22 October, 2020

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Kiriella Now Denies Justice To Universities, Dissolves USAB

In an arbitrary move, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella dissolved the three member University Services Appeals Board (USAB), a move which has denied justice across universities and also violated the Universities Act, which stipulates that the USAB is compulsory.

Minister Kiriella

Minister Kiriella

In March, Colombo Telegraph reported that the Chairman of the USAB, Nigel Hatch, PC, was asked to resign by Minister Lakshman Kiriella. However, at the time, it was not known if the other two members K.P.M. Speldewinde (a retired SLAS Officer) and D. Kalansooriya (formerly Chairman of the Ceramics Corporation) had also been asked to resign.

Colombo Telegraph can now confirm that the entire three-person board was dissolved on 1 March 2016 by the appointing authority under the Universities Act, Minister of Higher Education Mr. Lakshman Kiriella.

Meanwhile, the new building rented out for the USAB down Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, in Colombo continues to go to waste as no work is carried out with the staff remaining idle after the Minister dissolved the Board.

The USAB was established by the Universities Act as a quick, cheap and easy means to bring justice for university personnel denied justice through appointments made and not made. Following the dissolving of the Board, several academic cases have piled up at the USAB with the academics not even being told if their petitions have been received. The University Grants Commission claims helplessness saying only the Minister can appoint a new board.

As to the dissolved board which was hailed at the time of its recent appointment as bringing together legal, administrative and corporate sector experience, an academic said, “Who is the clean and fair administrator who will want to serve on these august bodies if they can be thrown out so quickly after being given a five-year term? The Minister wants only suckers-up to serve the government.”

It is almost three months since universities were given a carte blanche to make or deny any appointment in the confidence that they will not be challenged because of the higher costs of using the courts. Even the Universities Act is being violated by not having a USAB. An academic who waited for the USAB and lost his 30-day window to go to the Supreme Court as a result said, “I worked for this government to come to power and to bring law and order. Sadly, the government is not following the law. The right to challenge bad decisions by Vice Chancellors given to us by the Universities Act is being denied to us. The minister is going for iron-fisted rule with no option to challenge unlawful acts by Vice Chancellors.”

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  • 3
    1

    Dear Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella,

    RE: Kiriella Now Denies Justice To Universities, Dissolves USAB

    “In an arbitrary move, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella dissolved the three member University Services Appeals Board (USAB), a move which has denied justice across universities and also violated the Universities Act, which stipulates that the USAB is compulsory.”

    We all know that you are an Idiot, with low IQ. We know that is not a disqualification in Sri Lanka, where the average IQ is 79.

    But Amarasiri and others with a common sense are at a loss as to why you idiot, keep reminding others that you are an idiot?

    Is it because you believe that Stupidity is a Virtue? Just curious!

    Sri Lanka, where the average IQ is 79. Minister, however, what matters is your IQ.

    National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    • 4
      0

      Dear Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella,

      RE: Kiriella Now Denies Justice To Universities, Dissolves USAB

      “As to the dissolved board which was hailed at the time of its recent appointment as bringing together legal, administrative and corporate sector experience, an academic said, “Who is the clean and fair administrator who will want to serve on these august bodies if they can be thrown out so quickly after being given a five-year term? The Minister wants only suckers-up to serve the government.””

      “Even the Universities Act is being violated by not having a USAB.”

      Minister, People still want to know what type of Idiot you are, Buruella.

      If you were not an Idiot, you would have replaced the current ineffective board with competent, not political appointees, and given credibility.

      You are pathetic. Only the low average IQ of 79 protects you!

      • 1
        0

        Amamrasiri:-
        He is trying to create a NEW JVP, of Underemployed Graduates!

  • 6
    2

    I was sacked from Peradeniya while on leave for being absent from my post. The UGC stood by telling Peradeniya in writing that they may do as they think.

    In a bizarre evaluation of my application in 2011 to Jaffna, I was ruled unqualified by Jaffna after taking 3+ years to evaluate my application.The rules required a decision in 18 months or re-advertisement to let me update my credentials and allow others to apply. This was not done.

    I challenged this at the USAB which under Nigel Hatch ruled that I was outside my 3-month time limit and that I could have appealed from abroad.

    I applied again in July 2015 to Jaffna and my application has not been processed. In February this year after the USAB ruled my petition out of time, I filed a new one asking for an order to process my application from July 2015.

    Not a peep from the non-functioning USAB. No acknowledgement of receipt even. Thanks to the shut-down of the USAB, I have now finished my three month window again to appeal to the USAB and exhausted my one-month window to file a fundamental rights petition at the Supreme Court!

    I could file again citing the shut down of the system. But is there any point in a system that goes out of the way to allow VCs to do anything in the name of order with no consideration for the law?

    I wrote twice to the UGC Chairman that what is going on is against their own Circulars, but he has not replied or given me the appointment I asked for, busily talking only of initiatives to improve the quality of professorships.

    What a rotten system where a VC is a god (or goddess in this case) beyond reproach. There can be no quality of anything until universities are operated by the rules and may be challenged when rules are broken.

    For now, obey, suck-up and salaam or you have no place in a Sri Lankan university.

    • 8
      3

      This is a simple friend. Do not send your kids even for rain to public Universities. They do not get knowledge. Say all Lecturers to show which University and country they got PhDs. You will see real absurd situation. More than 80% profs are without PhDs and any single publications in SCOPUS/ISI journals. Develop comprehensive web sites for each University and say to show Publications with indexing place to public by each academics (not joke conference papers) and degrees where (Country and the University and international ranking of that University) they got their PHD. Today the most important thing is your PhD must come from accredited, ranking (at least 100) best University of the world to recognized your University.

    • 2
      1

      Sir,

      Everybody in Killinochchi will tell you that Dean Engineering Atputharajah and VC are stooges of Douglas. Their appointments were got by bending low to Douglas. That is why they go around slandering you to people repeating Douglas’ lies in Douglas’ words even now. Dean Engineering Atputharajah and VC have no self-respect like respectable academics. That is why they both keep blocking your appointment.These two people are ruining the Jaffna University and the Engineering Faculty for their personal gain. Dean is scared that the best people like you will join and the students will compare. He wants to be the next VC and he needs to cringe down to Douglas. Certain ministers do not know what a university education means. Minister Kiriella is Douglas’ friend.

      You have your D. SC like our former Prof. Mahalingam. You are a Professor and in Peradeniya you taught us well. We are now professors. We have learnt what true education is.

      It is sad to see how they are treating you. Sadder that you allow them to treat you badly by applying to Jaffna University because of your conscience.

      Sir please dont come to Jaffna. It is not a place for excellent men like you.
      “Katraarkku chendra idamellam chirappu” But in Jaffna and Killinochchi
      katraaraik kandaalo vethuppu.
      (The learned are honored all over the world. But in Jaffna they boil inside when they see the learned.”) Saraswathy has turned her face away in disgust on on us.

      • 1
        1

        When people from the bottom of society are made Dean, a few grow into the position and give pride to their community. But most bring their own home traditions into their high positions. They ruin the institution and increase the prejudices against their community about jati buddhi. They shame their people. Sadly Atpu has failed. In modern world they say it is wrong to talk like this. That is idealism. When I get old, it is assured crystal clear reality to me.

        This is the story everywhere in Sri Lankan universities and Sri Lankan politics. Those of good stock have left. The new majority lord it over people of good stock remaining. It will get worse. Mark my words. We cannot blame unqualified Dalits. Blame is on we who left. I live happy in Germany. But I support Hoole. He is trying. He will fail. That is Bhagavan’s cosmic order. Cannot change cosmic order. That is reality of the world known well 5000 years ago from Lord Manu’s time and expressed in the Gita Chapter 18, Verse 41:

        Of Brahmanas, Kshtriyas and Vaishyas, as also the Sudras,
        O Arjuna, the duties are distributed according to the qualities
        born of their own nature.

        Idealism will make us bang our heads against the wall. Reality is that only our heads will break like the coconut banged on the floor, not the wall. Mark my words.

        Only fools go against ancient wisdom of our ancestors.

      • 1
        0

        I was asked by interested expats to study the Chunnakam water problem. I declined after seeing the many vested interests involved.

        Dr. Atputharajah is a consultant to the power company that poured oil into the Chunnakam ground water rather than using expensive environmentally friendly methods of disposal.

        The oil was visible to the naked eye when looking down into Chunnakam wells.

        Dr. Atputharajah then went posing as a neutral expert without disclosing his conflict of interest. He issued a report that there is no oil in the water! (It is easy to draw samples from beneath the surface because the oil will be on the surface and show the water to be clean.)

        Students admire and follow their teachers. I hope the Kilinochchi Engineering Faculty will not produce people like Dr. Atputharajah.

        Dr. Atputharajah will say anything to keep Professor Hoole out. There is a lot of money in it — as dean, as consultant to the power company and then as consultant to the public investigating the power company.

        He is a disgrace to the profession.

    • 0
      0

      Hi Dr Hoole,

      “Piththaa…,” (may I, in a spirit similar to how I was once addressed by Him)!

      Looks like the SL university system is so bad that they really, really, really don’t want you there. They have made their point. So, why bang your head against it for so long… testing their rules and regulations, applying, appealing, complaining, filing cases and writing about them all over the place?

      Think outside the box.

      Find a way of working in SL/Jaffna and making an important contribution from OUTSIDE the university system. Build a private technical college in Jaffna with industrial and IEEE sponsorship. There is a growing software industry in SL that needs talent. Jaffna youth need training. You have good contacts, you have the skills. Make the technical college such a bloody success that 18 year old young people will compete to study there and get good jobs than go to the state universities and waste their time in front of notes-readers with poor English.

      [Why not our expatriates contribute to such training by sponsoring their relatives to study at your college, than send money to decadent urchins wasting their time and getting involved in anti-social behaviour, so much so that Judge Nedunchezhiyan apparently had to seek help from the army!]

      I bet you can overtake the inefficient, incompetent and corrupt university system in no time.

      You will then have better stories to tell your grand-children — and you can tell them with pride, I assure you — than the serial encounters you have had with this or that a silly commission, or he or she a silly Vice Chancellor.

      Good luck!

  • 10
    1

    Dear Minister Kirialla. If you want to really develop Sri Lankan Public Universities recheck qualifications and publications of Sri Lankan professors and re-grade them. More than 90% fake professors. With immediate effect stop doing PhDs within own University by staff members and immediate family members transfer with immediate effect to other Universities. Fill Universities with world top 100 Universities PhDs and only SCOPUS and ISI indexed journal publications people appoint as Professors.

  • 2
    2

    CT has to contact the minister for his comments and justification for doing such a thing. the news item falling short of this aspect and therefore do not bring the full story.ultimately good governance people are also ordinary politicians. we have to remember JR who openly a whethe it is ranil or sirisena.vocated dharmishta rule but practiced ruthless rule.these are normal in governance.
    -dayal

  • 2
    2

    It would be fruitful if the Minister tables in Parliament,a list of all Professors with their academic credentials.Husband supervising the post-graduate work of the wife and all other activities[irregular] should be exposed,before our University system nosedives beyond redemption.
    Only the other day that we lost Prof:Ashley Halpe who adorned our University.
    What was built up assiduously over the years should not be allowed to go astray.
    Academics,like S.R.H.Hoole should have been retained and full use made of his talent.

    • 3
      0

      This is a very simple say all the professors to report where they got PhD degree (Country and the University and its world ranking details,) family members working in the same Dept and same University. And SCOPUS/ISI indexed journal article publications, Text books published with international publishers and places they spent sabbaticals, etc. Even wife write articles and husband put free name and got professorships. Many cases exists in Universities. With immediate effect transfer immediate family members working in the same Dept and same University. Both husband and wife together supervising PG students must stopped. Doing PhD in same University also must be stopped with immediate effect. How many got sabbatical leave to stay in abroad with fake letters and stay in Sri Lanka with pay. Check and sack them. Today University is family, mafia and sex business.

  • 0
    1

    Minister is right in scraping the USAB which is always bias. Once a decision is taken by an University Council, it’s not a decision of just one member. It’s a collective decision and that cannot be challenged. Unfortunately, USAB reversed many such decisions during last so many years by embarrassing University Councils. If such cases are assessed one would find them highly unreasonable and bias. Specially, promotion for professorships. Once a promotion for professor is denied due to lack of enough points, he/she will go to USAB and USAB orders to appoint another evaluator/examiner. This decision leaves room for the appointment of an examiner of candidate’s choice. Therefore, almost all candidates who were not qualified for promotion were promoted thanks to USAB.

    • 2
      0

      Sorry, Amarasena. Yours is a very simplistic view. Who told you collective decisions cannot be challenged? They should be when they are wrong. All our cabinet decision are collective, and remember how often they make no sense. Where do you live?

      The USAB has reversed many bad decisions but usually for not following circulars. Usually they do not say appoint so and so but ask the university to redo the selection considering something required by the rules that they had not considered. An example would be not having nominees of the senate on the selection committee who are members of the senate whereas universities sometimes get nominees from other universities.

      There are cases where an examiner is a teacher of the candidate. This is explicitly prohibited and the court has ordered a new examiner. Peradeniya once appointed a Sinhalese civil engineer as a person with knowledge of the subject when the advertisement was for a chair in Tamil. such cases cry to be challenged.

      And when the court orders a new examiner, the candidate never gets to choose him/her as you, Amarasena, say. As required in the circulars, it goes back to the Senate where a new examiner is picked.

      The law is usually good. It is those who operate the law that fiddle with it for their nefarious purposes. For that we need a watchdog like the USAB. But alas, the rug has been pulled out from under us.

      • 0
        0

        Sorry Mr De Silva, I did not know that you also got the professorship through USAB. If not, you wouldn’t have justified such fake professorships.

      • 0
        0

        WJS
        There are nominations to selection committees by the UGC, the Council and the Senate as well as ex-officio nominees.
        It is usually the Senate that names people with expertise.
        The UGC and Council namr people to ensure that there is fairplay.
        The assessment of the applicant is done be experts for research & publications and an internal panel for contribution to teaching etc.
        The Council names people for the selection committee from among its members and the UGC selects from a wider group.
        It will help if you are specific about the year and the “unqualified” nominee.

      • 0
        0

        WJS
        There are nominations to selection committees by the UGC, the Council and the Senate, besides ex-officio members.
        It is usually the Senate that names people with expertise.
        The UGC and Council (from among its members) name people to ensure that there is fairplay and they need not be experts in the field concerned. For the UGC, much depends on availability of people and the University itself has no say.
        Assessment of research & publications by the applicant is done in advance by experts and an internal panel evaluates contribution to teaching etc. These assessments play a key role.
        It will help if you are specific about the year and can identify the “unqualified” nominee for people to draw conclusions.

        • 0
          0

          While WJdeS can better say what he or she meant, I recall one M.P. Ranaweera being appointed to the Selection Committee of Prof. Nuhuman when the latter applied for the chair in Tamil. The rules require that the two Senate nominees to a selection committee should have knowledge of the subject and be members of the Senate. Ranaweera is a respected researcher and teacher in civil engineering. But he was in the habit of claiming knowledge of every subject under the sun and being on selection committees so much that one had to be his friend to improve ones chances of becoming a professor at Peradeniya. He was known as being cooperative with other faculties, so deans (who nominate selection committee Senate nominees for their chairs) often went for him for their faculty candidates to succeed.

          I think there was also one Prof. S. Sivasegaram, a mechanical engineer, who was a Senate nominee posing off as a person with subject knowledge in Tamil. It was claimed that he had done some work on the Tamil computer keyboard which allegedly gave him knowledge in the Tamil language.

          After such nominations were challenged in court cases, the Senate decided that to go as a person with knowledge in a subject, that subject must have been studied at least at undergraduate level by the nominee.Till then, no one bothered about what the rules said.

          This is how the university operated. A mafia of professors are gate-keepers to professorships. Suck up to them for things to go right for you. There is reward for playing the game.

          For example, Circular 838 determines promotion to Senior Professor. It came into force on 1 Feb. 2004 and abolished all previous circulars. It required 8 years at the rank of professor to become a senior professor. At that time this Prof. Sivsegaram without the eight years as professor was made senior professor. Before that he had been a Research Associate, a professor’s assistant, at Imperial College and not at any teaching rank. But then, he was about to retire and had played the game. The Mafia determined that a reward was in order.He became Senior Professor.

          And now this same Sivasegaram is on the University of Jaffna Council in charge of the Grievance Committee which looks into violations of rules in appointments! Is it a case of “Set a thief to catch a thief?” He should investigate first his own appointment – while on the Jaffna Council as an EXTERNAL MEMBER – allegedly as a paid Visiting Lecturer in Engineering at that same university.

          Outsiders worship us academics little realizing that we are the biggest cheats in Sri Lanka. I hope Minister Kriella understands how we function and quickly reappoints the USAB so that academics have redress for their grievances through independent judges.

          • 0
            0

            Former Peradeniya Senator, You are absolutely correct! What you have mentioned are only few cases in the University system. People you have mentioned are hypocrites. You forgot to mention names of several other people who really tampered the senior professor circular to benefit them. He was a dean and a UGC commission member from Engineering Faculty. Entire old clan who did not have enough credits even to become a Professor got promotion to Senior Professor. There are retired senior professors who are not eligible to become emeritus professors. What a shame! Sivasegaram is one such senior professor. This is because they could not tamper the emeritus professor circular. Now that this bogus senior professor circular has been removed and a new tough one has been introduced. Therefore all those senior professors should be re-evaluated and put at the right place. Or else those senior professors should voluntarily give up their bogus positions.

          • 0
            0

            Senator, you are giving too much credit to Sivasegaram in saying he was a Research Associate at Imperial College. He was not.

            He was but a Post-Doc for 15years at Imperial College. When Sivasegaram’s PhD supervisor Whitelaw died in 2006, his Biographical Memoir was published listing Sivasegaram as his postdoc for 15 years.

            I just hope this experience was not used to show professorial experience to become senior professorship.

            At Jaffna it is not “set a thief to catch a thief.” It is using a thief to get advice on hiding illegal activities and giving reasons for avoiding inquiries demanded by those like me.

            • 0
              0

              What is the difference between research associate and postdoc?

              • 0
                0

                This sad example shows how expatriates return home and make exaggerated claims about their experience abroad.

                My experience is that a Research Fellow has more independence and the university assumes greater responsibility for the appointment. On the other hand, I have seen a post-doc appointmtent letter with the phrase “You are employed at will” — meaning he could be sacked without cause.

                Here is what Reginald L. Bell of Prairie View A&M University says about the difference (although most Research Associates I have engaged were approved with limited term contracts):

                “A Research Associate is a budgeted position with a formal job description that is perpetual in an academic institution. A Research Fellow, on the other hand, is a limited-term appointment that is normally funded by an endowment or research grant from a state, federal or private company.

                “Although both will engage in research activities, the Fellow is normally paired to a senior scholar whose work he or she will assist. The Research Associate, on the other hand, will normally work in a department and be available to offer research assistance (consultancy help) to a number of faculty and graduate students needing assistance with technical aspects of their research.”

                A post-doc is often a continuing doctoral student after graduation and by definition has a PhD. degree. A Research Associate, also usually with a doctorate, could also have only an M.Sc. degree but greater respectability as an independent person. For example, one M.S. research associate I know was a high level transportation official who was engaged after retirement as in independent Research Associate to work with faculty and write research grant proposals.

          • 0
            0

            FPS
            A senate can nominate only from among its professors to a selection board for professor.

            You said:
            “Outsiders worship us academics little realizing that we are the biggest cheats in Sri Lanka.”
            Thank you for the confession. But just speak for yourself

  • 1
    1

    In reply to Plato above (May 28, 2016 at 9:26 pm)

    You speak of Hoole’s talents? Here is what President Sirisena announced in Parliament last September 1:

    Now that we have laid the foundation for the new political culture in our country which the general public and local scholars and intellectuals, as well as those who are abroad anticipated. I request Sri Lankan intellectuals dispersed around the country and abroad to use your expertise and skills to develop the motherland in this consensual political environment. My Government will establish a special bureau under my directive to coordinate the expatriate Sri Lankans who wish to return to the motherland and we will offer a red carpet welcome to them. I would like remind them that now it is time for us to work in unity for the betterment of the country, casting side political differences.

    There are thousands of us with talent abroad. We all (except Hoole of course)knew it was a stunt speech. We stayed abroad. What do you then say of Hoole, the only one out of thousands of us, who does not understand the realities of political stunts?

    Hoole is an idealist and I admire him for that. But his talents are seriously lacking in recognizing the realities of life and the self-serving double-speak of Sri lankan politicians.

  • 0
    0

    Danton

    “There are thousands of us with talent abroad. We all (except Hoole of course)knew it was a stunt speech. We stayed abroad. What do you then say of Hoole, the only one out of thousands of us, who does not understand the realities of political stunts? “

    “Hoole is an idealist and I admire him for that. But his talents are seriously lacking in recognizing the realities of life and the self-serving double-speak of Sri lankan politicians.”

    You certainly hit the nail on the head. What Hoole did not realize is that the locals, entrenched, will not allow his return, because he is a threat to them. It is like this. A man has multiple wives, say a Muslim or a Mormon. When the man brings in a beautiful and young new wife, all the existing wives, gang against the new young and beautiful wife. This happened to Prophet Mohamed as well. Even, the Prophets’s are not except.

    They say, love is blind, They also say patriotism is blind. They, the politicians and military men, use patriotism of the populace, to make sacrifices, for the “country” but mostly for them. If they will not do it voluntarily, they introduce a draft. Mostly the poor get caught in the draft and die.

  • 2
    1

    People never say or accept professorships given by the respective Universities. Most are fakes like USAB given. Therefore check first he or she has earned PhD from the world top 100 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. If these criteria satisfy say PROFESSOR.

  • 0
    0

    Are you not tired of dishing out the same tripe day in day out?

    • 1
      0

      Seems like you are fake professor eating poor tax payers money. That is why so much pain for the truth. Do not worry this is the way of creating social change.

    • 0
      0

      F
      Carry on regardless.
      I do not want to deprive you of your daily staple.

  • 0
    0

    Deutsch Engineer above has quoted the Gita to say that we low castes were created low castes with bad qualities and that high castes have good qualities.

    Now Peradeniya Senator says that Prof. Sivasegaram became a senior professor without the required 8 years as professor.

    Prof. Sivasegaram is said to be a high Vellala from Trincomalee married into the high Vellala Sivapragasapillai family.

    If Peradeniya Senator is correct, then Sivasegaram is a thief because he drew public money as a Senior Professor when he did not deserve it.

    This means that either:

    a) Deutsch Engineers with his Gita is wrong and there is no quality difference between castes. We all have our share of crooks, liars, murderers and so on.

    Or

    b) Prof. Sivasegaram is really not of a high caste with good qualities.

    May I suggest that it is Case a) and that Prof. Sivasegaram who preaches a lot to others should return to the government all the salary he overdrew and thereby misappropriated..

  • 0
    0

    Jaffna Low Caste.

    Very interesting; A very logical mind; I had to read it twice[Repeat!] to catch it.Boolean Algebra and Probability eh?

    If a referendum is held strictly amongst his students over the past 30-40 years say,answers to your questions could be had.

  • 0
    0

    FUTA: Federation of University Teachers’ Associations

    Is FUTA interested in raising issues like justice and academic freedom for which the USAB is important?

    Or is FUTA interested only in bread and butter issues like first year admissions for children, car permits and salaries?

    The answer will define the ethos of our universities. Please take a stand.

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