16 June, 2019

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Politicization Continues: FUTA Condemns Sacking Anuruddha Pradeep

“Politicization, loss of academic freedom and autonomy are grave threats faced by the university community currently. The latest victim of this malaise is Mr Anuruddha Pradeep, Probationary Lecturer from the Department of Political Science, Sri Jayawardenapura University. Mr Anuruddha Pradeep has been an outspoken critique of current government policy on education. His forthright and often piercing criticism on how universities are managed, how funding for education has been systematically reduced and the loss of academic freedom has irked many, including the Minister of Higher Education.” says the FUTA.

Anuruddha Pradeep

Issuing a statement its General Secretary Dr. Rohan Fernando says; “Though Mr. Anuruddha Pradeep had already submitted his thesis to the relevant institution, which highlights the fact that he has almost completed his requirements for permanency, we have reliably learned that the university authorities, through the politicized University Council (majority of the members of the University Council are appointed by the Minister of Higher Education) have taken an irrational decision to terminate his services.”

We publish below the FUTA statement in full;

Termination of Mr. Anuruddha Pradeep Karnasooriya –Lecturer (Probationary) at University of Sri Jayawardenapura

Politicization, loss of academic freedom and autonomy are grave threats faced by the university community currently. The latest victim of this malaise is Mr Anuruddha Pradeep, Probationary Lecturer from the Department of Political Science, Sri Jayawardenapura University. Mr Anuruddha Pradeep has been an outspoken critique of current government policy on education. His forthright and often piercing criticism on how universities are managed, how funding for education has been systematically reduced and the loss of academic freedom has irked many, including the Minister of Higher Education.

The normal procedure to get confirmed in the job for young university academics is to obtain certain qualifications (postgraduate degrees like M.Phil., M. A. or Ph.D) within a stipulated amount of time (8 years since joining the University in the position of a probationary lecturer). If the probationary period comes to an end while the thesis had been submitted but the result have not been released, it is customary to place the individual concerned within the ‘temporary’ position until such time that the results are released and once the results are released the appointment is backdated to the date of submission of the master thesis. There are many in the system currently, including those at the top most rung of university administration who have benefited from this practice.

Though Mr. Anuruddha Pradeep had already submitted his thesis to the relevant institution, which highlights the fact that he has almost completed his requirements for permanency, we have reliably learned that the university authorities, through the politicized University Council (majority of the members of the University Council are appointed by the Minister of Higher Education) have taken an irrational decision to terminate his services. In fact, we have learned that the council was wrongly informed, purposely or mistakenly of the actual date of submission of the thesis. While the actual date of submission of the thesis was 1st of March 2013, which was before due date, the date which had been informed to the council was 20th March 2013. This clearly shows that the termination of Mr Anuruddhap Pradeep was malicious or was based on wrong information. We believe Mr Anuruddha Pradeep was terminated for his outspoken critique of government policy.

Currently, the government is considering absorbing the services of even people who have left the country, many of whom who have vacated their position in the university system. It is in this backdrop that one needs to examine the vile duplicity and the malicious intent of this Minister. This is how teachers who have opted to stay on and serve the country, are treated. This is one of the reasons many university teachers have left the country in the first place. We understand that pressure was brought upon the University Council by those in responsible positions in the government. It is extremely disappointing that the Council succumbed to such pressure. Such Councils have shown themselves unable to defend two fundamental principles on which universities are founded: autonomy and academic freedom.

FUTA in several recent press releases highlighted the importance of university autonomy and academic freedom to the stature of universities. This incident yet again reiterates the despicable situation of governance the university system is subjected to. In fact, we have reports from several other universities of similar incidents, especially in the North and East. Academics in some universities have been systematically silenced so much so that many are afraid to even speak out
openly when they are harassed and intimidated.

We call upon the administration and management of universities to resist political pressure and to work in the best interests of the institution. We urge the management to apply rules fairly and consistently to all and to desist from punishing young academics who challenge the status quo.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Rohan Fernando
General Secretary/FUTA

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Awaadiyaw, Awadiyaw! Awadiyaw!

    Wake Up, Wake Wake Up Wake Up.

    If you do not do it now, the Mara Mafiosos will pick you, one by one.

    Read

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came

    “First they came…” is a famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the sloth of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. There is some disagreement over the exact wording of the quotation and when it was created; the content of the quotation may have been presented differently by Niemöller on different occasions.[1]

    According to the Martin-Niemöller-Foundation the text is as follows:[2]
    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lankan Universities full of jokers. They give senior lecturer position for part time two year MBA degrees. Part time two years means full time one year. Then you can imagine quality of University Lecturers. More than 90% profs do not have PhDs or any single publication in international journals. Some dept are family and sex trees. Recheck qualifications and exposed Sri Lankan University Profs. All of them are fakes eating poor tax payers money covering to wrong titles. Take Moratuwa University 67% deans do not have PhDs (IT and Archi. deans) and 99% profs are getting profs positions publishing in IESL journals they run and it is no where indexed or listed. PIM J’Pra profs do not have even first degree. Why government not checking all these and sacking these fake profs. Regional Universities case is worse. Colombo, Ruhuna, Sabaragamuwa and Rajarata…etc utter hell.

    • 0
      0

      Not having a phd is not their problem. Not doing publications in international journals is also not their problem. This is Sri Lanka. Are comparing Sri Lankan universities with Harvard? University lectures also were student in one of those Sri Lankan universities. So they have the same background as any other typical university student. If you say 95% professors dont have PhDs and international publications, there must be something wrong. Why do you think that you must publish in international journals? They are not necessarily good. I think you need some university education.

  • 0
    0

    FUTA, there is problem.If all the students and the teachers of the Jayawardenapura get together and punish the VC.This joke had been going on since 2000.with Gairuk joker. It is high time the students and the staff get together and punish the VC. Strip him naked and carry him on a small tractor. carry at least 10 canes to beat him.

  • 0
    0

    Even decades ago, University lecturers were appointed on the basis of political affiliation. Even at present, some lecturers are working either because of the political pull or simply the head of the department wanted it that way.

    Now, politicians do it their way.

    So, the people with general degrees (three year degree) become lecturers, professors and vice chancellors.

    Who knows it might work.

  • 0
    0

    Just go to hell all the people in Sri Lanka and privatize the university.

    Politicians children who completed HOME SCIENCE, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE OR SOCIAL SCIENCES may end up in the Medical Faculty because they studied sciences.

    Other students when they see the quality of the teaching they may start leaving in larger numbers, far more than the numbers that are leaving the country today.

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