23 May, 2022


Ridiculous Arguments Of SB Display The Bankruptcy Of Mahinda Regime

By Vickramabahu Karunaratne –

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

FUTA protest march was a success. Its success could be measured from the hate generated in the government camp. Minister SB said “we do not intend to look at FUTA as our foe. But for example, take the foreign countries that were visited lately by Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri.  He is a second grade junior lecturer on History. In the recent past he toured Oslo and the US. Who provided the air tickets for his sojourns overseas? Even Kumar Rupasinghe has joined them now. He has publicly stated that the FUTA strike has the makings of an Arab Spring that will emerge in the future. But that guy is nothing but a knucklehead who is unable to understand that this is not Arabia but Sri Lanka and that there is no scope or room for such springs to take root in this part of the globe. No doubt there are scores of NGOs behind the FUTA strike. They have also been supported by the UNP, JVP and Sarath Fonseka as well. They have also cleverly got around the breakaway faction of the JVP, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) towards this endeavour. I must say that Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri is nothing but a mentally sick and ill person. He has publicly ridiculed our esteemed King Dutugemunu and he has also publicly clamoured to get same-sex marriages legalized here as well. It has been alleged that in the past, he has even crowed from the rooftops to get Eelam for the Tamil people in the North-East.

Dewasiri has also allegedly gone to India with the EPRLF and obtained training in arms as well. He does not understand who the genuine university lecturers are. He continues to grope in the dark. The genuine university lecturers are now beginning to understand who the FUTA chief really is. That is one reason why the FUTA strike is now showing signs of coming apart at the seams.” All these words said, do not bring FUTA or Nirmal into disrepute; but goes a long way to reduce further the deteriorating image of the minister himself. I have never heard of a category of lecturers named – second grade junior lecturer. I joined the staff of Peradeniya Engineering faculty in 1966 as an assistant lecturer. Then I was promoted to lecturer grade in 1970 when I came back from Cambridge with a PhD. At the time I was interdicted in 1978, I was a senior lecturer. Next title awaiting me was assistant professor which was earlier referred to as Reader. These are the categories of university lecturers at the time. I never heard of this category that SB refers to. I am sure he is wrong and he needs to apologize to Nirmal who is in my estimate a profound academic in his field. Also I must add that History is not as marginal a subject as SB assumes. EH Carr, the great historian said in his famous lecture ‘what is history’-  “When we attempt to answer the question ‘What is history?’ our answer, consciously or unconsciously, reflects our own position in time, and forms part of our answer to the broader question what view we take of the society in which we live. I have no fear that my subject may, on closer inspection, seem trivial. I am afraid only that I may seem presumptuous to have broached a question so vast and so important.”

SB must remember what happened in Arabia, happened in Lanka way back in the history; when we marched to Kataragama with Mahinda and participated in many mass actions, which finally brought the down fall of the last UNP regime. It can happen again perhaps more virulently. When SB says that Frontline Socialist party was cleverly trapped into this protest, he displays his ignorance as to what is happening in higher education sector. In fact the government paper, Sunday Observer reported “The JVP did not have much say in the Inter University Student Federation, better known as Anthare, protest march that proceeded from Kandy to Colombo in support of the dons. It was the JVP’s second breakaway group – The Peratugaami (Progressive Front), which secured control of the student protest from Kandy. In contrast to the FUTA protest march, the Peratugaami student leaders holding power at Anthare were clever enough not to entertain any of the opportunist politicians in the Opposition in their protest march, not even the JVP leaders. Hence, JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake was seen taking shelter at the FUTA protest to mark their political presence.” Here we can disagree with the opinion but facts are correct.

Nirmal never ridiculed historic figures; he only ridiculed mentally sick politicians who try to reenact stories of Mahawansa in the modern world. If Nirmal stands for same sex marriages he is with great intellectuals world over. If he has gone to the EPRLF for training, then he must have gone through the United Socialist Alliance headed by Chandrika. ; Because EPRLF was in a common front with us at that time. We all got training in Vanni jungles to save our selves from the DJV attacks. In fact the leader of the Independent Student Union, Daya Pathirana was killed by the DJV. So it was perfectly correct to learn to defend one self.  As far as I know Nirmal always stood for a United Lanka based on devolution of power. Any sensible person who expects a united Lanka should hold that view. There is no other way out.

Ridiculous arguments of SB display the bankruptcy of Mahinda regime. They have forgotten their past and what they were campaigning for at that time. The government media has made special attacks mentioning my name. I am happy to think that the NSSP intervention got such recognition. One repot said “Though Sajith even had his usual same team which whistles and cheers each time he comes on a political platform, Fonseka and Vickremabahu appeared to be isolated. On-the-spot reports said Vickremabahu, who tarnished Sri Lanka’s image at the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year, had only three supporters with him while Fonseka had only his security guards, that too provided by the Government as a former Army Commander.” It added “The FUTA protest march which was followed by a rally in Colombo was used as gathering points for anti-government elements and political parties while UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith Premadasa, Sarath Fonseka, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, Vijitha Herath and Vickremabahu Karunarathne were seen voicing for their political survival.” No, we were all voicing for the end of this chauvinist dictatorship!

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    Start with the premise that we cannot use an argument made by SB as a marker for discussion. He is not relevant. In an absolute autocracy only the words (actually his words are worthless) or deeds of the President matter and he is hiding behind skirts not facing reality as it will make him look stupid in the eyes of the people, something his ego will not permit. Therefore until the people of Sri Lanka realize the facts and do something collectively about it, this arrogance, and therefore the level and depths to which public education in this context has fallen will not be resurrected.

    There is a simple answer to all the problems facing Sri Lanka. Try to make the people understand who is leading them down the precipice and who can help them rise from the ashes! only then will we progress.

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    Going through Bahu’s analysis apparently he is fully opposed to both SB and his actions. I personally respect Bahu as he is well qualified engineer who is having excellent knowledge on Engineering Mathematics. However can anyone accept and respect his political behavior? (without seen through politically coloured spectacles). Actually we can’t.
    Can we say any single value added service he rendered to the nation by doing politics? Instead we can see his presence in any protest campaign against prevailing governments. He is ONLY an ‘anti-government’ personality. Sometime he can say; as he believes socialist movement he against all democratic governments. As more than 90% people are in SL believe democratic system his thoughts are representing less than even 0.5% people and that is why he became just a conceptualist. In fact SB is very much ahead than Bahu and he is a practical man.

    Issues confronted with Higher Education Minister (UNP or UPFA) –
    Regardless of the democratic government (UNP, UPFA) governs, they shall face thee types of ‘Mafias’ that are firmly routed in the University system in SL, i.e. IUSF, IU Non-Academics and lethargic Lecturers who resist enhancement of the system. IUSF is the biggest resisting force not allowing for any change because they are the other side of the coin of JVP. As JVP breed their political seeds shielding to legal protection enforced (even police cannot easily entered) in the university system unlike other organizations. This protection is being fully misusing by the JVP while carrying out all illegal and political activities. Ragging 1st year students, creating a severe mental and physical assault on them is a key strategy of acquiring fresh members to their movement. Further, they keep students under frustrated and hopeless mentality without allowing upgrading the syllabuses, enhancing English knowledge, using new technology …etc to create favourable environment for them. As this situation is totally opposite in the medical faculties …etc, JVP had ailed to control them. Thus JVP will never allow changing this system in favor of either students or the country.

    If any Minister is safe if he/she allows continuing said environment without going head-on. But did SB allows? SB became an enemy of them.
    SB’s role- As SB is in the process of preventing rags and conducting leadership training program (like for members in the private companies)…etc, he became a ‘massive threat’ to JVP. Therefore IUSF Mafia (JVP) is fully against SB and waiting until he leaves from the ministry.
    FUTA – I am not going to say whether they have links with INGOs …etc or not. However I should say they have not done their KEY duty as lectures. As lectures they SHALL periodically carryout researches, publishing articles ..etc in order to maintain their knowledge and maintain the standards of the University system. In abroad (UK, USA), authorities are yearly following (appraisal) their activities to see whether they are up to required standards. This is valid for MBBS doctors in the NHS (National Health Services) in UK as well. For said continuous studies, they offer special ‘marking scheme’ which will decide their salary increments, promotions, positions….etc. Do we have such system? Are individuals enhancing their knowledge? Actually ‘NO’……. That is why they are not up to required standard as lecturers. That is ONE of the KEY reasons our standards of the Universities gone down. Now more than 90% lectures are like teaches in the school (Conducting classes, labs, preparing papers and correcting them). This is basic duty and 50% of the total duty of lectures. With their said knowledge they cannot work in abroad because well behind against he standards.

    In the circumstances; Do they a special category of people in our society? Can they demand for higher wages and perks? Most of the senior lecturers (Professes) recruit their favourite buddies than real talented people. Thus most of the well-educated and talented people are serving outside the universities. Even in Medicines qualified and talented (MD and MS qualified) doctors are working in hospitals.
    Solution for Salary : I suggest government to introduce a proper ‘Salary Equation’ with a Marking Scheme for all lecturers by including their mandatory activities periodically to be done such as continuous studies, Researches, publishing articles …etc. If any lecturer who is on par with said equation he/she should be given the salary hike otherwise shouldn’t. I believe less than 10% will be eligible for that according present situation. Giving suitable people are acceptable but for others; no reason. This method is very reasonable for all because it is based on their required performances.

    As I explained above, there are superb brains available outside to the university system, meeting FUTA’s demands on a platter would create another issue subsequently in other sectors (Medical …etc). Whatever said and done we should change the university system for betterment of the country. SB is one of the able men among 225 parliamentarians to lead. Without going head-on against manipulators (IUSF, FUTA…) in the system nobody can change this system. In fact Bahu’s points are inapplicable. This is another war for any government to be won.

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