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.