20 November, 2017

Saving Jaffna’s Whistleblower & Setting An Example For The NPC

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Whistleblowing comes from a game referee blowing the whistle to call attention to a foul. In administration, it refers to an employee calling the attention of those outside to internal wrongdoings.

I am an electrical engineer. Our professional body, the IEEE, in its ethics guidelines advises us to whistle-blow but does not make it mandatory because those who do whistle-blow almost invariably suffer career setbacks including loss of job.

In Sri Lanka I pioneered a discussion on whistleblowing through a seminar at the SLAAS, where eminent jurists and administrators endorsed whistleblowing. In my ICES-published edited volume Enforcing Human Rights: Towards an Egalitarian Sri Lanka, the late Justice Mark Fernando, wrote a chapter “Is Whistle Blowing an Exercise of a Fundamental Right to Freedom from Corruption?” He answers this question in the affirmative in his summary:

It can therefore be argued that the Constitution recognises the fundamental right to freedom from corruption and malpractice, and the fundamental right and the fundamental duty to expose corruption and malpractice; that the Constitution also provides extensive mechanisms for the investigation of allegations of corruption and malpractice in further recognition of that right and that duty, consistent with an intention to encourage and protect those who invoke those remedies, and penalizing bona fide exposure of corruption or malpractice would be a denial of the protection of the law guaranteed by Article 12(1).

Justice Fernando urged professional bodies to include provisions for whistleblowing in their ethics codes but nothing has been done. I was charge-sheeted at Peradeniya for exposing corruption but was saved only when the Court of Appeal threw out the charges, ordered my promotion and confirmation, and fined the university Rs. 50,000 payable to me.

However, outdated provisions of the Establishments Code prohibiting writing of a Vice Chancellor’s corruption without first getting his permission, remain in force. The same VC for whose actions the university was fined, had Rs. 500,000 deducted from his provident fund based on the government Auditor General’s report. Strangely, he was never punished. It is a good deal. If you are caught stealing, put the money back. Otherwise, you get to keep it. The man was appointed under Good Governance as Chairman, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. This is the impunity enjoyed by corrupt administrators. Whistleblowers have their careers derailed and their actions really change little.

Jaffna’s New Problems

In the North, as we struggle to show that we can manage our own affairs, all indications are that Tamil administrations are not up to it. Jaffna University was morally bankrupt and the NPC too is sullied. Religious fanaticism is on the rise. Wells around the Chunnakam power station are contaminated with oil with NPC helping coverup. I saw the oil everywhere on the ground as a trainee at Chunnakam as long back as in 1973/74. During the war years, a private contractor Chunnakam Northern Power Plant (NPP) owned by Walkers took over. Now there is oil visible to the naked oil in the wells.

Credible accusations abound that NPP dumped oil into the ground water to save on the cost of responsible disposal. The accusation gets more credible when reports are issued claiming no contamination when the discoloration and smell are obvious to our senses. A former Assistant Government Analyst says there are simple tests to prove contamination, but these were not employed.

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) discussed the matter early in 2014. There was general agreement, based on reports by the Water Supply and Drainage Board (the only agency to my knowledge with gazetted laboratory skills on the subject) that the well-water was polluted and no water within an 8 km radius of the Chunnakam Power Plant was fit for drinking. Then strangely, the NPC backtracked.

Suspicions of criminal responsibility were heightened when people with high qualifications but not in the relevant field were hired by the NPC to issue a report. Usually experts for this task on water quality would be expected to be analytical chemists, chemical engineers or water engineers. But as cited in a Hiru news report dated 22.03.2015, they were Dr. K. Valayuthamoorthy (an inorganic chemist from Jaffna), Dr. Nalina Gnanavelrajah (a Jaffna agriculture chemist specializing in land-use), Dr. A. Atputharajah (an electrical engineer) and Dr. T. Jeyasingam (a botanist from Eastern University and now its VC). Others say Dr CN Nachchinatkiniyan from Jaffna’s Community Medicine, Prof SA Nobert a geographer from Colombo, Prof SB Weerakoon a Peradeniya hydrologist, Prof RVK Piyadasa, Dr S Raveentran were also members but left out by Hiru. Only Wijekoon, if he was involved, comes closest to having the expertise. The actual report is being suppressed. Only a 4-page summary has been made available without names.

If the NPC was truly looking for answers why did they hire experts with irrelevant expertise? Worse, Dr. Atputharajah has been a CEB consultant which contracted the work to NPP. He not only lacked the required expertise but had a clear conflict of interest. Avoiding the simple tests available, expensive and sophisticated machines were acquired after long delays to issue a report in March 2015 that there are no “dangerous pollutants” when the real issue was oil. Were they bluffing for their pay-master?

However, civil society was engaged by then. First, a conference on “Oil Pollution of Ground Water in the Jaffna Region” was jointly held in Feb. 2015 by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and Jaffna Managers’ Forum. Then another by the Sri Lanka Medical Association with Jaffna Medical Association on 14.03.2015, in Jaffna. This was chaired by Prof. Jennifer Perera, the SLMA President, with Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan, President, JMA.

Given the pollution, borrowing from the minutes of the meeting, the people who were collecting water “from the plastic tanks expressed their concern on the quality of water provided by bowsers. They also stated that there was a large “Oil Pond” next to the power plant which disappeared about two years before that meeting as a sub-station was erected on the original oil pond. Google maps have shown the presence of the oil pond and are considered adequate evidence for its earlier presence. It was widely believed that some deep boring was done to remove the oil and this may have led to the contamination of deep waters in aquifers.”

The matter went to court and the Mallakam Courts ruled about a month back, based on a new report by the Water Supply and Drainage Board, that folk within 1.3 km of the power plant should not drink well water and must be provided with alternatives. The reduction in radius from 8 to 1.3 km is because of ground water flowing out to sea while replenished by fresh rains.

Dr. S. Sivakumar

Dr. S. Sivakumar is an expert on irrigation and the Head of Jaffna’s Civil Engineering. He has been pointedly drawing the attention of the world to our water problems. He has produced a YouTube video where he subtly raises the question whether the so-called experts lent their names in exchange of consultancy fees to clear a company of wrong-doing.

Unfortunately for him, his boss, the Dean of the Engineering Faculty, is Dr. A. Atputharajah who while being a CEB consultant took on a task as a neutral expert, when in fact his expertise has nothing to do with water contamination. Atputharajah, despite being a Senior Member of the IEEE which encourages whistleblowing, has threatened to remove Sivakumar from his headship and has filed a charge for going public with the university’s Deans’ Committee.

Jaffna’s VC Protected by Communalist UGC

Till 28.04.2017, Jaffna’s VC Vasanthi Arasaratnam hired anyone she liked, leaving out those she did not. Visiting Professors were appointed lying in Council papers they were retired full professors in America. University Services Appeals Board’s directives were ignored. The cowed down council fell silent when she screamed at them. Tamils, it seemed, could not do anything right.

The UGC under Prof. Mohan de Silva, took a communalist policy endorsing the VC’s view that Christians have no place in the university and denigrating the unions’ charges against the VC as a Christian conspiracy. When orders of the USAB were not obeyed, the UGC chairman took the indefensible position that he has no powers to do anything when autonomous universities violated the Universities Act. When queried by the president, his written response after a year was untruthful. The UGC had become good for nothing and its role in regulating university administrations is defunct.

Hope in Vigneswaran

The new VC, Prof. Ratnam Vigneswaran appointed 28.04.2017, is someone who is known for his probity. He knows that if whistleblowers are charged for violations of the Establishments Code, corruption can never be stamped out. With him at the helm, the do-nothing UGC is unnecessary to ensure the rule of law at Jaffna University. The timely change of regimes will save Dr. Sivakumar. Tamils now have a chance to show that we can run our institutions well, despite the NPC’s bungling and attempts at coverup, and UGC communalism.

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  • 1
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    With him at the helm, the do-nothing UGC is unnecessary to ensure the rule of law at Jaffna University.

    Tamils now have a chance to show that we can run our institutions well, despite the NPC’s bungling and attempts at coverup, and UGC communalism.

    Above is how the article is ended.

    It is All about Tamil Tribalism, intolerance towards sinhala people (UGC), Tamil superiority complex, and christians wanting to dominate Hindus.

    In reality, Tamils are conservative people and, therefore, Only the Hindu tamils should be considered Tamil and not any one who look like Tamils or speak Tamil.

  • 5
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    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole———————————————————————
    RE: Saving Jaffna’s Whistleblower & Setting An Example For The NPC—————————————————————————-
    Thanks for the write up. —————————————————————————————–
    // In my ICES-published edited volume Enforcing Human Rights: Towards an Egalitarian Sri Lanka, the late Justice Mark Fernando, wrote a chapter “Is Whistle Blowing an Exercise of a Fundamental Right to Freedom from Corruption?” He answers this question in the affirmative in his summary://———————————————————————————
    //It can therefore be argued that the Constitution recognises the fundamental right to freedom from corruption and malpractice, and the fundamental right and the fundamental duty to expose corruption and malpractice; that the Constitution also provides extensive mechanisms for the investigation of allegations of corruption and malpractice in further recognition of that right and that duty, consistent with an intention to encourage and protect those who invoke those remedies, and penalizing bona fide exposure of corruption or malpractice would be a denial of the protection of the law guaranteed by Article 12(1).//——————————————————————————————————————
    Thanks. Without Whistle blowers, you won’t know!

  • 8
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    /Wells around the Chunnakam power station are contaminated with oil with NPC helping coverup. I saw the oil everywhere on the ground as a trainee at Chunnakam as long back as in 1973/74. /

    That is a good start Dr Jeevan Hoole.

    Dr. Hoole saw the oil everywhere in 1973/74. That is an interesting testimony. Why didn’t he take his whistle at the time to stop this nuisance then and there as an engineering student? Maybe, he was not aware of the issues related with dumping the oil like that as an EE student. But, he never raised this issue until this day! Whistle blower extraordinaire!!

    In the process, Dr Hoole has killed the case of the accusers who point fingers at Northern Power for all the ill. Northern Power argues that farmers complained about oil pollution well before they took the plant over. In a way, with all his credibility and ethics as an IEEE member, this very write-up maybe taken to Court by Northern Power in their compensation case to claim damages from Northern Province and the Government! Gee, thanks Dr. Hoole!

    /Now there is oil visible to the naked oil in the wells./

    Now? Dr. Hoole seems to be in full throttle to help the people of Jaffna for some time. Why doesn’t he organize some water sampling and analysis to prove that it is real petroleum/waste oil in the wells to help the people of Jaffna to prosecute the culprits?

    • 2
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      To be fair to the author, he is raising a pollution issue that has over recent years been a matter of urgent public concern, experts have been called in, reports have been produced and those in power have been misinforming or hiding from the public what they know about anticipated dangers. It is very different from a student trainee encountering an oil slick on the premises.

      In this country we have become habitually inured to the tremendous pollution we witness every day. It is in part because we feel helpless and do not know what to do or where to begin. In Jaffna, until the 1970s the practice of shramadana was alive and there were movements that could get people together and spend some hours cleaning up a place. Society is not the same today and it has become a high polluting one.

      The problem is well illustrated by an anecdote from an MNPC. Prime Minister Modi was coming to Jaffna and he told his Chief Minister that the roads were full of uncollected rubbish. The CM complained that the Indian Mission does not inform them on time about the routes they were taking. The MNPC asked the natural question, ‘Sir, why can’t we keep all the roads clean?’ That gives the problem in a nutshell. Even the CM feels intimidated by the task of getting the machinery under him to do its job. It is a reflection on the quality of administrators we produce, as well as our own individual indifference.

      It is when a major disaster looms that we and the systems wake up to some extent. But the kind of leadership to turn this occasional concern into lasting institutional effort is lacking. Whistle-blowers are necessary to wake us up and prod us on.

      • 0
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        I like to learn of the interest shown by various people who are now vociferous about the water pollution issue when it was a serious issue a few years ago……
        When the public of Jaffna rose in protest, not just the NPC but the TNA, its rival and many more avoided involvement.

  • 8
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    / Atputharajah has been a CEB consultant which contracted the work to NPP. /

    Really????? Dr. Atputharajah should respond to this. Did he work as a consultant for Northern Power?
    But, I read somewhere that the Expert Committee Report found that Northern Power polluted the premises, and soil and water in the area. If he were in the payroll of CEB or NPP, would he say that Northern Power polluted Chunnakam?

    • 2
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      Promo – Highlightsள். Full Discussion : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1F8NfDxXp0

    • 2
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      You can view the full interview of Dr Sentooran and Dr Sivakumaran in the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1F8NfDxXp0

    • 4
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      Rohan,

      Atputharajah’s consultancy work for CEB has been known for a few years, though I am not sure if he still does such work for CEB.
      Anyway, contamination issues will require experts in chemistry, environmental engineering, etc. It is not really the expertise of electrical engineers, so why he inserted himself into this issue is not clear; it has given rise to suspicions of a cover-up.

  • 1
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    Nallai Adheenam and CF Wigneswaran are wearing a red “Pottu” on their forehead ignorant of its meaning.. Ask a Brahmin Scholar and he will explain what it is. It denotes the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ according to Rig Veddha and other books on Hinduism..

    Also, the three stripes of ashes in forehead of a “devout Hindu” signifies Father God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit: the Triune God.

    “Namam”by Hindus likewise is symbolic of the blood and death of Christ.

    Surely, both persons are not only dumb founded about the facts of Hinduism but also whistle blowing.

    Can we extricate the nonsense in both persons and teach them the valuable sacrificial love of Jesus Christ?

    • 2
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      Wearing the holy ashes in the forehead is based on the belief that doing so removes the three forms of dirt, namely, ஆணவம், கன்மம், மாயை, from our soul. Please, stop polluting the site with your ignorance.

    • 3
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      Justin: So Christianity is much much much older than Hinduism? Find listeners in the Hoole ilk.

      • 0
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        K.Pillai

        The question is not what is the history or the age of a religion, though Jehovah existed before the creation of this world.

        The question is what is the truth about the life we live. What and how can we overcome evil in this life?. This question, if answered correctly, we will have a good and fruitful life

        • 0
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          Justin……..
          Have you considered the possibility that man who came into being much after this potty little planet came into being, let alone the Universe, created in his/her image all gods including Jehovah and improvised as appropriate?…….
          If you are serious about getting rid of evil ‘in this life’ try treating with some respect the faiths of others……
          Or be friendly with God like I am and share a joke at His/Her expense…..I am sure that God has a good sense of humor (and even takes a holiday.)….. I risk being the but end of His/Her joke, but then that is life.

    • 3
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      Namam with vertical stripes and holy ash with horizontal stripes never got along. (Please ask the CT expert on Arumuga Navalar about other ways of applying the ash without invoking your three.)……
      Saivaites nowadays are a little touchy on matters of religion the way the followers of the book religion have for long been…….
      I am aware of a lot of humor at the expense of very nearly every Hindu god of any significance, not by believers of other gods but by devotees themselves. I used to relish them even when I was a regular temple-goer……
      In that spirit, may I ask if there is a touch of cannibalism in those who eat the body of Christ and drink the blood of Christ during Holy Communion.

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        SJ

        you speak about unholy man’s efforts, to put God right and Holiness, in the application of “Holy ash”.

        Let me answer about the Holy communion.

        Christians eat the bread and drink wine to REMEMBER the body of Christ which was broken for the believers and the blood which was shed for the remission of their sins at the cross..

        There is no canibalism in that act. This is a vicious prpoganda by the Hindusn to prevent people knowing the truth.

    • 0
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      As you rightly say, the practicfe is just a belief and not the truth.

      I know of “devotees” who have 3 stripes on forehead but they have never overcome those 3 character traits you mention. All what happened in them was, they became worse in those traits.

      Let us face the truth and reality and create a realistic people.

  • 3
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    / There was general agreement, based on reports by the Water Supply and Drainage Board (the only agency to my knowledge with gazetted laboratory skills on the subject) that the well-water was polluted and no water within an 8 km radius of the Chunnakam Power Plant was fit for drinking. /

    Dr. Hoole is plain wrong. Can he provide any proof that WSDB stating that no water within an 8 km radius of the Chunnakam Power Plant was fit for drinking? Doesn’t he know that the report by WSDB used a wrong parameter to characterize petroleum contamination? Doesn’t he know that the Government Chemist made a blunder in their determination of pollutants? The very person who finds fault in the people in the Expert Committee as no experts in water field is an Electrical Engineer, and shows his lack of capacity to understand water quality, measurement techniques and interpretation.

    / If the NPC was truly looking for answers why did they hire experts with irrelevant expertise? /
    NPC hired the members of the Expert Committee? The general impression was that it was an honorary team with no payment. Was it not?

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    / Atputharajah, despite being a Senior Member of the IEEE which encourages whistleblowing, has threatened to remove Sivakumar from his headship and has filed a charge for going public with the university’s Deans’ Committee./

    Another serious accusation. Dr. Atputharajah should either challenge this in the court or concede his fault and stay out of university.

    • 2
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      A Dean does not appoint the Heads of Department.

  • 2
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    / Avoiding the simple tests available, expensive and sophisticated machines were acquired after long delays to issue a report in March 2015 that there are no “dangerous pollutants” when the real issue was oil. Were they bluffing for their pay-master?/

    Now this is a serious accusation. Simple tests? Can Dr. Hoole name them? Fat – Oil –Grease? WSDB and Jaffna University continued to measure FOG. But that test is not a good test.

    / First, a conference on “Oil Pollution of Ground Water in the Jaffna Region” was jointly held in Feb. 2015 by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and Jaffna Managers’ Forum. /

    Dr. Hoole must have been to so many conferences. He called the above a conference? Look at their presentation summary first, Dr. Hoole!

    / It was widely believed that some deep boring was done to remove the oil and this may have led to the contamination of deep waters in aquifers./

    It is an unsubstantiated rumor. Can’t Dr. Hoole go to the bottom of it and find out the truth for all to see? As a person who traveled to the Islands to unmask EPDP election tactics, he can do this simple thing for the people of Jaffna.

  • 1
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    / The timely change of regimes will save Dr. Sivakumar. /

    The cat is out of the bag now!! This is what all about? Dr. Hoole is accusing that Former VC gave Professorship to him in her last week. But, his profile says “In his academic carrier: from November 2013 he was promoted as Professor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, from 2010 he was promoted as Senior Lecturer Grade I, from 2004 he was promoted as Senior Lecturer grade II, from 1999 he was attached as lecturer.” Despite the poor English, it implies that he was given Professorship in 2013!

    Who is trying to take us for a ride here????

  • 5
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    Prof. Hoole look like try to accuse former VC and Dr.Atpu than worry about Oil Pollution. Both are the reason for last rejection of Prof. Hoole application.

    Even Dr.Atpu done a number of bad things, based on academic qualification he is more than deserved for the promotion of Professor.

  • 3
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    S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole : Whistleblowing (as commonly understood) is a duty. No need for a conference to establish this. Unfortunately in e-communication alternate whistles are used. If this aspect is pursued SRH Hoole will duck for cover. By the way I gather IEEE is an US outfit. Did Hoole consult the local IESL? Hoole denigrates Jaffna University but ends up saying ” The new VC, Prof. Ratnam Vigneswaran …. known for his probity …………… have a chance to show that we can run our institutions well, despite the NPC’s bungling and attempts at coverup, ………. ” and so on. MR’s UGC tried to plant a VC to wreck Jaffna University. JC rejected him. Shows that JC may have faults but basically is good material. Just ahead is Pitasanna denigrating Tamil Liberation movements, a Nadesan on “The Road to Nanthikdal”. Coincidence or orchestrated? Or simply alternate whistles? Get lost Hoole.

    • 0
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      K.Pillai,

      ” Whistleblowing (as commonly understood) is a duty. No need for a conference to establish this. Unfortunately in e-communication alternate whistles are used. If this aspect is pursued SRH Hoole will duck for cover. By the way I gather IEEE is an US outfit. Did Hoole consult the local IESL? Hoole denigrates Jaffna University but ends up saying ” The new VC, Prof. Ratnam Vigneswaran …. known for his probity …………… have a chance to show that we can run our institutions well, despite the NPC’s bungling and attempts at coverup, ………. ” and so on. MR’s UGC tried to plant a VC to wreck Jaffna University. JC rejected him. Shows that JC may have faults but basically is good material. Just ahead is Pitasanna denigrating Tamil Liberation movements, a Nadesan on “The Road to Nanthikdal”. Coincidence or orchestrated? Or simply alternate whistles? Get lost Hoole.”

      You don’t make any sense do you? I have decided to add you to my Not Worth Reading list where your close friends Kumar R. and justice already are.

      • 1
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        I was surprised when CT whistles went silent on the mystery of the VC appointment.
        I was also surprised that the champions for Sam T’s application to be considered, after much bravado, went silent almost simultaneously, but for meek mumbling about legal costs.
        Whistle blowing as I noted earlier has been selective, subject wise and content wise. And there are bent whistles.

        • 4
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          SJ:

          Well, if you insist on returning to this particular set of whistles, the thamasha was sad to observe: the inability to reply to letters, the dismissive commentary from position of influence, the refusal to answer direct questions, yet engage in one-liner mocking remarks, the inability to use a search committee to actually search, having a total lack of understanding of the notion of conflict of interest and very effectively sending a message that outsiders are not welcome in our holy land!
          Sad indeed.

          Of course I am well aware some of the noise and personal attacks came from those with hidden agendas and previous disappointments, but the rest of us who care — believe it or not, there are those who actually care — just have to shrug our shoulders and move on with doing whatever we see as useful things to do in however small ways.

          So, no big deal. Learning is heavily conditioned on the environment in which it is attempted. So it will take time.

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            The protagonist of the saga may be more interested than I am in the whistles that went silent.

            • 0
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              Why so?

        • 0
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          SJ,

          “I was surprised when CT whistles went silent on the mystery of the VC appointment.”

          Why? Mission accomplished?!

          • 0
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            What mission?

            • 0
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              Luxman,

              “What mission?”

              “CT Jaffna Desk” and many commentators did not want to have Velnampy or Srisatkunarajah being appointed as VC. Vigneswaran won. Mission accomplished.

              • 0
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                So, ‘ends justify the means’?

  • 7
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    Dr. Hoole should come clean on the purpose if this article. I made some inquiries about what is going on in Jaffna University Engineering.

    Dr. Atputharajah seems to have a number of papers in good journals. Dr. Sivakumar is putting ‘papers’ in Research Gate and some shonky journals.

    Dr. Sivakumar was appointed as the Head of Civil Engineering with the hope that he would build the Engineering Faculty in terms of academia and infrastructure. He messed up both. He was keen to travel around the world but brought hardly anything for the university. But he posts his pictures around.

    Dr. Sivakumar was keen to be in wedging politics and to run IESL and Managers Forum for his personal promotion. Mr. Ramathasan and himself found partners in each other.

    A young man, Dr. Atputharajah, was at Peradeniya, minding his own business when he was tapped on his shoulders. He is sn unassuming character. He is instrumental for the construction and bringing quality academics to Jaffna University Engineering.

    Dr. Sivakumar is attacking Dr. Atputharajah personally because the latter is much younger and is well liked by students, academics and external stakeholders.

    Dr. Hoole was at Peradeniya Engineering and was almost dismissed before he ran away. Dr. Atputharajah knows all those inner details.

    Now the readers could see the connections.

    But Dr. Hoole took a topic out of his depth and is drowning himself.

    All we have to ask Dr. Sivakumar what meaningful contribution he made as an ‘expert’ to the water problem other than making noise! As a Head of Civil Emgineering with a number of students, I would expect him to run some tests and report the results. He comfortably sat on his hands. Now Dr. Hoole comes around to say Dr. Sivakumar conducted a conference!!!

    Shame, shame…..

  • 0
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    The new vice chancellor has huge responsibility to rehabilitate the Faculty of Management as there is many malpractices still around the faculty under the deans’ direction. Faculty conference is currently initiating with ALUMNI association name but there is no such association in the faculty. We don’t how senate and council have approved without knowledge on conference arrangements. The vice chancellor immediately inquires the conference arrangements.

    • 0
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      Alumni associations are voluntary organizations……An Alumni association as far as as I know is more like an OBA or OGA……
      ****They may seek formal recognition……They may need recognition to use the University Crest for example. If there is abuse of the name of the university there is an issue…… Permission for a meeting is usually Faculty business…..
      ****I am not sure of the rules…. But I doubt if it is Council business.

  • 1
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    Tamils are used to whistle blowing since time began. They went to the Portuguese, Dutch and English to complain about their neighbours, the high caste the low class the rain clouds and the dry season! Now what has changed? If the French and the British or the Americans intervene they can have a Poosari as President..How about that Hoole?

    • 0
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      PCC
      That is whispering mate……
      That goes on even now to get what one would not normally deserve……
      The Sinhalese, in fairness, are not far behind.

  • 0
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    Rohan, having read through the article and your comments, the question of the fitness of the water around Chunnakam Power Station for drinking remains unresolved. The writer of the article has quoted the Water Supply and Drainage Board as the statutorily empowered authority with sufficient expertise to pronounce on this, which they did. You say, Rohan, that WSDB used a wrong parameter to characterise petroleum contamination and the Government Chemist blundered. These are serious allegations because it leaves us at a loss, knowing not where to go.
    Has anyone written a paper explaining the blunders by these two authorities and told us what the correct results are? If something is done wrongly, it can be done again correctly! The relative merits of Sivakumar and Atputharajah as scholars is irrelevant here. Sivakumar is merely credited with whistleblowing – that the experts were not. He has not apparently offered his own expertise. That is a separate task.

  • 0
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    Management Faculty dean velnampi is destroying whole university system for his own benefits. It is a challenge to new vice chancellor. His six years dean’s term expires by august but he wants to become dean again (third term). He starts playing politics among the department heads to convince them for his dean third term. Heads should not allow him to become a dean third term.

    • 0
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      SS,

      “Management Faculty dean velnampi is destroying whole university system for his own benefits.”

      What is Dr Velnampy being accused of? Fraud, academic fraud?

  • 0
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    Dr Jeevan Hoole,

    Thank your for the article.

    “Only a 4-page summary has been made available without names”

    I suspect that the huge Northern water projects mostly financed by the ADB also have hidden a lot of the information available from the general public. Somebody has among other things “fed” the ADB an estimate of 50% increase of population in Jaffna.

    As usual I suggest RTI and investigative journalism by the CT Jaffna Desk as part of the solution to the Northern water problems.

  • 4
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    Dr Hoole wrote about Sivakumar earlier in this same CT
    Doctors Sivakumar and Sahayam were almost contemporaries doing engineering at Peradeniya and Moratuwa respectively. Owing to the 1983 communal violence, Sahayam had to finish his degree in Madras (see DAE). Sivakumar was taken in as a coordinator for the faculty of engineering and was interviewed and absorbed into the new faculty in November 2012 as Senior Lecturer Grade I for which he was not qualified as it required 6 years of service after obtaining the qualifications for Senior Lecturer Grade II (Circular 721), the Ph.D. degree in this case. In 2012 when he was appointed, it was only 4 years after his doctorate in 2008. It appears doubtful that there was an open advertisement as Sahayam was looking out for it and did not see one. On the selection board the Dean of Engineering was represented by Prof. Kandasamy, Dean of Science, and Head Civil Engineering was represented by Prof. Srisatkunarajah, Head, Mathematics and Statistics.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/jaffna-a-university-sinking-in-mediocrity-and-sectarianism/

  • 1
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    It is necessary to draw the distinction between well-meant whistleblowing, ill-meant variety and plain rumour mongering. SRH H says “Nallai Adheenam Chief Priest wants University of Jaffna Transformed into a Hindu University while the Chief Minister calls Jesus Christ a Criminal Condemned to Death. The editor of a Tamil newspaper demands that all Christians revert to Hinduism…….”. Ask a Jaffna man-on-the-street as to what/where is Nallai Adheenam – most likely there will be a vacant look. The comment attributed to CM NPC had been taken out of context. SRH H never sought clarification. The Daily Valampuri is relatively unknown. The reason given by SRH H as to how Atputharajah got a chair while Sivakumar did not is plain hollow. These are rumour mongering. Why does SRH H indulge in this activity. Plainly to satisfy a certain section. Who are they? Hoole had this very same article in “The Island” of 18 May. So SRH H, bear in mind whistleblowing must be sustainable in a court – not necessarily Appeal Court level.

  • 0
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    SJ
    There is no such association in the management faculty but senate has approved the conference as a joint conference with faculty alumni association (see the senate minutes). Even-though faculty didn’t use the alumni name any of the conference brochure or poster even conference website. but management faculty is asking the participants and sponsors to pay their contribution to alumni bank account. Generally all the university money inflows including conference registration/sponsorship must be credited into university bank account. Here, there is no such association in the faculty, no alumni association office bearers, no alumni association meetings, who is controlling and monitoring the bank account in the name of alumni? It is a council business, council should be asked the faculty about:
    a. Is there any alumni association in the faculty?
    b. If so who are the office bearers? When those were elected? by whom?
    c. When was a last annual general meeting held? when is the next meeting?
    d. What are needs for a joint conference with alumni association?
    e. What is agreement/terms between the faculty and alumni association about
    conference? Is it approved by faculty board?
    f. Why faculty is using alumni bank account?

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      Gethe,

      “Why faculty is using alumni bank account?”

      How has a bank account been opened for an association that might not exist? Which branch and bank? As far as I know the banks should require documentation and somebody must have the right to withdraw money, to sign etc. In these days against money laundering it should not be possible to walk in a bank and open an account for an association or claim to be Dr Donald Duck who needs a current account.

    • 0
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      I am not speaking for anyone……
      ***I only stated my understanding of what Alumni Associations are and their relationship with the institution……
      ***Alumni associations like PEFAA (Peradeniya) have their own bank account……
      I do not think that the Council of the University of Peradeniya deals with PEFAA or other alumni associations. PEFAA is not Faculty matter either. There is an understanding and the constitution could define a role for the faculty, by way of office bearers etc……
      ***Kindly go through the constitution and raise the issues with people concerned if there is anything in breach of the constitution…..
      ***Comments on bank accounts by LW should be enlightening in some way.

  • 2
    2

    Atputharajah and Sivakumar had their applications rushed by VC Arasartnam just before leaving. To me, it raises suspicion. Prof. Hoole is right. He never said Atputharajah is not qualified or Sivakumar is qualified. But he always said most professors are not qualified and cheated in some way. He also said this in Inuvil at welcome for new VC.

    We know Sivasegaram cheated. I know from SAR/AE files Atputharajah used cheap google citations in his application. He claimed 5 points for not ISI publications. But Circular is clear it should be web of science citations. Not ISI papers can get only 3 points. Conference papers only 1 point. IESL annual conference papers are not journal papers.These are in Atpu’s claims. Experts and Selection Committee were blind. Selection Committee Selects what to see and what not to see. Get it?

    We have experts without expertise saying yes to all against Circular. Atputharajah is not independent. Cannot write like his engineering “carrier” cited above from his website. That paragraph which no one can understand shows why he must run to his professor for his good papers. That webpage paragraph makes it sound like he has been professor for a long time. All his good papers are with his supervisor. Why? He cannot write. Can he teach students to write papers?

    Then cheat professors like Sivasegaram on Selection Committee say yes or no according to what VC wants. They select what to see.

    Prof. Hoole explained professorship well at Managers Forum on RTI. No one is qualified. So VC can say yes to you like Atpu and no one can challenge without direct interest in professor promotion. If she says no to you like Sivakumar, cannot challenge because you really are not qualified. This is the real story of our professors.

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      Mr/Ms Chelvam
      If you are repeating the fiction that Sivasegaram was not eligible to be made Senior Professor, you are misled or making mischief.
      He was appointed with a certain number of increments and was promoted according to the terms and conditions of his appointment. He had no need to be dishonest in any way as the University honoured its contract.

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        Mr/Ms Prem. You are a liar. Prof. Sivasegaram had never held the rank of professor anywhere. He was placed at Step.1.

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          “He was placed at Step.1.” . . . .
          That makes you an absolute liar.

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    Lone Wolf/ SS
    “Why faculty is using alumni bank account?” You are right but they opened account without such alumni association in the faculty. This is a problem here, faculty members don’t know the reason behind it. As we know, somebody is controlling and monitoring the bank account in the name of alumni. As we mentioned in the last comment there are many unanswered questions regarding this. Council should be inquired the conference organisation committee why conference committee is using alumni bank account? who are the office bearers? when those were elected? by whom? when was a last annual general meeting held? when is the next meeting? what is agreements between the faculty and alumni association about conference? They should be explained at least to the faculty board? How conference committee received approval from the university finance committee to using alumni bank account. Faculty is abusing of the name of the university again and again for their own stand.

    • 0
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      Gethe/SS,

      “You are right but they opened account without such alumni association in the faculty.”

      A bank should not open an account without verifying that an association has been properly registered. It is easy to ask if an alumni association has been registered and who is behind it.

      Do I detect suspicion of fraud here like money possibly vanishing from the bank account?

  • 5
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    Another shocking news of Dr S S Sivakumar. Dr Sivakumar is another dishonest academic at Engineering Faculty of Jaffna University.
    Sivakumar falsely claims other’s publications in his “Google scholar” and “research gate” domain.

    Please see the link below and the articles in this link

    http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=QcBUYKcAAAAJ&hl=en

    The author in the following articles are not Dr S Sivakumar of Jaffna University. They are from different countries. Please click the above link and then “click” the articles link.

    Few articles details are given below:

    Professional ASP. net web services

    Authors

    Wrox Author Team, Brian Loesgen, Andreas Eide, Mike Clark, Chris Miller, Matthew Reynolds, Robert Eisenberg, Bill Sempf, Srinivasa Sivakumar, Mike Batongbacal, Brandon Bohling, Russ Basiura, Don Lee

    Development and validation of a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry assay for the simultaneous determination of nateglinide, cilostazol and its active metabolite 3, 4-dehydro-cilostazol in Wistar rat plasma and its application to pharmacokinetic study

    Authors

    Kanthi Kiran VS Varanasi, V Sridhar, Suresh Potharaju, R Shraddha, SPN Sivakumar, S Kanaga Sabapathi, TRS Satheeshmanikandan, VVS Swaroop Kumar

    Publication date

    2008/4/1

    Journal

    Journal of Chromatography B

    • 2
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      /The author in the following articles are not Dr S Sivakumar of Jaffna University. / God!
      .
      But I am worried about blocking Dr Sakayam from entering Jaffna University as an academic. Dr. Sivakumar must have been worried that Dr. Sakayam would knock him off from top positions.
      .
      Dr. Sivakuma should come clean here. He is accusing that ‘someone’ offered bribe (certain senior positions) to take a certai position with respect to diversion of Iranamadhu water for drinking purposes to Jaffna. He has to say whether what Dr, Hoole says is right, that his Professoship was denied (with his qualifications) and that Dr. Atputharaja was going to dismis from the Head position.

    • 2
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      Google scholar pages are automatically compiled, the algorithm is not perfect and can easily pick up S. S… and add it to S.S. S… Unless we are looking at it on a daily basis we won’t know this is happening and cannot be blamed as being dishonest. But at least once in awhile, someone broadcasting that page as a public profile should correct gross errors (it takes just a couple of seconds to delete a record that is wrongly attributed to oneself) . Those with a lot of papers should at the very least do this on the first couple of pages that broadcast their most cited work. The case here is pathetic. It looks like the top five papers of SSS are not his. Smells foul.

  • 0
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    The issue for Jaffna eng faculty is there are no other senior academic to replace these two.

    The only option gives the top position to Mora/Pera senior professors for an initial period of Faculty development. But, it is highly not feasible. Because they are not interested.

    • 2
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      Have you visited the UoJ Engg Faculty?
      You should, before you comment.

      • 0
        1

        Yes. I did. Can you mention one academic senior to Dr.Atpu in Eng Faculty or Dr.Sivakumar in Civil Dept.?. Even, a number of them are students to Dr.Atpu in Pera.

      • 0
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        Anyway, My question is why can’t they request some senior academic from other University to support at an initial stage. Why if southeastern can attract, why not for Jaffna.

        You don’t need a good example than Ruhuna, Where your good old friend Dr.Keerthisena was a Dean at the beginning. I never heard any stupid whistleblowing from there at an early stage. I think he is still there.

        Without any senior member to guide these two guys, they run the faculty the way they want and whistleblowing like kids. I think, when you moved there, you will guide them. But rest is a history.

        • 0
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          “Without any senior member to guide these two guys, they run the faculty the way they want and whistleblowing like kids.”

          The ones doing whistle-blowing like kids are bigger lads: you heard them blowing their brains off through their bent whistles since February.

          Kilinochchi is doing a good job, let us help it to do better.

  • 3
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    Jaffna University website (http://www.jfn.ac.lk/ ) carries the following link https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&view_op=search_authors&mauthors=jaffna (Staff in Google Scholar). One can check the profile of each academic and see any other dishonest academic there.

  • 1
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    Prem, re Sivasegaram’s Senior Professorship:

    Sivasegaram joined Peradeniya in 1999 or so as professor.

    The circular then in effect for Senior Professor was Circular 721 of 12.12.1997. It required: “A Professor who has completed eight (08) years of service may apply for the post of Senior Professor.” He had not been a professor ever till he joined Peradeniya.

    It also stated “These schemes of recruitment will come into effect from 01 January 1998 and will replace all previous schemes of recruitment approved in respect of the posts of Associate Professor/Professor/Senior Professor.”

    By 2005, Sivasegaram had been made full professor. There is no way he could have been made professor lawfully.

    At the time the senior hands at Peradeniya’s engineering were out to sack me. The VC himself (the fellow who had the Rs. 500,000 EPF deduction) had boasted he would.

    Sivasegaram then shamelessly played the dutiful attack dog. To just give three examples of many,

    1) He wrote to IESL that I lacked ethics for urging against the faculty board the admission of 4 Tamil students who came late because their admission letter was delayed due to fighting.

    2) He joined the Engineering Dean calling for a Council inquiry alleging that I tried to fraudulently alter the mark book to give a first class degree to one Balakumar with a second upper degree. At the time, the Dean was teaching Production Engineering in Sinhalese, thereby making Tamils avoid that department, and I had complained at the faculty Board.

    3) When I taught human rights under the syllabus line “the software engineer and society,” Sivasegaram joined three other professors in calling for a council inquiry alleging that I was bringing down standards. It was in a milieu where Tamils were being administered loyalty tests, asking for contributions to funds for soldiers who had fallen at Elephant pass.

    I was cleared on inquiry. I say Sivasegaram’s promotion against the rules was a reward by the crooked VC.

    • 0
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      SRH – you do not abide by Institution rules and Code of Conduct though you may have drawn up rules – probably to suit yourself and your goals.
      Sivasegaram has been faulted by many for sticking too rigidly to rules. Having said that, he also does not influence people or manipulate things in order to secure benefits for himself.
      You do not pay heed to majority preferences and decisions and sought to become VC twice in breach of preference, but were stopped by various external factors. Hence the grudge against the University and casting of false allegations about Christians being discriminated against. Your behaviour is not that of a true Christian and humility is beyond you.
      Your recent role in preventing the choice of the Council to be made VC is despicable.

      The two of you are very different personalities and so,
      Never the twain shall meet.

      • 0
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        //Your recent role in preventing the choice of the Council to be made VC is despicable.//

        The Council sent three names, the president picked one, but this one was not the Council’s most favourite. What had SRHH to do with it? Was he consulted by the President? Is he that influential?

  • 1
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    Dr Hoole writes: “Tamils now have a chance to show that we can run our institutions well, despite the NPC’s bungling and attempts at coverup, and UGC communalism.”

    Tamils/we/our institutions: In this day and age, it will be hard to find a region as “pure” as Jaffna anywhere else. The worst part is: this was achieved through ethnic cleansing centuries ago; this mentality and way of life still have not changed..

  • 6
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    SSSivakumar

    Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna

    Verified email at jfn.ac.lk

    Cited by 608 – This is absolutely wrong- more than 500 citations were not from this SS Sivakumar of Jaffna University- Please go and check. He claims wrong citations for his professorship application. Professorship assessment is mostly depend on “citations”

    • 5
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      John. Do not bluff. Citations are only one component of many in a professor application

  • 1
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    Chelvam, Can Sivakumar falsely claim wrong citations in his credit?

    The fact is academic integrity and honesty

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