Namal Rajapaksa, eldest son of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament, and heir apparent has registered and commenced work for his PhD with Sri Jayawardenepura University, without required academic qualifications, the Colombo Telegraph learns.
He is conducting his doctoral research on a subject based on politics and criminology, university sources confirmed.
Namal Rajapaksa has sat for a specially arranged MAQ exam to qualify for the PhD, according to the sources. The arrangement will raise further questions over the scandal of receiving favoured treatment by the authorities at the Sri Lanka Law College at his attorneys-at-law final examinations. A fellow law student, Thushara Jayarathna, alleged that Rajapaksa had been given a separate room along with an internet enabled computer, later filing a complaint with the Law College examination system, Keselwaththa police station and the Supreme Court.
One of the supervisors for his research is the Vice Chancellor of the University himself who is seeking an extension for his post. The other supervisor is the head of the criminology department of the university. Both are tipped to be eyeing for top posts of the university system, sources said.
University sources confirmed that the young MP had already completed one of the requirements to the thesis, which is presenting a seminar paper. There have been claims that parts of Rajapaksa’s presentation was ghost-written.
“To be fair by the candidate, he performed well at the seminar presentation,” a senior academic told Colombo Telegraph. “Certainly he has plenty of people to support him in all aspects of the PhD work,” he added.
However, some academic staff members of the university question his academic requirements to be qualified for a PhD. Their concern is about his basic degree and it’s required credits.
Rajapaksa was educated at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. After school Rajapaksa joined Cardiff University to study law. He then went to City University London from where he graduated in September 2009 with a third-class degree law degree.
The son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, in 2002 paid a tutor over £4,000 a month for tutoring and “essays and working papers”.
According to the newspaper reports, Colonel Gaddafi’s son was given help with his ‘dodgy’ PhD thesis by Britain’s ambassador to the United States.
The London School of Economics’s director, Sir Howard Davies, resigned in March, 2011 over a £1.5m gift from a foundation led by Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif.