29 October, 2021


Kiriella Mucks Up Universities Act: FUTA

The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has today said that the statement issued by the Media Secretary to the Minister of Higher Education, Lakshman Kiriella, in response to the letter sent by FUTA to the president concerning the Minister’s recommendation regarding the recruitment of a Temporary Assistant Lecturer in Political Science to the Department of Economics, University of Kelaniya reflects his gross misunderstanding of the Universities Act.

Lakshman KiriellaIssuing a statement the FUTA said; “Section 19 of the Universities Act states that the Minister is responsible for “the general direction of university education and the administration of this Act”. Section 20 clearly articulates the powers vested in the Minister. Section 20 (4) is the only part where an appointment by the Minister is specifically mentioned. According to Section 20(4), in the event that a higher education institution is seriously affected by a “strike or lockout” or any other situation that prevents effective administration, the Minister may appoint a competent authority. Such an appointment, however, shall be tabled in parliament as soon as possible, as per the Act. There is no other mention either in the Universities Act, or Section 19 that the Minister cited, of any powers vested in the Minister to directly or indirectly intervene in any appointment whether to the academic or to the non-academic staff within the university system. The Universities Act does not endorse the misuse of authority by any individual out of personal interest. As such, we strongly condemn the Minister’s misinformed and misleading statement.

“We deeply regret the Minister’s naive statement that FUTA has released the letter signed by him to the media to gain political mileage. In addition, we wish to state categorically that if any attempt is made to use this issue as an excuse to interfere with the autonomy of the university or to personally intimidate any university academic, FUTA will not hesitate to defend his/her professional rights irrespective of his/her personal political views or political past.

“FUTA can only be responsible for our official statements issued by us, and not for any other reports or opinions publicly expressed with regard to this matter. Since FUTA statements are issued with our professional interests in view, the move to label our opinions as narrow and politically motivated and to issue discriminatory statements against individuals does not come across as mature political behavior to us. We urge the Minister to refrain from justifying this malpractice and to act responsibly by preventing similar political interferences on his part in the future.”

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Kiriella Justifies Political Interference; Nirmal Says Justification More Dangerous Than Letter

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Kiriella Continues To Contravene University Recruitment Policy

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  • 2

    Minister of Higher Education, Lakshman Kiriella,

    RE: Kiriella Mucks Up Universities Act: FUTA

    The People want to know that you are qualified to be the Education Minister.

    Can you please qualify yourself. You seem to be appointing non-qualified, or the non-best candidates to the posts in the Universities.

    1. Please Take the IQ Test and show that you are much better than Wimal Weerawansa, MP.

    2. Take the GMAT Test, Graduate Management Admissions Test, to show that you have the Intellect to “manage:” the Ministry of education.

    Quick Post: L&V’s National IQs predict GMAT scores across 173 nations Posted by Chuck


    The GMAT is a graduate entrance test used by more than 5,900 business programs offered by more than 2,100 universities worldwide. While the test is given in English, it is designed to be as minimally English dependent as necessary to predict successful completion of Business programs taught in English. Further, the test is carefully scrutinized for item bias. Rudner (2012) explains:

    The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT (/ˈdʒiːmæt/ (jee-mat))) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. The GMAT does not measure business knowledge or skill, nor does it measure intelligence. According to the test owning company, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, while also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success. On June 5, 2012, GMAC introduced an integrated reasoning section to the exam that is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate data presented in new formats and multiple sources.

  • 1

    Mr. Kirella is considered by the people as an educated and level headed
    person and he should not adopt to nepotism like some of his colleagues in the Cabinet are doing or did in this short time. FUTA is an association of teachers, all over Sri Lanka, who are also educated and
    the minister should also listen to their opinions and grievances, instead blaming the media for everything, like his colleague PM Ranil does. It is true that there are mush room media outlets run by the anti govt. forces who criticise the Govt.’s good moves and this could be curtailed by introducing laws to punish wrong reporting. It is this
    govt. that gave unlimited freedom to all types of media outlets to write anything they want.

  • 1

    If the Minister has recommended someone and said recruit him if his credentials are satisfactory is not intervening. It appears to be a just a recommendation letter. Not interference. If the people think that like the previous regime, you will be killed if you do not listen to Rajapukse family, it is absurd. I could not see any interference as such. This is blown out of proportion probably for some political reasons. calling this Nepotism is absolute non sense. Not bad as appointment SLT chairman or ANCL chairman.
    You need to be person with good judgemental decision making to be a minister not just qualified like the Permanent Head Damaged(Phd) like Rajiv Wijesinghe.
    I think Mr Kiriella demonstrated his ministerial acumen when he handled the University student protest fiasco at ward place well. He is a well balanced. he is best of the minsters we have better than the prime minister himself.

    • 2

      Yes He asked to recruit the person if he has qualifications. There are so many people having the minimum qualification to be a lecturer but the university should select the best candidate among them not the one with the minister’s letter.

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