The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA), has raised concerns over President Maithripala Sirisena’s good governance policy, after Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella tried to influence his way to get a supporter appointed as a lecturer to the Kelaniya University.
In a letter addressed to President Sirisena, FUTA said that its association has been constantly reiterating the need to secure the autonomy of universities through depoliticization of the university system.
“We were somewhat convinced of you and your government’s commitment towards securing the same. However we regret to inform you of our deep displeasure and disappointment regarding a letter sent by Minister Lakshman Kiriella dated 08th February 2016, requesting a particular individual be appointed as a temporary lecturer to the department of political science at the University of Kelaniya,” the letter signed by FUTA President Dr. Rangika Halwatura and Secretary Dr. Shyama Banneheka said.
FUTA noted that the minister’s letter ‘raises concerns about the government’s policy on good governance.’
The association expressed disappointment to the President saying that the Minister’s letter was an indication that the current government was reinforcing political interference in the university’s system.
“We would like to bring to your attention to the fact that Minister Kiriella previously attempted to appoint a member to the Council of the University of Kelaniya. His conduct as the minister in charge of higher education is condemned as it is both unethical and irresponsible,” the letter stated.
FUTA while condemning the minister’s action as a political interference to the national university system, called on President Sirisena for an assurance that political interference of such would not take place in future.
Lakshman Kiriella In A University Soup
EDWIN RODRIGO / February 29, 2016
Have pity on this guy.
Not having had the chance to set foot on the soil of any University, this is the only way he could get in to the University. In to Soup.
Surawimala / February 29, 2016
dont you thnk that we react exageratingly to this ?
That is the culture – of the lankens. Be them highly educated or not each and everyone is happy if they would get recommended by any powerful men.
Last time, while visiting the country, for tiny issues, my family was thinking to approach the authorities (health for example) thorugh their connections. I am allegic to this having lived onthe west for the last 3 decades. But lankens cant be without supports of the others.
So long particular canddiate possesss the qualifications that the UNI requires him to, is everything is fine – but it has damaged the both sites now. The lecturer would be isolated by others in public – and minister will be looked down upon by his colleagues. And the president would look at them with some displeasure.
Dinuk / February 29, 2016
This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black!
The university dons are as notorious as politicians for hiring their stooges and discriminating against highly qualified minority community women in particular.
Sri Lankan universities are full of mediocrity. There should be a rule that people who graduate from a university cannot be given a post in the same university for at least 10 years – until they have had exposure to other universities and proved themselves.
Seelawathie / February 29, 2016
You are right Dinuk.
I have the feeling that our people expect today things to move as it is seen on the west, but they themselves remain as had been before. Not only politicians each and everyone the nation must work on the issue.
But this can learn everyone a lession – thought the very first ones will get victimized in the society – recalling the issue met with that teacher who was forced to kneel down – and the saga- that almost killed her life- putting hers unncessarily on the tabloids. So as a lecturer, I dont think the candidate would feel fine- the way the media addressed this issue. We have protect our educated folks in the country- unlike on the west, we dont have plenty of higher profesisonals. In Germany for exmaple, there are over qualified associate profs- that mostly search for jobs- in thier fields- some would not get selected just becaues they had been away from academia for few months. Can you imagine ?So the levels are different.
lal / February 29, 2016
Edwin appu mahaththaya,
This kind of favouritism is not going to help develop Sri Lanka but keep the country backward. Nepotism and corruption also happens in western countries and I have seen it happen in a leading university (but not it was not initiated by a ministerial guy). Right guy for the right job should be the policy but, Sri Lankan ministers are of very low quality and do not expect them to make good decisions to benefit the country. YAHAPALANAYA is a joke!
Surawimala / February 29, 2016
you should be either blind or deaf.
How come Yahapalanaya has become a joke just becaseu one single minister issued a letter.
See, the former president son is remanded for last few weeks.
With all rabid dogs of last regime being called for investigative interviews.
What else you want man – lal, dont represent the very same idiots allowing them to raise their head and destroy this nation.
Your statements contracdict actually.
It is good that each and everyone is being criticised today – Even president is being focused by journos – PM is bieng attacked. WHo is not attcked.
You the kind bats know nothing but living like frogs in wells – do add the kind of statemetns.
Jim softy / February 29, 2016
Kirieela Is doing a thing like this every time.
So, how many times, they have to these things, in order to yahapalanaya become a joke.
If things are working fine, HE should resign.
Native Vedda / February 29, 2016
“This kind of favouritism is not going to help develop Sri Lanka but keep the country backward.”
ECTA, FTA, Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, proposed Indo-Lanka bridge, RAW, CIA, MI6, Cameron, EU, NGOs, Liberals, Jaffna Caste system, traitors, LTTE, VP, Dalai Lama, C Vigneshwaran, Sampandan, Vellala, those uni students who sport a beard, women students who do not wear saree, Burqua, ISIS, Muslim/Christian fundamentalism, the down-trodden, Tamil Nau (toilet Nadu), Diaspora, UNHRC, Navi Pillai, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, price of crude oil, the Brits for building Uni, ……………
” Right guy for the right job should be the policy but, Sri Lankan ministers are of very low quality and do not expect them to make good decisions to benefit the country. “
ECTA, FTA, Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, proposed Indo-Lanka bridge, RAW, CIA, MI6, Cameron, EU, NGOs, Liberals, Jaffna Caste system, traitors, LTTE, VP, Dalai Lama, C Vigneshwaran, Sampandan, Vellala, those uni students who sport a beard, women students who do not wear saree, Burqua, ISIS, Muslim/Christian fundamentalism, the down-trodden, Tamil Nau (toilet Nadu), Diaspora, UNHRC, Navi Pillai, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, price of crude oil, the Brits for building Uni, …………..
Now you should really revisit 1956 where all these ugliness started, including favouritism, nepotism, corruption, parochialism, …. and been justified in the name of patriotism, …………..
The voters who were adversely affected by these corrupt practices will still continue to vote for the same politician, in every election.
All smart patriots should be held accountable for all these ugliness, including yourself.
Amarasiri / February 29, 2016
Let’s give an Honorary Doctorate from your Alma Mater, the University of Peradeniya.
Then it will show that your Alma Mater, University of Peradeniya, is not secondary to their rivals, in the motto, “Stupidity is a Virtue”
Ask FUTA to recommend the doctorate, a new doctorate, Doctor of PhiloCoalemus
After all, the University of Colombo gave an honorary doctorate to Mahinda Rajapaksa. But it was Doctor of Philosophy, Love of Wisdom. It Should have been Doctor of PhiloCoalemus, as well.
Babangida / February 29, 2016
The kind of steps being taken would not allow any of them to repeat the kind of support anymore. I dont think that the minister should resign based on the issue. There are no enough people to do the job – in case most book worm like Kalu sudda Rajiva Wijesinghe would be appointed as the minister of high education – he would create rather more problems as we got to see at the begining of his post immediately after change was made. However, this partiuclar minister should assure that no the kind of failures would repeat neither from him nor from others.
It is good thing that others too would learn from this kind of nations reactions – that no space will be given to any kind of irregularities as had been the case during the regime of GAMBATTA- Mahinda Jarapakshe. People shold also be well trained not to go after VITAMIC C but to follow the rules in each event.
Leelawathie / February 29, 2016
Btw way people, Srilanka is not Germany or other like developed country. SO ministers could make the kind of mistakes. But it is really good move that people are now more alert on these issues.
This govt has done a lot- allowing people to criticise anything and everything.
Was that possible at the time Maharajano – did his job ?
Not even the ones who have the right to do so were given powers to react independently _
Ask the bunch of idiots that join MY3 govt as ministers- what they have to say today – they have close their both ends and keep quiet while some mongles like Dilana Perera opens his both ends without any shame.
srinath gunaratne / February 29, 2016
So corruption is OK when your party carry them out?
Everyone opposing current government are traitors?!
Do you think Kiriella made a mistake! Poor fellow!
We will see that now he will apologize and resign?
How can you polish the turds in the parliament! We must find a lot of gems hiding in Sri Lanaka to clean this mess.
Leelawathie / February 29, 2016
We have plenty of people of your nature letting buggers to fool them for entire life. What we lack are the valuable that are sensitive to go against corruption and higher abuses as your god father is used to. TOday the man being unable to search for proper wording to protect him – and his family- just addhis two cts worth in temples or any other places where your kind of people gather. So, Srinath, you the guys thought got asylum in the UK, seem to have learnt notthing from UK democracy, but to become so creepy to get your thing done. Majority of lankens are used to go through their vitamin connection – meaningto get things done througt the connections- that you cant stop within few months. That has become their culture. But you guys cant ge tit at all – this is just nothing compared to what MAHARAJA has done to this nation. mORE OVER the canddiate should have lecturerer qualifications – but in the Raja s world even tea tasters became high commissioners just because they are blood related to GONTHADIYA.
Douglas / February 29, 2016
Native Vedda: What’s going on? Shouldn’t we get reminded of the “Past” and FRAME our FUTURE on the lessons learned? No doubt we all have committed quite a lot of mistakes and inherited misery; but that does not mean we continue to cry over and live in the same way. Isn’t it fair enough to try and give birth to a new SOCIAL ORDER where people can at least live in peace and be happy with what they have and get?
Daniston / February 29, 2016
A mountain out of a mole hill! It was after all a temporary appointment.
Furthermore, as Nathan Kataragama pointed out in the first article on this subject, Colombo Telegraph’s translation was inaccurate and left out the first part “inquire (look) into his suitability.” That is the request did not have to be fulfilled and the choice was the department head’s. Kiriella’s was not an order. It makes a huge difference to the story.
Now why did CT leave out those key words if not to make it worse than it really was?
I also note that by hurling personal insults at Prof. Hoole you have kept him out of this debate. This discussion will therefore be one-sided and therefore of no value other than to promote CT’s sensational journalism!
BBS Rep / March 1, 2016
Kiriella did exactly what a Sri Lankan politician generally does.
And what he did was unethical and unacceptable.
But what is good is that the common people, the media and organisations such as FUTA can come out and criticise the Minister as well as the Yahapalanaya government for this kind of excess. Only a year or so ago any such criticism would be unthinkable.
NAK / March 1, 2016
What else can you expect from a ‘Gona brand” like Kiriella?