26 January, 2021

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SC Orders Colombo University To Appoint Racially Victimized Muslim Woman As Lecturer

In a landmark judgment delivered on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Colombo University to absorb Fathima Shanaz as a lecturer within the next two months, after university authorities reportedly refused to appoint her in 2011 on allegedly grounds of her ethnicity even though she obtained the highest score at the interview.

Fathima Shanas

Fathima Shanas

Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told the Colombo Telegraph that everyone underwent a dark era in the past, where everything was suppressed and there was an increased presence of racism in the country which also affected the university system.

“But I am happy to announce that we have achieved a landmark victory yesterday, and this has been possible because of the independent judiciary in the country at present,” he said.

Fathima Shanaz said; “I state that there was no reason for the 28th Respondent (Ajantha Hapuarachchi) to make any statement against me. I am now aware that the 2nd Respondent Vice Chancellor (Prof. (Mrs.) Kshanika Hirimburegama) had expressed her displeasure in appointing a Muslim as a lecturer (Probationary) to the 1st Respondent University. At this stage the, the 27th Respondent had informed the 2nd Respondent that as far as he is aware my mother of is a Sinhalese Kandyian. In fact, a few days after the interview, the 28th Respondent had made inquiries from me about my parents and I explained to the 28th Respondent that both my parents were Muslims.”

In the ruling, Judges of the Supreme Court, Eva Wanasundera and Upaly Abeyratne stated that the Management Committee and the University Council of the Colombo University had deliberately withheld the appointment of the Petitioner, Fathima Shanaz who had been selected for the post of Lecturer (Probationary) of the Journalism Unit, and had therefore violated the fundamental rights of her.

“I hold that the University of Colombo; the Management Committee of the University of Colombo; and the Council of the University of Colombo have violated the fundamental rights of the Petitioner guaranteed by Article 12(1) of the Constitution. I order the University of Colombo, The Management Committee of the University of 8 Colombo and Council of the University of Colombo to appoint the Petitioner to the post of Lecturer (Probationary) Journalism Unit of the University within two months from the date of this judgment,” the ruling stated.

The full text of the judgment of the Supreme Court is available here

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Latest comments

  • 11
    64

    these muslims [Edited out]

    • 62
      3

      Ballah,

      Consider calling yourself something else. Please do not insult adorable animals dog are.

      I am a dog lover. I can promise you that they are far more intelligent, civilized than you are.

      Come by if you are hungry sometime. I got some rejected pet food, I wish to give away.

      Cheers!

      • 3
        18

        [Edited out]

        • 20
          2

          ballah

          “[Edited out]”

          Thank for keeping it brief.

          • 6
            1

            Jaffna University Imposes Code Of Ethics: Bans Beards, Denims, T-shirts (See Notice In Tamil)

            University of Jaffna’s administration and Senate decided to implement a code of ethics for the university students and staff.

            Accordingly, the following instructions have been given by the university authorities.

            * Wearing denims and T-shirts are banned during the lectures.

            * Every Fridays women should wear sari.

            * Students and Academic staff are not permitted in the class rooms if they have beard.

            It was not clear if this was applicable to all students, including Muslim males, who usually wear beards, one commentator said on Facebook.

            Please condemn this right violation.

            • 1
              0

              Circular on dress code is withdrawn???

        • 9
          1

          @balla, wow where and how did you learn to write like this…………absolutely brilliant……..'[Edited out]’. You must be an Oxford scholar? Or are you from the Mahinda Raju School of hard knocks, Hambantota campus? Keep these edited out comments coming, we all appreciate your wonderful comments. Thanks and thanks again.

      • 30
        1

        Ben Hurling

        “In a landmark judgment delivered on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Colombo University to absorb Fathima Shanaz as a lecturer within the next two months, after university authorities reportedly refused to appoint her in 2011 on allegedly grounds of her ethnicity even though she obtained the highest score at the interview.”

        So, the interview was a sham. A lot of things happening were shams.

        Thank Yajapalanaya from bringing this and fixing this, but this problem is deep rooted, and need to be exposed continuously.

      • 13
        1

        Mule would be better name:-)

      • 3
        3

        Oh dear ben machang….yep ballah dog far more intelligent than you…yep more intelligent than u sinhala Buddhist idiots. By the way do you still believe LTTE responsible 4 1956, 1958, 1973, 1983 & 1983 jaffna library burning….& Sinhala Buddhist barbarism against Tamils since 1948….

    • 11
      2

      Change your name to “mule”. Fits you better.

      • 3
        4

        what a donkey…ruwan, are you from puttalam?

        • 1
          0

          Where are you from balla the pariah nai? Hambantota???

    • 6
      0

      Indhah Bow Bow

      Keep howling you are the lowest in pedigree of your type Wal Ballah

  • 52
    2

    Great news.
    Equal opportunity for everyone.
    No discrimination and no prejudice at all.

    Congratulations!!!!!
    Good Luck Fathima Shanas….

  • 29
    1

    If the SC judgement is based on racial discrimination the issue seems to be serious in a country we perceive as one that does not discriminate their citizens on racial grounds. This, so called Director for human rights who seems to ape the yahapalanaya should promptly take up this case against the university system.

    • 24
      2

      Chandra

      “This, so called Director for human rights who seems to ape the yahapalanaya should promptly take up this case against the university system.”

      This is a deep rooted problem, going back many years.

      If people are racists or closet racists this problem will continue to persist.

      The campaign to reassert Sinha Le amply demonstrated how deeply racist this nation is. And the people are happy to vote for the most racists of all politicians and proud of being racists.

  • 30
    3

    This is excellent news for Sri Lanka. We need now to develop awareness among employers and employees the deter conscious and indirect discrimination by ensuring access to anti discriminatory legislation and redress at the work place. We must compell employers to make their managers and staff to be competent on meat holds to prevent discrimination at the work place. Those who discriminate must be awarded massive fines and pay compensation to the victims.
    We must rapidly change the culture and advocate and I still discrimination free work places.

  • 3
    6

    [Edited out]

    • 3
      1

      @ela kolla, thanks for keeping it brief.

  • 16
    6

    The racist and cast feelings against the oppressed is strong among uneducated and primitive beings. In Sri Lanka the racist feelings has been promoted and encouraged by the state dominated by the ethno-religious majority.

    The ethno-religious majority which is a bit different from ethno-linguistic group – that includes Christians- follow a religion based on their book supposedly written some 2500 years back, which differs a great deal from Lord Buddha’s teachings. This book like that of Judaism is unscientific in the sense that it claims the race originated from a hybrid of lion and human female and defy the historical truth and nature in that the ancestors who came from Orissa or Bengal – 2500 miles away landed on island’s shores before Tamils who had been living only 18 miles across and fishing in island waters from time immemorial. Further historically Tamils had been the sea-farers even before the British who borrowed the Tamil name ‘catamaran’ – boat with twin hulls or wooden planks- and traded with Egypt during the time of epic Egyptian civilisation.

    To join the countries of civilised nations we must come clean with new criminal laws outlawing religious religious and race hate speeches and treatment s in UK. Gnanasara Thera wants that laws must be taught to Buddhist monks as if he hid not know the content of court and threatening are punishable offences.

    Singapore is a good example that was built by a single man with a vision, Lee Kuan Yew, where THREE languages are made official with English as the LINK language. All three races – Chinese, Malay and Tamils-live in relative harmony and build that country to be an envy of the developing nations.

    • 9
      2

      Saro

      “The racist and cast feelings against the oppressed is strong among uneducated and primitive beings.”

      What exactly did you mean?

      Am I a primitive being just because I am uneducated?

      • 2
        0

        native vedda

        Should I write that ‘racist and cast feelings against the oppressed is strong among the uneducated or primitive beings’? If one hates another on the basis of latter’s birth (racism or castism is determined on one’s birth) . The primitives do not reason out and the educated can free themselves from prejudices by reasoning.

  • 17
    1

    Kudos for the interviewers who gave her the top marks in the first place.

    Aswar…. are you around? Are you happy with your racist Lokka?

  • 20
    1

    This country is finally turning around from its insanity of depriving minorities to equal opportunities in government and semi government work places. Those who were envious and jealous of minority representations were out to deprive them of their equal rights to jobs, positions of authority, representation in sports and country, and this was a clearly visible in all levels of social strata. When the minority population felt rejected they turned inwards to become independent and started out on their own private projects and ventures which became instant success. That prosperity soon turned out to be an eyesore and thus the racists BBS was let loose on the Muslims living in Aluthgama/Beruwela and Dharga Town. Their jealousy, hatred and vengeance was clearly revealed in the intensity of those attacks through destruction of property, looting and arson, and what was worst was the tacit government support through imposing a one sided curfew and police inaction to protect the innocent victims. Upto now those attackers are still free and roaming at large despite many volumes of CCTV footage available to effectively arrest the culprits. But the will to take action and do something about it is not there. I doubt if anything will ever be done to redress what happened and pay compensation for loss of lives and business income, will ever be achieved in our life time.

    What Fathima Shanaz has achieved is one small step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to restore normalcy, and until that times comes we may have to just hobble along the cobbled road.

    • 10
      1

      You nailed it.

  • 18
    1

    Hurrah! to our Supreme Court.

    A reminder to us, how Justice was bamboozled by the Rajapaksa Regime and their apologists.

    Some, still pine for days past. Where the law of the jungle, ruled.

    Congratulations to Brave Shanaz et al.

    • 14
      1

      Exemplary decision by the Supreme Court. The Management Committee and the University Council have been taught that their decisions when reviewed can throw up their wrongdoings knowingly committed.

      To escape judicial review let them not contemplate pernicious ‘STANDARDISATION’ of interview marks or mark the candidates low at the viva.

      It appears that the Supreme Court was straining at the leash to dispense justice and be noticed by humanity for its sense of rectitude.

  • 17
    1

    No punishment for the racism? No compensation to the affected person?

  • 17
    1

    Should not those involved in the selection process be prosecuted for racism and violation of human and fundamental rights?

  • 10
    2

    This is one way of showing the world our judiciary is independent and can be expected to and more importantly relied upon to receive a fair judgement. But the catch-22 situation is that the other party must also be satisfied with the hearing and accept the final outcome to be fair, including final judgements and punishments being meted out. This will never be an easy task since this could involve grave implications involving members of the Armed Force personnel, and this will never go down well and easy with the rest of the country. Winning hearts and minds of the Tamil people must be carried out effectively to have faith and expect our justice system to be fair is just one of many aspects that needs to be addressed. The other being conditioning the minds of the people to accept the fact that human right violation is unacceptable and cannot go unpunished. That rule of law must also apply to LTTE combatants who are equally guilty of much serious offenses that deserve punishment like serving jail terms, whilst accepting this judgement ro be their own fate. As such, they need to prepare themselves to accept the verdict and come to terms with it, which may never be easy to accept.

    All in all, are we there yet, or at least anywhere close to it? I daresay ‘NO’. We are all just dragging our feet until something BIG strikes us again, and shakes us into facing the reality.

    In short the government and its Sinhala people don’t want to wake up to face the reality, whilst the Tamil people seek justice.

  • 17
    3

    The sad and bad thing is racism exists amongst the intellectuals too. They must have acted so openly with pure impunity. This is the fault of the regime. a shameless bunch of ……………

  • 3
    0

    Thia decision goes out to suggest that strangle-hold the Rajapakse regime held on the Supreme Court using servile, salivating CJs and a captive judiciary is quietly giving away. The earlier independence and integrity of the SC is making a welcome come back. This is cause for celebration.

    Ms Fathima Shanaz and all those who supported and worked with her to secure this victory richly deserve to be congratulated. The dispensation of justice in a plural and divisive society such as ours should be blind to race, colour, position and creed. Moreover, it should be free from the contaminating interference and influence of politicians – often deplorable birds of passage.

    Backlash

  • 2
    1

    This is a lousy case. The Sinhala Intellectuals judges based their verdict on the actual situation rather than politicized situation to create a fake name to Yahapalanaya , New Royal government. Case won because “At this stage the, the 27th Respondent had informed the 2nd Respondent that as far as he is aware my mother of is a Sinhalese Kandyian.” There is always a different verdict for the word to the Kerala Mercenaries converted as Kandian Sinhala Intellectuals.

    This woman appears to be use in a propaganda drama

    “Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told the Colombo Telegraph that everyone underwent a dark era in the past, where everything was suppressed and there was an increased presence of racism in the country which also affected the university system.

    “But I am happy to announce that we have achieved a landmark victory yesterday, and this has been possible because of the independent judiciary in the country at present,”

  • 1
    1

    Oh but the court must have been influenced by the Norwegians,the diasporians,Ranil,FCID,wahabis etc etc neda Mr K A Sumanasekera? lol!

  • 4
    3

    Why would a Sinhalese Kandiyan (Udarata) woman marry a MUSLIM?????

  • 5
    0

    It sad and it also pisses me off to see well educated people practicing racism. Morons doing this you can say they do not know better. These people are not worthy to be employed in a seat of learning.

  • 3
    1

    Anyone following the US Presidential primaries?

    If you think our under-educated are racists, watch Donald Trump wave every possible racist card and the audience going crazy, cheering him on.

    My “white” friends are besides themselves, trying to explain away the inbred racism and stupidity exhibited by their bretheren.

    • 1
      1

      Upul you seem to be following Trump so do I. So lets put emotions aside and look at Trump.

      He is not a politician but a businessmen he is used to saying and doing things that’s in his best interest and not necessarily in the interest of the voter. The voter too has a choice to weigh the pros and cons.

      Having said that I would say some of Trumps assertions are ridiculous but they are not racist if your looking at his approach to Mexico and illegal migrants he is on sound legal grounds although achieving what he promises would be a miracle. But that’s for the voter to make an informed decision.

      Most of what he promises is not based on the race or color of the people but the economic and security cost to the country. You cannot say this about Sri Lanka in general and Fathima’s case in particular.

  • 6
    0

    it will be hard to get true justice until we accept every citizen as a Sri Lankan!
    irrespective of race as is in the Uk –
    – every citizen of UK is accepted as British without discrimination!!!!!!

    This concept is hard to grasp for some communal war mongers!

    WHAT WE NEED IS A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE OF ATTITUDE and true belief in democratic principles.

    Let us hope shanas’s case is the beginning of such change!!

  • 8
    0

    The VC Kshanika Hirimburegama should be punished and the University should consider giving Fathima Shanaz compensation as she should have finished her required postgraduate qualfications by now if she was given the opportunity to become a probationary Lecturer in 2011. Kshanika Hirimburegama was appointed by Mahinda Rajapaksa(MR), the racist,. Extremist Sinhalese Buddhists, the supporters of MR, and the Asgiri Mahanayaka Thera are against opening of the road in front of Dalada Maligawa making people of all religions around Kandy to suffer.

  • 3
    5

    t that as far as he is aware my mother of is a Sinhalese Kandyian.

    Ohh, this is part of islamization of Sinhale.

    women are fore front.

    they get married to muslims, then start this.

  • 6
    0

    I never believed this kind of Justice is possible in Sri Lanka particularly after the 1972 constitution. I’m sure Mr & Mrs SWRD, Colvin,NM,JR and the likes who have been repenting in the heaven will have a sigh of relief.

    On the other hand, How Dayan, HLDM , MaRa, Gnanasara and his behind the scenes bosses will react to this decision , we have to wait and see.
    May be they will file a case at SC that this decision has made them lose their fundamental rights as smart patriots of Sri Lanka.

    It looks like the coming Aluth Ave rush a has lot of goodies in store for mother Lanka.

  • 10
    1

    I am not surprised by the decision of the then Vice Chancellor. I was the Registrar of Colombo when she assumed duties as Vice Chancellor and I have been discriminated by her many a time. I am not surprised by her actions.

    Husni Hussain
    Former Registrar
    University of Colombo

    • 0
      0

      I was a student where you were the Registrar of the University of Colombo. We were aware that you have appointed without Post Graduate qualification. That was the reason you had to leave the University. So don’t blame Prof Hiriburegama as your hands are not clean. May be Prof Hiriburegama harassed Shanas because of the impression created by you.

      Madu
      USA

    • 0
      0

      I was a student where you were the Registrar of the University of Colombo. We were aware that you have appointed without Post Graduate qualification. That was the reason you had to leave the University. So don’t blame Prof Hiriburegama as your hands are not clean. May be Prof Hiriburegama harassed Shanas because of the impression created by you.

      Madu
      USA

  • 4
    0

    Chandana and Sammy,
    If they prosecute those who involved with the selection process the chances of MaRa coming back will be increased.

    It will be like giving more ammunition to people like Dallas Alagaperuma, Dinesh Gunawardne, Wimal Weerawanse,
    Vasudeva, Tissa Vitharane, Uthay Gamonpilla to carry out their vicious propaganda of bring back MaRa regime to protect the majority of the majority.

    Who will fill the void left by the selfless work of Late Ven Sobhita Thero to counter balance ?

  • 3
    8

    I hate muslims, so as the majority of the world. Yes its true all muslims are not terrorist but all terrorist are muslims. if you object than you must be blind or a muslim sympathizer. the muslim community literally do nothing when going against their own fundamentalist zealots. Condemning their actions means nothing. Thats why we needed BBS, they put them to their places. These people want to start a caliphate, just look at europe. And they also believe they get 72 “pure as pearl” virgins. Its best if Ranil and co sterilize them. they breed like rabbits. the truth hurts people. Disagree all you want and call me names but its true and the muslim community turns blind eye. already upto 50 sri lankans has joined isis and there crusade for their “allah”. the east side of the island is breeding ground. One of them already called for a separate state. Please dont go “Oh no! its the evil JEWS!! they started this!” I hope Donald J Trump so he can put those saudis in their places

    • 1
      1

      There are two ways you can facilitate the growth of your community or ethnic group – if that is what you are interested in. One is by actually working towards development of the community – the intelligent way, the other is by stalling the growth of other communities by whatever means possible and make your community / ethnic group look like it has been progressing – the idiots way. You sir, are an idiot. I just hope that people like you dont breed.

  • 2
    0

    It is indeed gladdening to see the gradual rebirth of the independent judiciary having rid of the likes of Sarath Silva, Peiris, Abrew and the like that thrived under the Rajapaksas. Hope a new culture will dawn. Bensen

  • 4
    0

    The Vice Chancellor would have to be punished. How many other minority members of the university would have suffered by her actions.

  • 1
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    0

    Bravo !, the judiciary has come out clean in this case in delivering
    a land mark judgement, which is a victory for the common man.The judges
    have become brave and deliver independent judgements and it looks like
    they now keep the politicians and clergy at arms length. This is a good sign for democracy in the country. By going to courts by this lady without fear of retaliation, is another victory for the common man,& woman ,unlike during the previous regime.

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