25 August, 2019

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JUSTA Calls Upon University Deans To Disclose Their ‘Secret’ Letter

Academics of the Jaffna University have called upon the Deans to disclose the contents of the ‘secretive’ document they have signed, denying the various allegations of abuse that its academics and students have been highlighting for the past few years.

250px-University_of_JaffnaThe Jaffna University Science Teachers Association (JUSTA) releasing a media statement, have expressed concern over a letter signed by several Deans including the Jaffna University Science Dean, that has been prepared to be sent to higher authorities concerning the state of affairs in the university.

JUSTA points out that the existence of this document has been confirmed by the Dean of Arts during a meeting held by the university teachers, where he said some deans had contacted him to get his signature on a letter in a ‘secretive and conspiratorial way’, which JUSTA points out is unbecoming of leading academics trusted with positions of leadership.
“The letter has been prepared to deny or to dismiss allegations of abuse on the part of the university. . .,” JUSTA has said while adding that they believe it only proper that all Deans who signed the letter disclose it before their respective faculties.
Furthermore JUSTA has urged the Deans to explain the positions taken in the letter they signed, each to their respective faculty board at special meetings called for that purpose – this call has been particularly made to the Dean of Science- if their denials are genuine.

We publish below the statement in full;

Covert teamwork by deans to sweep malfeasance under the carpet

The general body of JUSTA is deeply disturbed by reports of a letter signed by several of the deans, including Dean, Science, have sent the higher authorities concerning the state of the University of Jaffna. Reports and statements prepared by JUSTA since December 2013 have

documented systematic abuse in academic and non-academic recruitment, including in the Science Faculty. We understand the letter by a section of the deans purports to deny or to render inconsequential allegations of abuse on the part of the University. The matter was taken up for discussion at the UTA on 6th February, where the Dean of Arts confirmed that an attempt was made by some deans who called at home to importune his signature on the letter in a secretive and conspiratorial manner unbecoming of leading academics trusted with positions of leadership – positions that call for honesty and transparency among colleagues.

We may also remind the deans that our reports have been widely circulated and the members of the Council are certainly aware of them. Several were sent to them directly. We have received no response at any time nor have the main allegations of malfeasance ever been denied. Moreover, one of the cases was submitted as an appeal to the Supreme Court, which took our allegations seriously enough to give leave to proceed. Further, in their response the Vice Chancellor and along the Dean Management along with partial admissions of the charges, are guilty of lying under oath on three counts, in matters of fact that are easily verified.

As academic colleagues, we think it only proper that all the deans who signed the letter lay it before their respective faculties. If the main thrust of the contents – denial of malfeasance – are correct as reported, we urge the deans as is only proper, that as a functionaries elected by the faculties, they should explain the position taken in the letter they signed, each to their respective faculty board at special meetings called for that purpose. We urge is especially on our dean – the dean of Science.

We further remind the deans that when they take up positions on academic and administrative issues concerning their faculty, they must consult their faculties and voice the view of the faculty, and not their personal view. Sadly, for more than a year the deans of faculties, against which serious charges of malfeasance have been made have failed to consult their members.

 

 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    JUSTA the day has dawn to clean-up all governance and elect the genuine and competent academics as governance members.
    DON’T wait for talking with these culprits and all are rubbish and failed to comprehend the credibility of academic community.
    Call for voluntary resignations of VC and deans for their ruthless thoughts to conceal all the delinquencies. All academics should join together for trade union actions for common interest beyond individual benefits for establishing a New-fangled UNIVERSITY ERA……………………

  • 3
    0

    all officers in the university ,campus ,academy be leveled with charges and punished them severely to teach lessons for others too. they should know about good governance and how it would be.

  • 16
    0

    This only confirms the common perception that those who teach at the University of Jaffna are neither academics nor scholars. Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha and the UGC should ask them when was the last time they read a book or wrote an essay. They should be told in no uncertain terms that reading the Uthayan newspaper, Kumudam or other peoples’ letters is not academic research, and that petitions are not considered as academic writing. Looks like they all need a good kick in their Jaffna butts.

  • 5
    0

    Let’s see there is a time for courageous and genuine lecturers, non academics and students to kick-out EPDP and VC foot lickers and establish upright governance in Jaffna University. JUSTA should Make a very ideal move to wipe out all culprits…………………………..

  • 3
    0

    The Dean/Medicine, Balakumar hold a 3 year ordinary science degree without class (and completed the B.Sc degree in the second attempt). His close associate and PhD supervisor Vasanthy Arasaratnam (Vice Chancellor) also hold a 3 year science degree from India. She did not get admission to enter Sri Lankan University

    These are examples of Jaffna University academic standard (particularly in the medical faculty)

  • 1
    4

    Can anybody from JUSTA, answer the following questions please?

    -How was Mr.Thavaranjith ,who obtained only SECOND CLASS LOWER DIVISION in Botany recruited?

    -Does JUSTA justify the recruitment of Mr.Thavaranjith by his sister Mrs.Vathani Arulchandran?

    -Has Dr.S.Sivapalan ever been involved in academic research activities?

    -Didn’t the members of JUSTA get orders from the Tigers and danced to their tune

  • 3
    1

    How was Mr.Thavaranjith ,who obtained only SECOND CLASS LOWER DIVISION in Botany recruited?

    Thavaranjith is well qualified under category “2” of the selection process specified by UGC circular.
    How can you (Sam) justify the following appointments:

    The Dean/Medicine, Balakumar hold a 3 year ordinary science degree without class (and completed the B.Sc degree in the second attempt). His close associate and PhD supervisor Vasanthy Arasaratnam (Vice Chancellor) also hold a 3 year science degree from India. She did not get admission to enter Sri Lankan University

    Has Dr.S.Sivapalan ever been involved in academic research activities?

    Dr Sivapalan obtained first class honours in Chemistry and obtained his PhD in Cambridge University, UK. He is still occupied the position of Senior Lecturer. He is not a Professor. So, you cannot question his appointment or his current research activities. He is a very good lecturer, not like Vasanthy Arasaratnam who dictate written notes

  • 3
    0

    Hi John

    Brilliant………Still people are there in university who completed PhDs in Western countries as UK and USAs. Then why don’t them take positions and place roadway to the university? We see in university council mostly all are rubbishes? What these Cambridge PhDs are around there???????

    • 4
      0

      Hi Kannan,
      Yes people like Sivapalan are not ready to bow down to illiterates like Vasanthy. That is why those people were not offered any positions.
      See for example recently, Vasanthy’s agents have appointed Selvam Kannathasan as the Sports advisory board chairman. What doe he know about Sports. Vasanthy’s agent’s reason for his appointment was, Kannathasan speaks good Sinhala.
      What a shame. What a shame.
      This is the kind of appointments Vaasnthy makes. She does not like people who ask questions.

  • 3
    0

    What a ridiculous situation!!! Cambridge PhDs leads all around the world but awkwardly in Jaffna University they were abandoned to positions. Then and there who have more capacity than these topmost intellectuals who are really necessity for our country??? For the improvement of university all governance members should leave an opportunity for these top intellectuals and they are role models for the rest of freshest academics………….

  • 0
    0

    Kannathasan is [Edited out]

  • 3
    0

    Kannathasan is a veterinary doctor. He was appointed as a Head/Forensic Medicine at Medical Faculty. He claimed as a “medical doctor” in some of the local news papers

  • 5
    0

    Hi Kannan,
    Not only Kannathasan, Mr. Kandeepan, Mr. Murukananthan, Mr. Yoganathan and many others in the medical faculty are non medical graduates.
    Vasanthy prefers them because only such people will bow to her commands.

    Vasanthy even appointed Kadeepan as the Soft skills coordinator when he was a probationary lecturer. There were many qualified people, who have even underwent training on Softskills. Kandeepan cannot even talk louder and smarter, such a person was appointed as the University Softskills coordinator.
    What a sorry state.

  • 0
    2

    Please visit the Medical staff’s profiles of overseas universities and see how many of them are MBBS doctors. Not even 1% of the staff are MBBS doctors. They are specialist in a particular field. A former Botany staff of UOJ is now an assistant professor at University of Toronto Medical school.

  • 2
    0

    “Not even 1% of the staff are MBBS doctors”.

    varathan, This is a joke of this century.

    Most of the “non medical staff” at Jaffna medical faculty holds 3 rd class qualifications. How can they teach to the highly qualified and intelligent medical students

    The Dean/Medicine, Balakumar hold a 3 year ordinary science degree without class (and completed the B.Sc degree in the second attempt). His close associate and PhD supervisor Vasanthy Arasaratnam (Vice Chancellor) also hold a 3 year science degree from India. She did not get admission to enter Sri Lankan University

  • 0
    2

    John,
    Not only UOJ staff, several of other university staff in Sri Lanka also have relatively low qualification compared to the academics of developed word. However, For university teaching, the research degree and subsequent research activities are important than the basic degree. In that sense, several local graduates do better than the lecturer with 1st class hons degree and Cambridge PhD. Why don’t we recall that UOJ tried its best to function with available staff. Did they refuse to recruit any Cambridge PhD or any MBBS doctors for academic positions? There are UGC regulations for recruitment. They would look for the categories one by one and if they can’t get a person satisfy any of the top categories, they go for the next. Unfortunately people with 1st class or good profile won’t come to work for Rs50,000 + allowances. This is the fact. Minimum monthly salary of a PhD in western universities is about $5000/month (about SLR 500,000/month).

  • 2
    0

    Varathan,
    Good point you make here. Undergraduate degree is also important for an intellectual. Why many scholarships and opportunities are only available for 1st class holders in any country?. I agree some of the local PhD’s do better, because they attract some local grants to do local research, but they mostly publish in JSA/JMA etc (except few exceptions). But, their research activities are not relevant to their subject they teach. For example, a biochemistry scholar should focus on research activities in medical biochemistry, not in biotechnology. The Biochemistry department is attached to the medical faculty.
    The VC has refused to recruit Canadian’n PhD (In Engineering) and MBBS doctors. They have recruited Dr Raviraj (Surgery) even without a class in his MBBS, but there was a another candidate with MBBS ( with class)He was not even invited for an interview.
    The fact (now) is that Sri lankan academics are better paid than in any other country (including allowances). Please do a google search and find out the truth.
    //This is the fact. Minimum monthly salary of a PhD in western universities is about $5000/month (about SLR 500,000/month)//.

    Do you know the cost of living in those western countries? Do you know that they have to pay high taxes in the western countries?. Reasonable number of our lecturers/Professor here in Sri Lanka deliver 3-4 hours lectures/week and no research activities. They cannot be fired once recruited.

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