.”

      I have noticed this also. Unfortunately fear of the next VC may replace these protests soon.

  • 2
    0

    CT has done a great job. It is now upto the UOJ to decide whether to move away from the lousy system that they had over the past.! The issue now is Academic Excellence VS Postal delays!

  • 2
    0

    Sri Lanka is a democracy. The following is an approximate list of who will vote on the 25th whether to allow Prof. Sam Thiagalingam be a candidate, and then, perhaps as early as the 26th, on who should be VC. Each elector has three votes to cast and may cast 1, 2 or 3 votes or none at all.. Exercise your democratic right. If you know anyone in the list well, go to that person and make your opinion known on a) What you think of Dr. Thiagaling being accepted as a candidate. 2) Whom you think will make the best VC.

    1. Mano Sekaram, Software and Service Companies,
    716 Dr. Danister de Silva Mw., Colombo 9.
    2. Prof. V. Tharamaratnam,
    Sampanther Chanthy, Karainagar.
    3. Prof. S.K. Sitramapalam
    Araly south, Araly, Vaddukoddai.
    4. Mr. R.M. Ratnayake
    Additional GM-North, 245/1 Golahen Waththa, Palapathwala, Matale
    5. Dr. Puhupala Lakshman
    267 Navalar Road, Jaffna.
    6. Prof. S. Sivasegaram,
    2, Rheinland Place, Colombo 3.
    7. Dr. N. jeyakumar
    28, 3/1 Madankawata Road, Colombo 6.
    8. Prof. H.S. Hasbulla
    Dept. of Geography, University of Peradenya, Peradeniya.
    9. Dr. Aru thirumurugan
    246, 4/A Temple Road, Nallur, Jaffna.
    10. Mr. P. Vigneswaran
    108/7 Veeranangal, vathiri, Karaveddy (probably resigned and replaced by Ms. Abimannasingam, PC of Uduvil.
    11. Mr. S. Rangarajah
    7 Muthaliyaar lane, Chundikuli, Jaffna
    12. Dr. Devanesan Nesiah
    19/1 Col. T.G. ayawardene Mawatte, Colombo 3.
    13. Mr. N. Vethanayahan
    GA, Kachcheri, Jaffna
    14. Mr. Marimuttu Kanapathipillai
    24/3, 1/1 Frankfort Place, Colombo 4.

    Internal voting members
    1. Prof. Vasanthi Arasaratnam, VC
    2. Prof. Mrs. Mikunthan, Dean Graduate Studies
    3. Mr. S. Kuhanesan, Dean Applied Science, Vavuniya
    4. Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Rector, Vavuniya
    5. Dr. Atputharajah, Dean, engineering
    6. Dr. A. Pushpanathan, Dean Business Studies, Vvuniya
    7. Prof. Gnanakumaran, Dean Arts

    Ineligible Voters because they are Candidates
    1) Prof. Vigneswaran, Dean/Science
    2) Prof. Raviraj, Dean/Medicine
    3) Prof. Mikunathan, Dean/Agriculture
    4) Prof. Srisatkunarajah, Dean/Technology
    5) Prof. Velnamby, Dean/Management and Commerce

    Go, do your bit.

    • 0
      0

      Jaffna Stakeholder,

      “Go, do your bit.”

      A bit late to start now but thanks anyway.

  • 3
    0

    It is just that the inadequacy of the qualifications of the existing staff would be exposed if some qualified person were to throw his hat into the fray. It is time to change the whole staff of the Jaffna University and start anew . Existing staff could be permitted to stay if they are shown to have adequate qualifications. .

    • 2
      0

      Singalam,

      Please do not scare them. If you do, they may work hard to defeat the best candidate to secure their positions. Change has to be slow but steady.

      • 0
        0

        Dr Jeevan Hoole,

        “Please do not scare them. If you do, they may work hard to defeat the best candidate to secure their positions. Change has to be slow but steady.”

        I agree. The next VC, Council, staff and students should together squeeze a bit more from the existing academic staff while slowly attracting better qualified lecturers.

  • 1
    3

    The Colombo Telegraph and some of his supporters refer to him as a Professor; but his official websites continue to designate Sam Thiagalinbgam as an Associate Professor. Maybe the websites were not updated.

    Hope there is no misrepresentation as one is a mid-level position and the other a senior academic rank.

    May the best candidate win.

    • 7
      1

      VM is another of Sivasegaram’s proxies — either Sivasegaram himself or his obedient servant.

      This is yet another attempt to denigrate Thiagalingam who has consistently said that he is an Associate Professor.

      US practice is to refer to everyone of professorial rank as Professor so and so. It is when one signs off on official documents, e.g.,
      S.R.H. Hoole,
      Professor

      or whatever, that the designation after name is a formal statement of academic rank.

      So an Associate Professor John Smith may be

      Professor John Smith

      or
      John Smith, Associate Professor.

      Please do not be a cat’s paw in slandering a man who has been punctiliously correct in stating his achievements. And they are far higher than what we are used to seeing here.

      • 1
        4

        [Edited out] My question is genuine. Given that this is a campaign for a high profile job, would it not be fair to clear state his designation in these columns ? To my knowledge the Colombo Telegraph has not once referred to him as an Associate Professor.

        I do not know Professor Sivasegaram and am I concerned one bit about him. But your lies and cheap conduct over the years, anyone you support I will view with suspicion.

        Then why did your refer to N. Ravichandran as Assoc. Professor N. Ravichandran yesterday? You could have used your own rules and standards consistently.

        • 0
          1

          “I do not know Professor Sivasegaram and am I concerned one bit about him.”

          You missed a word “not” there, I think.

          But, it is good to be concerned about everyone, even if you don’t know them. Develop a broad mind. It is good for you.

        • 1
          0

          The issue is not how CT, Hoole or anyone else referred to Thiagalingam. Referring to an Associate Professor as Professor is perfectly legitimate and is commonly done to avoid prolix titles. Thiagalingam has not himself encouraged any misrepresentation or false claims about himself.

          Sam Thiagalingam in his correspondence signs himself as:

          Sam Thiagalingam, Ph.D.
          Associate Professor of Genetics & Genomics, Medicine
          and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
          Biomedical Genetics Section, Department of Medicine
          Boston University School of Medicine
          72 East Concord Street, E200
          Boston, MA 02118

          Let us not make hot air of a non issue.

    • 6
      0

      VM,

      Not all universities are the same.

      World university ranking of Boston university is 64 whereas University of Jaffna is 7250.

      A degree from some universities is rated higher than a Ph.D from some other.

      Graduates in Maths from Ceylon University had to repeat the first degree at Cambridge at different years before starting their post graduate course with few exceptions (e.g., Thayanithy).

      So please do not do any underhand work to discredit the best candidate for the VC post. Let this university come out of the woods and shine as it should in the world arena.

  • 2
    0

    1:53 pm in jaffna. The Council is discussing Tbiagalingam’s candidacy. Sivasegaram the upholder of rules and Council secrecy came out of the meeting to leak to friends that they will soon vote on the matter. So there is nail biting tension as the unions and academics wait outside to find out what is happening

    The 5 candidates are excluded, Ms Abimannasingam, PC, who was obligingly appointed to the Council by the UGC at the VC’s request and then obligingly produced an oral opinion that Thiagalingam cannot be a candidate, is absent because her brother is going through heart surgery in Colombo.

    R.M. Ratnayake who it came to be known has no balls when he obligingly signed the Selection Committee Report on Hoole, also did not turn up. Apparently the VC at the last meeting of the Council had said the Attorney General had directed her not to discuss the Hoole appointment and the Registrar obligingly recorded that the Council had approved the Selection Committee’s rejection of Hoole’s application. This will be another contentious matter today. Ratnayake without his balls therefore has no stomach for today’s meeting and appears to be deliberately keeping away. (This explanation was given by a another comment about his absence from the last Council meeting)

    The report is that there are 22 people inside the Council Board Room and they will be voting any moment if they already have not. If the vote is negative for Rof. Thiagalingam, the weather report is that Sivasegaram will come out to gloat,

    We will know in a couple of hours.

    • 1
      0

      4:00 PM

      Voting will happen tomorrow 26th without Prof. S. Thiagalingam on the ballot. Prof. Sivasegaram led the battle and won. Prof. Tharamaratnam put forward legal arguments why Prof. S.T should be on the ballot but to no avail

      :(

      • 2
        0

        Sivasegaram’s role is indeed curious.

        The VC gave the following reasons on 28 Jan for rejecting Prof. T’s application:

        1. According to procurement procedure, bids received after the closing date and time will be rejected.
        2. The application was not forwarded through the head of his institution.
        3. The applicant has not mentioned his citizenship

        CT Report 2 above pointed out

        Prof. Sivasegaram advised the Council to “take decisions since there are legally acceptable reasons to reject [Thiagalingam’s] application.” Although it is unclear what decisions Prof. Sivasegaram advised the Council to take, it should be noted that he signed the report prepared by the Evaluation Committee the previous day and granted his approval to include Prof. Thiagalingam in the list of candidates scheduled for consideration by the Council.

        These responses provided strong reasons why the VC’s legal positions do not hold water. Sivasegaram in his copious writings in these columns, has not been able to put forward any legal defence of his position. Are we to believe that Council decisions are decided by mere capacity for decibels?

      • 0
        0

        Outside the Council,

        Thank you for the news.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Outside the Council and Lone Wolf,

          Your vigil was noble and appreciated by those of who were hoping that decency and common sense would prevail.

          Sad news reflecting the state our country is in.

  • 5
    0

    Sinhala Man.

    You are a Leighton[I hope my spelling is o.k] Gold Medalist. Folks like Jim will bark at the moving caravan.But you will move along.
    You have taken a very admirable stand on this issue: Well done. Esto Perpetua!

    • 2
      0

      Well said Plato, Sinhala_Man has been great!
      Steady balanced views.

    • 0
      0

      The news from Jaffna University is disappointing.

      Thanks Plato (still an enigma , but known well by now from generous comments) and Topla (who’s surprised me).

      I don’t know that I deserve such commendation. However, to relieve the tension may I digress to say that all we know about this Professor Leigh Smith was that he was at the then University College in Thurstan road, Colombo. However, I googled and found this:

      http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/12083/MCM15_9.pdf?sequence=1

      So, he’s from the 1930s. Many famous names there. How will History judge these Jaffna University Councillors? One wonders.

      As for me, well, I entered Peradeniya after a number of years of teaching, which actually makes it more difficult to excel. I remained alive to all that was happening from 1983 onwards in the University. Somehow emerged at the top of my batch owing to my wide reading earlier.

      However, what matters is what one is able to do here and now. We are old, but let us strive to have a balanced outlook. Thanks, Topla.

  • 5
    0

    Will Jaffna University upheld academic integrity? wait and see

    Academic integrity is the moral code or ethical policy of academia. This includes values such as avoidance of cheating or plagiarism; maintenance of academic standards; honesty and rigor in research and academic publishing

  • 4
    0

    Running Commentary,
    Running Commentary,
    where are you?

    On this hour of our nail-biting need
    do please, we beg, station yourself
    and your camera in the booths
    and at the campus gates
    and outside the meeting room
    and behind the shrine
    and in the loo too
    and do tell us what is going on.

    Have they arrived in cars
    and tuc-tucs
    and bullock carts?

    As the decision hangs by the thread,
    and candidates done temple poojas,
    and covered foreheads in holy ash,
    and stuck flowers behind earlobes,
    and to Kataragama for a head shave,
    and to a roll behind Nallur’s august chariot.

    Will we see fist fights,
    and will table be thumped,
    and pistols be drawn,
    and chairs be broken,
    and water bottles thrown?

    Exciting,
    OMG – bloody
    exciting.

    • 1
      0

      Tee Twenty,

      Thank you for your creative comment.

  • 2
    0

    We wanna know the today council’s room stories. Can anyone please share with us

  • 3
    0

    Flash News:
    Jaffna University Council decided not to accept Prof Thiyagalingam’ application . But they also decided to send the objections of Prof Tharmaratnam to the Attorney General’s Department. Election will going to held tomorrow, sunday,with 5 candidates.
    WHAT IS NEXT? ——A university staff.

    • 1
      0

      Sad, what is happening in this country.

  • 1
    0

    The present VC is very strong to bring Mikunthan or Velnambi as a next VC of Jaffna University. Both them are well known for corruption. Velnambi is heavily involving the financial fraud in the Faculty in every set of activities. Council members please think twice before you caste your vote. As a well-wisher I prefer either Srisatkunarajah or Vickneswarana for next VC among the candidates.

  • 1
    0

    According to the news I received about half an hour back, Prof.. Thiyagalingam has been excluded from the list of candidates for the position of Vice Chancellor at the University of Jaffna.

    Apparently, the Senate will vote tomorrow to select the nominee from a list of the balance five candidates.

    This matter should be appealed to the UGC and if needed, further to the Supreme Court.

    CT, please continue to keep this issue in the public eye, for the sake of the long suffering people of Jaffna, who are being held hostage by forces with a sting in their tails.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
      0

      Dr RN,

      Have you read or heard about the way an engineer offering help with the water problems was treated in Jaffna? His report is from last year and another sign of our decay. Are all “outsiders” rejected including the ones born in Jaffna?

      “I also met many of the people who are responsible (at least on paper) for the re-building and development of Jaffna – politicians, ministers, high level administrators, and academics. My main interest during this visit was to help them on the issues surrounding the perceived water pollution related to the operation of the oil fired power plant in Chunnakam. I wanted to offer my experience and expertise having dealt with hundreds of similar sites across the world. I was hoping that I will get some level of acceptance and an invitation to participate in developing a solution. What I faced was total rejection and at best some polite lip service. I did not expect to be received as a son coming home to help the ailing parents … but some level of recognition of the collective best in class know-how that could have been brought into find solutions to the most pressing issue for the future generations – i.e. availability of clean drinking water in the peninsula.”

      https://suthansuthersan.com/2016/08/25/feeling-like-a-visitor-in-jaffna-my-home/

      • 0
        0

        Lone Wolf,

        Thanks. From what I hear and perceive, it is deliberate policy. It is being quite brazenly articulated by some high profile, but low grade NPC ministers, who also stand accused of corruption.

        I am curious to know the verdict of the committee belatedly appointed appointed by the CM to inquire into specific instances of ministerial corruption.

        Dr.RN

        • 0
          0

          Dr RN,

          “I am curious to know the verdict of the committee belatedly appointed appointed by the CM to inquire into specific instances of ministerial corruption.”

          I have no idea but I assume that the committee is going to spend years on this. Who are the members of the committee?

      • 0
        0

        Lone Wolf: thanks for this link and comments from Suthersan after his visit back home.
        Sadly, I have to share with you another link:
        https://www.arcadis.com/en/united-states/news/latest-news/press-releases/2017/2/arcadis-mourns-loss-of-chief-technical-officer-drsuthan-ssuthersan/

        • 0
          0

          Tee Twenty,

          Thank you for the bad and sad news.

  • 3
    0

    History will record the rejection of the application of Prof:Thiagalingam as a miscarriage of Justice. SJ/sekera/Sivasegaram will also regret his role in this affair,while resting on his Laurels!

  • 0
    0

    many people have come to see the University as the obstacle to openness and progressive change. This is evident in the fear of the mere the candidacy for VC of Prof. Sam Thiagalingam, who has had a successful academic career in the USA.

    Prof. Sam Thiagalingam, part from the fear of an outsider (who in fact graduated from the University of Jaffna), there is anxiety that he might champion reform that all know is necessary.”

    The corrupted political-Pantha culture of that University is spreading its culture of “you scratch my back and I scratch yours, so we together can lick Colombo’s UNP or SLFP bosses’ feet.” It appears these forces are attempting to manipulate CT by internally lodging complaints of independent comments, those not in line with their “bosses’ back scratching culture”. There are names of these people within the list of who stand to vote for Prof Thiagalingam. These guys are no different than Yahapalanaya criminals who advocated cleaning corruption in the last election but working hard within Yahapalanaya to ensure that culture is preserved. If they believe they can corrupt a public forum or subdue its independent voices of public, a lame duck university is no match for these guys manipulation ability and it will never be able to get rid of this manipulators.
    If elected, on his maiden speech, Prof Thiagalingam (or anyone who gets elected) will have to declare openly that his/her services will be to Students, to Staffs, to The Institute, and to The Community…… But no obligations to implement the political will these voters who proved their unhidden attempts of even secretly manipulating CT like public forums. There is a need, by taking fearless the bulls on the horns and one after another, these political forced should be shown their path.

    • 0
      0

      A lonely lion is no match for a cackle of hyenas.

      ” Whatever happened, happened for the good. Whatever is happening, is happening for the good. Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good.” Bhagavad Gita

      It appears to be, this time Prof. Sam Thiagalingam has saved his USA job and life within the PhD rowdies of Jaffna.

      After 2015 election of Old Royals, the rain, has stopped, but the spray out of it has not stopped. “Mazhai viddum thuuvaanam vidavillai”. EPDP’s acolytes, the Palani-Edappadies are sitting on the chair of Sashi and are ruling the Jaffna university.

      Destroying a race is easy only if first their education is destroyed. Once more Appe Anduwa and Tamils’ fight, Appe anduwa was able to make sure Tamils will not be able to lift their heads up.

      (This is not for Jaffna PhD nursery babies – Please don’t ask for! – no translation available.)

  • 3
    0

    A Curious State of Affairs: Where Reason Has No Place

    Prof. Tharmaratnam delivered a very powerful and erudite legal argument, where he showed that the postal rule had been endorsed by the Supreme Court in this country.

    He cited the case of University of Ceylon v Fernando [1957] 59 NLR 8, where a Bench of five judges of the Supreme Court held that where the post is used as a medium of transmitting the prescribed notice, the applicant for leave to appeal was required to do no more than send, in due time, a properly addressed prepaid letter containing the name and address of the opposite party.

    https://www.casrilanka.com/casl/images/stories/EDBA/contract%20law.pdf

    Sivasegaram did his accustomed filibustering regardless of the impression he was making and tried to stop Tharmaratnam, claiming that he was wasting the Council’s time. Mano Sekaram intervened and affirmed Tharmaratnam’s right to speak, and added, ‘Carry on Sir’.

    Tharmaratnam placed his argument on record, and no one in the Council attempted to overrule it. But curiously they decided to have the election tomorrow with five candidates.

    Another council member who feels thoroughly disillusioned said that they had to go along because if the postponement had been put to the vote they would have lost.

    The problem is that the Council has been successfully packed with the forces of status quo, enabling the Vice Chancellor to have her way regardless of any good sense.

    Reason strangely has no place in an institution that is meant to be its vanguard.

    There is now an unbeatable legal argument that would go into record in the minutes, and a Council that decided to completely ignore it. Where do we go from here? It is certain that the matter will not end here.

    Contd – Chief Justice Basnayake

  • 2
    0

    Justice Basnayake – Council decision to exclude Thiagalingam over Postal Delay

    Where a letter, fully and particularly directed to a person at his usual place of residence, is proved to have been put into the post office, this is equivalent to proof of delivery into the hands of that person; because it is a safe and reasonable presumption that it reached its destination”. The Chief Justice also observed that although the law does not require that the registered post should be used, it is the practice for certain persons to adopt the safeguard of registering the letter so that proof of its delivery at its destination could be adduced should it become necessary to do so.

    University of Ceylon v Fernando [1957] 59 NLR 8

  • 5
    0

    Professor Sam Thiagalingam,

    Thank you for having tried.

  • 6
    0

    Sivasekeram,on the 26th Jan, first agreed and signed accepting Thiagalingam with the other two, then the following day he realised his BOSS the VC is not happy. So as VC’s STOOGE, he has barked and barked and been barking supporting his BOSS/Master the VC against Thiagalingam.
    Ashamed to think of SEKERAM an Easterner, behaving worse than a Jaffna Man…

    Why the VC didn’t like Thiagalingam? What is her problem?. Does she care…
    Because if he comes here, then the VC’s Research papers will appear as though they are farce Researches.She fears, Thiagalingam being a Bio-medical, a Bio-Chemist, will make her appear small. Instead of accepting such people, and be happy to have some one with her discipline to do better research, they are blocking. They are not concerned about the place. Only their Power, like the militant leaders.

    Otherwise, do you think she cares for other Deans who are contesting? Someone mentioned that Douglus seem to have said that the VC used him, got away and ignores him like TICKS fall out of a dead dog and gone to suck from another dog alive.

    What the VC and most of the Deans have learnt from the Tigers and EPDP , is to have Power, and how to abuse Power and to enjoy Power, which they continue to do….having their spies in each faculty…/ I thought there could be an end to all these corruption, and gradually there will be a VC, who could make the lecturers work and recruit better teachers and staff and improve the place. But Alas….

    At present, the grape wine groups among academics to labour class talk of the same stories, No Academic Discussion, No Intellectual discussion… WHO CARES for the Tamil children’s educational standards which is going down. Does anyone care? All what you hear is about position and position..why, because they are empty shells, who cannot enjoy and find satisfaction in teaching and producing good students

    Saraswathie Weeping

    • 3
      0

      Saraswathy Weeping. Indeed.

      You are absolutely right in every word and sentence you used above.

      Prof Sivasegaram is a brilliant man and did care for the education once, but, the way he behaved in this case is shameful and regrettable. May be he felt obliged to selfish VC and he did everything to appease her. Or just that he wanted to express his power of convincing and swaying the audience. Whichever way it is, he will live to regret later.

      It’s sad that Jaffna and UoJ is going down the slippery slope.

    • 1
      0

      Saraswathi Weeping,

      “Ashamed to think of SEKERAM an Easterner, behaving worse than a Jaffna Man…”

      I have been expecting somebody to take up the fact that Dr. Sivasegaram is from the East. Maybe I missed others saying the same.

      The point, of course, is that “those people” are not like “us”.

    • 2
      0

      Yes, it is sad to see a man of Prof. Sivasegaram’s ability to have blotted his escutcheon in this way.

      Being an Arts Faculty student in Peradeniya University myself more than thirty years ago, I knew him only by reputation. Yes, he was known to be brilliant.

      Thanks to the Internet, and this particular CT website, I’ve now got to know him better. He writes very effectively – and speaks eloquently, too:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjOIGxcKd7I

      He demonstrates encyclopaedic knowledge and an awareness of values. It is tragic that a man of his standing should have behaved like this in relation to a vitally important He ends the third (and last) part here by saying that people must have the humility to accept that they have made mistakes.

      But all accounts of what happened yesterday, Prof. Sivasekeram has let HIMSELF also down.

  • 4
    0

    S.R.H.Hoole.

    I was saddened to hear about your comment on Devanesan Nesaiah.His dad was Prof:of Education in the old days at Peradeniya.For him to travel by public transport,and that too when he has had a broken arm shows his commitment.A member of the old CCS,to be asked to produce his Train Ticket to pay Travelling and Subsistence shows the sort of people who have taken over Jaffna.I call them Draggle-tailed Gutter snipes:What is worse is that they are also deciding who should be the next VC!

    • 1
      0

      Conspiracy theorists are bound to say they will vote by a show of hands — so the former civil servant may not be able to cast his!

  • 2
    0

    Sinhala Man.

    Thanks so much for the link. How do you wish to be called by poor Plato? The Leigh Smith Gold Medalist or Panini or Sinhala Man? I am an enigma no doubt,but not in the presence of Prof: Ashley Halpe! Alas,he left us!

    • 1
      0

      The middle name is the most sensible, but I guess the last (my persona) is useful with those who don’t read regularly. I hit on it as a means of re-assuring Tamils that there are moderates among us, and of persuading sometimes naive Sinhalese to re-think our positions.

      I make no attempt whatever to hide my identity – nor really do you! I say that because of your absolute consistency.

      Hmmm! It begins to sound as though you, too, were at Pera Arts Faculty (was it Philosophy?) You don’t HAVE to answer that!

      • 0
        0

        “You don’t HAVE to answer that!”

        Oh come on Plato, give us a clue — only some of us will guess anyway!!

1 2 3

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.