21 April, 2024


Life Is Full Of Ironies

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

The Editor

Colombo Telegraph

I noticed in your columns the denial by Dr Wickrema Weerasooria of my recollections of our conversation regarding University Councils.

It took place on April 19th 2002 at the Eden Hotel, at a Conference of Ministry Secretaries to which I had been invited, as had also Dr Weerasooria who had been appointed by the then Government to advise both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Higher Education. Kabir Hashim was then non-Cabinet Minister at the latter. I checked on details with Dhara Wijeyatilaka who was then Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, and had taken me down in her car. She recalls Dr Weerasooriya approaching us, though she does not recall details of the conversation.

One reason for his approaching me was to ask for names for the Sabaragamuwa University Council. He explained that they usually asked Vice-Chancellors in the more distant universities for names, since they at the Ministry were not familiar with eligible people in the regions.

The main point however that Dr Weerasooria made was that they would have to remove my then Vice-Chancellor, Prof I K Perera. The reason he gave was that Prof Perera had signed a petition of support for President Kumaratunga’s government at the last General Election. When I said this was unfair, he asked whether I had also signed that petition.
I recall being irritated by this, and saying that I did not do such things but he had evidently forgotten that it was the Jayewardene government he had served that had initiated that practice, of getting academics to place advertisements in newspapers.

Dr Weerasooria may not remember all the details of this conversation, but I am sure he has not forgotten the animus against Prof Perera, a man of tremendous financial integriy. He was trying to clear up the mess at Sabaragamuwa where enormous sums had been expended on constructions, sometimes using funds given by government for recurrent expenditure. The previous Vice Chancellor had claimed to be close to Mr S B Dissanayake, who was then of course a member of that UNP government.

I have been told that in 2002 also Mr Hashim had asked the Chairman of the then University Grants Commission, Prof Ranjit Mendis, to resign, and he had complied, but the then President had not accepted his resignation.

Life is full of ironies.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Is this the same Kabir who made Rajive sack himself, for not being able to help a good person at the UGC?.

    Muslims ruled then, and they do now with even more vigour to sack the Sinhala Buddhists.

    And the cousin tells Rajive to do some reading home work..

    Can understand that because it was Kabirs and Hassans who made Ranil the PM..

    Totally agree mate,,life sucks even at the Elite and the Anglican circles nowadays if you are not halal…….

    • 7

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Muslims ruled then, and they do now with even more vigour to sack the Sinhala Buddhists”

      Akbar was a Muslim and an illiterate. He was able to recite many long Persian and other poems and was able to beautifully comment on them.

      Somehow you learnt to read and write and yet you remain stupid.

      Has “Literacy” damaged your brain or are you endowed with stupid racist gene, from Thamil Nadu?

      • 1

        Our friend Aathal Sumane typifies the saying: “When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead. It is difficult only for others. It is the same when you are stupid.”

        Sigh! CT readers will have to suffer his stupidity a bit longer….poor Sumane.

        • 2

          Is this the same sumaney that made an astrological prediction that MaRa would DEFINITELY win the election. LOL

          • 0

            Oh no!.
            I Assume this our L S D Mahendran paala
            give public entertainment on behalf of Jarapassas.

            This Called ” Even you put a Dog’s tail in side a Bamboo , It will never Become Straight”.
            Baluvalige Unababoo kote demmath, Kelin karanna Behe”.

    • 1


      Muslims and pigs hate each other. Enough said.

      Do you get it?

    • 2

      Dear Mr Sumanasekera,

      Your continued racist remarks are unwelcome in these enlightened times. This has been pointed out before, but to no avail. Some refuse to be enlightened.

      I think the Prime Minister no less, has indicated zero tolerance towards news-media that allows the spread of racial hatred. While Colombo Telegraph offers a terrific opportunity for diverse views to be expressed (better than any other), I think the time is right for their editorial staff and management to step in and put an end to the dissemination of racial hatred (and religious intolerence) through its valued website.

  • 5

    We know you and Dhara are first cousins! Therefore her input cannot be counted. Anyway she has not corroborated your stand. It is all hearsay!
    it is best for you to be a permanent author to CT while we will keep on writing! It is good for everyone that you are no longer a state minister!

    what was the process you were appointed as a senior professor? Was it the same way Kumara Hirumburegama was appointed by the wife????

    • 4

      He is well connected isn’t he ! He is first cousins with Ranil too !

  • 3

    It sucks the crazy racist card being played in the field of defeat. Get a good example of Mahinda!
    It’s sickening to see dirty comments to fuel more fire!!!

  • 6

    K a sumanasekera,

    Please do not bring race into these arguements. How dare you say Kabirs and Hassans made Ranil – aren’t they also belong to this country?

  • 1

    This guy has glorified the rape of shivering Tamil girls saying military personal told Greek stories to these girls in the midnight …a war criminal indeed..

  • 3

    Kabir Hassim demands the Parliamentary Elections in April as Ranil, Ranawaka and Sirisena promised in their manifesto…

    Kabir says he will mobilize the masses if the April deadline is not met.

    I thought his Boss , Rajiva’s cousin was in charge and Ranil can call elections anytime by resigning from the rogue PM post.

    Is Siripala waiting for Ranil to resign?.

    I mean Siripala can sack Ranil anytime with his 125 SLFP MPs .

    And hang in there for 16 months or so. with the PM job.

    Hoping thate things will settle and the 5.8 Million will tick the box for him and the Madam .

    Sira couldn’t careless less because he has full 6 years of good life for him and his extended family.

    Rajiva is not dumb.. May be he realized that he made a boo boo and stuffed up the little what ever the great majority achieved in jobs, development , infrastructure and last but not least to live on equal terms in any part of the Island.

  • 2

    Hmm. Why is it that all these bigwigs seem to be related to each other???? Isn’t nepotism one of the accusations levelled against the Rajapakses?

    What’s good for the goose is apparently not good for the gander!

    No wonder Sri Lanka is going to hell in a hand basket!

  • 0

    Many of us thought that a modest cabinet posting would keep Professori busy doing some real work, and would spare us his interminable missives; fat hope! Like his bosom buddy DJ, he continues to bombard the media with whatever he thinks will grab our attention.

    This is the irony with old writers; they never die, they just scribble on.

    • 0

      May I complete your last sentence kakka (for you are no koha!)?

      “This is the irony with old writers; they never die, they just scribble on, like me who got kicked out last week from the last refuge, the Sunday Times too”.

  • 0

    Please,enough of this Vidhvathunge BullShit,just get on with bringing the country back to the 21st century.That is what the Facebook children(LAMAI)!!! want.

  • 0

    One cannot be too liberal when it comes to framing national policies for university education in Sri Lanka, especially with national universities. My suggestion to Prof. RW is to get some uni students who like his liberal perspectives, to establish branches of the Liberal Party at universities. At least there will be some voters.

  • 1

    This is really the terrible situation of this country, where true professionals have no voice.
    Everybody forgot who accompanied with My3 to establish this system. Then, please try to understand Prof.RW’s contribution to the progress of the Savaragamuwa University, where students who did not come with English for their A/Ls given the opportunities to get a degree with English.
    Also, his initiation to introduce external degree in English for the students who have not done English for their A/Ls at the Uni. of J’pura.
    Truly RW is the only one in this cabinet who doesn’t want anything from his political career.
    Ple. refer to the cabinet papers he submitted to the President before he left the office, which is available @ http://www.mohe.gov.lk/index.php/en/scholaships-2/minister-s-reports

    finally, SL lost the opportunity to make use the skills of a great scholar with conceptualization skills and the commitments to implement them.
    This is a great lost to the higher educational system of SL not for the cheap, short term goal oriented politicians.

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