21 November, 2019

Blog

Scandalous State Of Sri Lanka’s University System Sans Collegiality

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Collegiality is central to the culture of universities. It means that we are all equal as colleagues and it is our function and duty to voice opinions freely and demand corrective measures when we see something going wrong. Heads, Deans, Vice Chancellors and the UGC Chairman have administrative functions, but are otherwise equal to the most junior academic. Academics have a right to be heard and a right of reply within a reasonable time to the representations they make. Our problems begin when these officials start mistaking their office for a crown on their head. The system becomes authoritarian and repressive all the way down. The right to reply guaranteed by the Establishments Code has become a dead letter.

The end of collegiality means the end of checks on authority, leaving the system open to unlimited abuse. The UGC evades responsibility for well-documented abuses by politically appointed vice chancellors, whom it had recommended, by claiming that their hands are tied by university autonomy, which has already been killed by political fiat. In reality what such vice chancellors do is to use their power to control deans, heads, and control leave, promotions and appointments of heads, to isolate and harass all who question them, never daring to reason out why. That is the funeral of every vestige of academic virtue.

Even as people have become inured to symptoms of rot and the stench of systemic decay, Jaffna was shocked by a recent explosion in the University that lifted the veil on deep-seated abuse, revealing the shocking vulnerability of young women, staff and students, while administrators had treated signs of the malaise with the casualness of business as usual.

The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) has been active in trying to curb abuses at their very fount – blatant favouritism and disregard for rules in academic recruitment. This is what over time corrupts and degrades a university. JUSTA’s reports, largely based on council minutes, have been widely circulated. In two instances candidates who led the merit list for the post of probationary lecturer wrote to the previous Council, which had many of the present deans and the present vice chancellor as chairman. None of these had the courtesy of a reply. The previous UGC Chairman promised an inquiry; the current Chairman promised last June to place our reports before the UGC Council, but nothing has been heard since.

After several attempts to take the matter up at the University Council, the reports were placed before a newly created Grievance Committee after unpromising hiccups about terms of reference calculated to exclude our complaints. In the face of the Vice Chancellor’s hostility and the scale of the problem which calls for considerable motivation, time and energy from an ad hoc committee, the issue seems foredoomed to a slow death in the Council. Those who read our reports cannot but feel that something is very rotten in the state of the University.

An Explosion Waiting to Happen

After the Vice Chancellor had rudely turned down all requests, including from the Council, to discuss JUSTA’s reports, one incident for which she cannot totally disown responsibility, forced her to call a special council meeting on 14th October 2015; and a decision was taken to discontinue H, the Head of Music, in the Department of Fine Arts.

Stories linking H to exploitation of women have followed him since he joined the Department of Fine Arts, as they have several other seniors at the University. The claim by young women graduates in another faculty that having to be fair and pretty is important for being absorbed into the staff, whatever the substance, reflects the culture and atmosphere in significant sections of the University. The corrupting legacy of war has exacerbated the vulnerability of women and children to sexual predators and the University is far from setting a good example.

Given the licence, anyone like H who should have been disciplined long ago was allowed to advance in his career to become extremely reckless. A letter to the Vice Chancellor dated 22nd September 2015 signed by nearly 250 students accused the Head of Music H of indecent speech, using his hand phone to pass indecent messages and accused him of making lascivious advances to first year female students. They in addition provided a recording of an advance to a first year with explicit reference to the sexual act using a simile from cookery. The students gave the Vice Chancellor two weeks’ to act.

The Vice Chancellor’s memo to the Council dated 13th October 2015 acknowledges that complaints relating to the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts were placed before the Council in June 2011 in the form of anonymous letters and CDs, shortly after she assumed office (there was probably little hope under her predecessors) and a committee of inquiry was appointed. A member of the previous Council confirmed that H’s name featured early in the complaints, but they had no hard evidence. A preliminary inquiry commissioned on 23rd March 2013 dragged on, and before its completion, on 9th June 2013, the Council decided to interdict Mr. Arudsegaram, between whom and H there was no love lost. According to the former councillor, many of them opposed this move as they found no essential fault with Arudsegaram and they forced the withdrawal of the interdiction twenty days later. On 28th December 2013, the preliminary investigation was transferred to Dr. Mangaleswaran who reported within five months.

It was on Mangaleswaran’s report that H’s name was allowed unfavourable mention at the Council on 31st May 2014 and he was given a relatively gentle reprimand for ‘unacceptable activities’. Notably, Mangaleswaran’s report exonerated Mr. Arudsegaram. This was an indication that justice had been deliberately misdirected. There was more.

It was the Vice Chancellor who appointed H Acting Head/ Music in late 2012 and Head/Music from 1st November 2013. One who was then member of the Council said that several of them objected, but a former vice chancellor on the Council who ensconced himself in influence by being a trouble shooter for the powerful, forcefully asserted the Vice Chancellor’s sole right to appoint heads. The former Dean of Arts had tried to exercise some check on H but stood no chance in a Council tightly controlled by the Vice Chancellor and the Government Minister who held pre-council meetings.

Two members of the Music Department staff wrote to the Grievance Committee on 30th June 2015. Among their main demands was to take up the Mangaleswaran report (of May 2014) for discussion at the Council. The Grievance Committee which met on 25th July passed the ball on to the Council. Notably, the Mangaleswaran report was not given to the Council when it met on 14th October 2015 at the special meeting called on this issue.

We observe that the matter of H is just the thin end of the wedge of long tolerated impunity threatening the University’s future. A woman would seldom come out because of the stigma involved. She may give into a teacher promising favours such as a lecturer’s appointment, or in the extreme commit suicide. Defiance is the most difficult option in her situation. Here it happened because H’s recklessness mobilised the students. Where the ethics of a university had been corrupted, anything goes: as examinations conducted after very negligent teaching and wrong and incompetent persons assigned teaching duties. When the culture of a university plummets hopelessly and careers are made by political favours to those in authority, it becomes easy to collect fat salaries and fob off students with paper certificates.

To make matters worse, H whom the Vice Chancellor had been trying to protect and promote is the son-in-law of her beauty consultant. The University of Jaffna is not meant to be just one individual. We have dealt with two separate councils on our complaints of abuse to no result. The deans were hostile. After the 8th January presidential election when the Vice Chancellor got the jitters, all but one of the deans rallied and sent a servile letter to the State Minister for Higher Education dismissing our reports as ‘rumours’.

Against the indulgence she lavished on her beautician’s delinquent son-in-law, the Vice Chancellor trespassed on the authority of Dean/Arts to deny the use of Kailasapathy Auditorium to commemorate her late colleague Dr. Rajani Thiranagama. In April, she got the President of the University Teachers’ Association (UTA) to write requesting her to stop the discussion in the University of a book dealing with Rajani’s legacy, but was checked by the UGC Chairman. The incentive for the UTA President to comply with such petty vindictiveness was the VC’s promise to reappointment him as head of department (her nomination was refused by the new Council).

That tells us how a small group could take control of a university and perpetuate abuse. Control of heads means control of deans elected from among them. Control of deans means control of the Council. Although 14 of the 27 council members are supposedly independent external members the UGC appointed, if an issue is put to the vote, carrying it in defiance of the Vice Chancellor is very dicey. The decision to interdict H went through, because it happened suddenly and no one in the Council came forward to defend him. The roots of the abuse are old and deep.

Nursing Petty Grudges and Favouring the Incompetent

Jaffna is an example of the long term damage done by politically appointed and protected executives who do not understand university traditions. After many years of favouritism which renders the academic base very fragile, the power and patronage exercised by the vice chancellor and her acolytes has brought the university to its knees. Power is dispensed to cow down academics.

JUSTA has appealed to two UGC Chairmen and gave a detailed account of the blatant abuse at the Vice Chancellor’s election in March 2014. Sadly, our experience is that the UGC will do little to rectify status quo, however outrageous it is. For example, the former UGC Chairman backed the Vice Chancellor when she tried to retire a JUSTA member before his time in blatant disregard for the rules. When a Minister put her right, the UGC turned turtle and reversed its uncompromising stand.

A secretary of JUSTA was denied overseas study leave to upgrade his MSc to a PhD in the same Canadian university, based on an anomaly in a circular that on study leave discriminates against persons who have done their MSc abroad. A lecturer who had returned with his PhD from the US had to wait more than 15 months for his promotion.

The Sociology Department which teaches Sociology and Anthropology suppressed an applicant with a degree in Sociology and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University on the grounds that his doctorate was in Anthropology. The University in 2012 rejected four first class applicants in Computer Science for the post of Probationary Lecturer as having ‘poor subject knowledge’ and, in 2013, sneaked into this position meant for young graduates showing promise, someone who obtained a second upper twelve years earlier with only a recently obtained MSc to show. In Zoology the least eligible on merit among eleven interviewed was selected.

In March 2013 the Management Faculty while rejecting two first class applicants for probationary lecturer, selected a second upper who had taught in the tutory with which the dean was associated. In another department of the faculty, two good first classes were dropped in favour of one who got a 2nd Upper fourteen years earlier with little to show afterwards.

Behind a Façade of Patriotism and Piety

Postwar there has been an aggressive assault on the secular ethos of the University, both ceremonially and in appearance. In the name of culture there was even an abortive attempt to impose a dress code on women. Pongu Thamil (Tamils Arise) is a movement pioneered in Jaffna University in 2001, whose worldwide meetings whipped up enthusiasm for Tamil Nationalism as symbolised by the LTTE. Shortly ahead of Pongu Thamil celebrations in the University, on 6th September 2005, the movement’s founder and humanities don P was produced in court and remanded. He was charged with sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl from the Vanni who had been raped at home for the past three years. Finally when she insisted on breaking it off, as she testified to a woman counsellor and investigators, she was abused in obscene language and was admitted to hospital when she attempted suicide by swallowing Tippex.

While the LTTE did not show its hand openly, P had two high-powered TNA lawyer parliamentarians appearing for him. As a comment on the times, Child Protection Officer Stephen Sundararaj defied fear arising from the don’s powerful connections and was at the forefront of the case. His subsequent work, as he told US Ambassador Robert Blake in March 2007, implicated parties close to the State in child trafficking and prostitution rings. He disappeared after being abducted by uniformed men in Colombo in May 2009.

The case was finally taken up for trial in 2010 and passed under two high court judges and P was acquitted. We reliably learn that the prosecuting counsel had reported to his superiors that the witness’ testimony had been tampered with in the court and differed from the stenographer’s original notes – a matter of ‘double proceeding’.

When the case had come up in 2005, the courts received letters from university women in support of action against P; sixteen male academics were named for sexually abusive practices, including at least two professors whose reputations have passed into university lore. A married woman and mother who gave her details confidentially for verification said that she was importuned to spend a night with a lecturer to secure a pass in political science. One of those named in 2005 has a case against him meandering before the Council presently. An eyewitness’ complaint against a professor named, which went before the Council, was deliberately hushed up. An ombudsman with teeth who could receive complaints and guarantee confidentiality could have a huge deterrent effect against abusers. Post-terror Jaffna has a huge trust deficit.

P is back in business as a senior union official leading a signature campaign in the University for an International Inquiry into war crimes. Certainly, the victims need every help to secure justice that is thorough and credible, but their cause is not served by persons such as P backed by a nationalist movement that undermined justice locally to a helpless child who suffered three years of rape. The recent case of H is the tip of an iceberg. In a university teeming with abuse, abusers flock to the support of the Administration to protect status quo. Woe to the trapped students.

The Road to Redemption

There is no reason for Jaffna University to be in its present abysmal state. There are many outsiders willing to help and several good applicants with highly prized overseas exposure who could make the University a better place have been systematically kept out.

For a start the Council must initiate discussion of JUSTA’s reports at a series of special meetings as was called for H’s issue. The new University Services Appeals Board appears determined to dispose of cases quickly without delaying for months. The Council should do the same with JUSTA’s reports from evidence in documents held by the University and calling witnesses where necessary. The only way of preventing abuse is to deliver justice to the victims quickly and restore to them what was rightfully theirs.

The UGC needs to play a proactive role to see that justice is done if they are serious about the future of Jaffna University and ultimately of all universities. As we read the intention of Circulars 721 and 935, strict merit (allowing selection boards some leeway in assessing candidates from different universities) is the criterion for selection to probationary lecturer. Circular 935 says at the outset that it is ONLY meant to ‘relax’ the mandatory one year’s experience in C 721 by a presentation (a short lecture). It is clear that merit remains the selection criterion. However, anomalous interpretations of C 935 (b) have been used to undermine merit by making presentation the main criterion and introduce selection schemes that make a mockery of merit. This is an open licence to favouritism as has happened in Jaffna. Is it their reluctance to uphold merit that has led the UGC to play hide and seek with our reports? They need to clarify their position publicly. No one here wears a crown. If the UGC are mainly worried about new buildings and landscaping of universities, they are not doing their job. New departments and faculties without a core endowed with moral and scholarly merit are doomed to disaster.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    I agree with you. Administrators have to get their act together.

    But at the same time academics need to deliver as well. The majority of senior academics today does very little research and also very little teaching. Honestly not sure what they are doing!!. You will find it almost impossible to find a senior academic doing 10 lecture hours a week. Also most are not doing any worthwhile research either.

    Most of them have enough time to pick their kids from school in the afternoon and also they are off by 5 pm. They will work during weekends only if they get paid for doing external degrees or masters programs. Not a bad working environment.

    Academics should also be held responsible for the quality of graduates produced.

  • 10
    0

    Not only Jaffna all the Universities are same: Jokers are appointed as Professors. Take Colombo University Arts faculty famous family dept. Foreign aids (Netherlands and Japanese) robbing to all human ills are there. Grandfather emeritus, uncles, sons, pimps, sex partners Lecturers, etc. Mahinda is better than this joker emeritus.

  • 6
    0

    If what Rajan Hoole has said is true and there is no reason to believe otherwise, one is shocked and also saddened by the what is unfolding in a place that should be a temple of learning. Three decades of conflict has emasculated Tamil society.Taking a holier than thou approach to issues, demanding war crimes inquiries while the backyard is rotten and falling in to an abyss seems to be the unfortunate lot of the Tamil community.

  • 3
    0

    My God, Dr Hoole has let off one helluva stink bomb!

    No wonder this country is seeing more of its young and capable travelling far and wide to find decent higher education.

  • 7
    4

    Yes recheck qualifications of all professors in Sri Lanka. All of them are fakes. In order to be a real International professor your PhD from world top ranking 100 University, after PhD minimum 20 articles in SCOPUS and ISI indexed journals, 10 books with international publishers, three countries must appoint you as a visiting professor.

    • 8
      2

      Devasiri’s facts are all wrong! He is probably living in some other planet. No respectable professor even in the USA has received three visiting professorships or 10 books with International publishers. Having said that, I agree that the qualifications of some professors are much to be desired. Some do not have Ph.D.s or International publications. Most have publications in their own University journals. Some have never gone on sabbatical to a reputed University abroad. Some have got professorships from only their Ph.D. research abroad and the large number of citations received for these publications which really belong to the Ph.D. supervisor. Some professors are called abstract professors. They only have abstracts and not full publications.

      • 9
        1

        Dear Academic,

        I agree that, while Devasiri appears to have got his facts so wrong that there wouldn’t then be a single proper Professor in the whole world, all qualifications have to be carefully checked. Old Boy networks, etc. should have no place in Public Affairs. However, was it Devasiri himself who had written in exactly the same vein, denigrating Prof. Amal Kumarage of Moratuwa University (who, to the best of my knowledge, is a fine and committed academic who for years has also been making significant contributions, outside the University, to debates on Transportation – which is in such a mess because hitherto he has not been listened to)? Certainly, start by checking Prof. Kumarage’s credentials!

        As “Spring Koha” has stated, Rajan “has let off one helluva stink bomb!” and there “there (can be) no reason to believe” all this to be untrue as Vareeswaran has stated above. “Dr Hoole” writes without bitterness, although I’d like to tell “manel fonseka” (below) that the poor man has just retired as only “Senior Lecturer”, not Professor. He has a First Class BSc (Engineering) from Peradeniya and a Ph.D in mathematical logic from the University of Oxford. So, the qualifications were all right, but the man was hiding in Sinhalese areas of Sri Lanka for 15 years. Hiding from our Sinhalese governments and from the LTTE, after the Tigers had assassinated his colleague, Dr Rajini Thiranagama, the Head/Anatomy in the Jaffna University Medical Faculty.

        What this quiet man says has applicability to the whole of Sri Lanka, and not only to Universities. I know nothing of what really happens in Jaffna University, (or Moratuwa, for that matter), except what I hear about like this; but if we don’t pay heed to this, we will surely pay a heavy price for our arrogance. Rajan has just retired, his wife, Kirupa, still works in the University Library. They have no children. His exposures of what happens in that section of Sri Lankan society that he knows well is altruistically meant to benefit the entire country. What more can he do?

        It is we, in the South of the country, who determine what happens in Sri Lanka. By all accounts, the economy of the country can be saved only through what they call “massive devaluation and price rises”. There is a political dimension to all of this: let us, who are supposedly the intelligentsia of the country, get the messages across to the “working classes” who have no time to understand all of this. What I have said in this last paragraph are just my uneducated views. Corrections are welcome!

        • 6
          9

          No body will listen to jokers. first show that you are an international professor with at least 20 publications in ISI/Scopus journals.

          • 6
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            Thanks, Devasiri.

            According to you the population of the world can be divided in to two, and only two groups: Jokers and “International Professors”.

            I’m not an “International Professor”: are you one?

            Going by your logic, Rajan Hoole, Sinhala_Man, Maithripala Sirisena, C.V. Wigneswaran, Gauthama, Jesus, Mohamed, Beethoven, Shakespeare, even Mahinda Rajapaksa, and well, all other homo sapiens, are “jokers”.

            Dear Academic: could you please indicate to us from which planet you feel Devasiri has migrated in to our midst?

            • 5
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              Everybody has to accept that Sri Lankan Universities are real mafia and family business (Mafia definition: once you are in you can not never get out of it) and it is rotten to death. Why not publicly show professors Publications with indexing journals? and text books Even the most absurd title Senior Professor you find only in Sri Lanka. Correct this mafia business as all of us pay taxes to run this mafia system. I guess you do not find any Nobel prize winning person with this Senior Professor title. Correct wrong professor appointments and look for beyond Sri Lanka and get international recognition for University Professors. Do not allow University Lecturers do local PhDs and do not appoint them without minimum 20 High impact journal publications and at least without PhDs from world top 100 Universities.

              • 6
                3

                You asked me whether I am an international professor. I have answered that. I am NOT any sort of Professor: not a Senior Professor, not an Associate Professor. I rather think that the appellation senior professor has arisen informally owing to associate professors being referred to as “professor”. But why should I be so polite to you? You have been rude.

                I ask again, are you an international professor?

                • 5
                  5

                  No even I do not want to go to inside Sri Lankan public University for rain as I know rotten situation there. But I pay taxes out of my export business to run it. Therefore I have right to know what is going on inside and to correct this mafia business. You cut road to India, none of these students want to come to this Universities.

                  • 3
                    3

                    Dewasiri,

                    So you don’t like Sri Lankan universities. Have you been to a university anywhere in the world? The implied answer is “No”.

                    You will not even visit a University, though you have the temerity to make nasty comments. Get lost; if you know what is good for you, never dare to talk about universities hereafter.

                    You appear to have contempt for anything Sri Lankan. Perhaps you are one of the sort of odious guys we have here who imagine that they can scatter insults just because they have a smattering of English. A smattering only. Take the last two words of your previous post. “this universities”: singular or plural? Go back to the kindergarten.

                    • 3
                      3

                      My two first degrees from Oxford, Master from Harvard and PhD from MIT. I guess none of your generation member have opportunity to go there.

                    • 3
                      4

                      Do not blame to Devasiri. He is really intelligent person and he knows well inside Sri Lankan University system. Being a girl I have to sleep with first VC and later Dean and Head to become Lecturer. This is areal truth in SL Universities. It is family, sex and tribal business but pay tax payers to run it. You are talking about English of others. Joker you are not an English person either and everybody is trying. Listen to Devasiri and learn from him.

          • 3
            4

            Sorry Sinhala-man. I guess Devasiri is referring not to you. Your so called Transport fake guy’s title. I am a lesbian Head of Dept in SL University system. I only recruit female to my Dept and I run it as my private company and I am always for females. But I have good life but no one can not do anything because no one accuse me because I have enough girls to give to university top levels to get done anything. This is the real bitter truth in side public University system.

            • 4
              0

              Devasiri, Akasha, and sunitha,

              It doesn’t require much intelligence to realise that you are all impostors. I hope that Colombo Telegraph will permit me to make just a few points and exit discussion with this trio for ever:

              First, I do not pontificate: Whatever has been said about Prof. Amal Kumarage of Moratuwa has been been qualified by the phrase, “to the best of my knowledge”; however, I stand by what I have said of him. There probably are many politicians who desire to denigrate him because he talks straight:

              http://www.sundaytimes.lk/150315/news/the-attempted-great-highway-robbery-140034.html

              https://kumarage.wordpress.com/

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8a9fBzh_jk

              Read that and other articles by him, even if they have been published in a newspaper accessible to all, and not in SCOPUS. Why don’t members of the public who know know the subject criticise him for his views. I believe what he says, but I don’t claim expert knowledge.

              Second: the three Universities that Devasiri claims to have received his four degrees from, do not belong merely to the top 100 in the world, but have been consistently belonged to the Top Ten for many decades. I don’t believe that he has seen the inside of any of them. What is his field of study? How did a Sri Lankan find the money to enter all these Universities (I’m not discounting the possibility of a person finding the means, but it is highly unlikely)? How is it that he hasn’t won a Nobel Prize having enjoyed all these advantages? How is it that he isn’t known to the entire country, like Professors Ralph Buuljens, Cyril Ponnamperuma, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Yasmine Gooneratne, Rajiva Wijesinha, and Anton Jayasuriya, most of them rather controversial characters. At least we know their full names so that their claims can be checked. Who is this Devasiri?

              I am NOT going to reveal my name to you here. A couple of months ago Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam and I got in to quite a spat on this very forum, Colombo Telegraph. He challenged my credentials, and I gave him not merely my name, but also my email address. I haven’t had any mail from him, but I have no regrets about having done so. He is a bit muddle-headed on some subjects, but I know him to be real person, and a sincere one.

              Thirdly, Akasha, you have made comparative comments about English. Of course I’m not “an English person”, but I do know that I have a reasonable command of Sri Lankan English, which is the only World Language that we use in this country. English is a problematic language, but it is the most wide-spread in the world, and the “jokers” would be those who call for it to be replaced by some other language. However, even the “jokers” have a point because English has attained a ridiculous status as something “prestigious” in our society, which is why it is referred to as a “kaduwa”. It is your hero Devasiri who has been denigrating everything Sri Lankan, and who claims to be an alumni of three of the greatest Universities working in English. I grant that the example of his mistakes that I quoted – “this universities” – probably is a typo. The English of all three of you is clumsy. For instance, Devasiri has written: “I have right to know”, which, to my mind, indicates that he doesn’t know that the use of idiomatic English requires “I have A right to know”. I think that having alerted readers of Colombo Telegraph, they ought to be allowed to judge for themselves.

              Fourthly, “sunitha”, your sexual orinetation is no concern of mine. However, your comments suggest that you recruit only lesbian women to your Department, and that such recruits have indulge in non-academic sessions with you! Well, that is as “mafiaso” as Devasiri can imagine, I should think.

              For the reasons outlined, although I will respond to what others say, I’m done with this trio!

              • 0
                0

                Yes now your so called transport expert guy (Without credentials to become an international Professor) claims now he is an expert in Supply Chain and Logistics also. GOD bless for low quality local Universities and people who goes to study there from so called bogus experts. I thing best strategy is check your head you have that and if not look down and see you have that. I guess you do not have both. That is why jokers you consider as experts.

  • 2
    0

    The female VC must be the first in the university system to have a ‘beauty consultant’.
    She also appears to have no sense of justice and fair play.
    The UGC earlier had a female chairman appointed by President Mahinda R, and she later appointed her husband over the heads of fitter candidates, as VC of Colombo University.
    Both appear to have vanished into oblivion, with change of government.
    The university system appears rotten to the core and VCs who are misfits, and their cohorts, are able to survive and prosper.
    The entire system needs overhaul, by a minister, strictly according to merit, qualification and service records.
    But, do we have a minister qualified and able, is the question.

  • 4
    0

    When you give something free this is what happens, they least bothered, and appreciate the real value of it. Education, health care and any thing government gives free should be stopped. When they pay they would get better service.

  • 2
    0

    What a scandalous and pitiful state of affairs.

    I hope UGC members read Prof Hoole’s revelations and also Prof Daya Somasunderam’s recent lecture about the “Lost Generation” of youth in Jaffna, part one of which was carried in last Sunday’s Sunday Times 2.
    He exposes the lack of moral leaders for the youth to look up to. Certainly it appears they will not find them in the university nowadays.

  • 3
    2

    Devasiri

    “after PhD minimum 20 articles in SCOPUS and ISI indexed journals,”

    Some of those academics published their own journals until such time then folded it once they have achieved whatever they had set out to achieve.

    These are recuring complaints among honest academics. One of them went to the extent of blaming caste conciousness and existing old boy network among the Southern Sinhala academics for lower quality reccruitment procedure and promotion.

  • 1
    0

    I left Jaffna 26 years ago and the Jaffna I knew was proud of its morality and conservative sexual mores; the stark abuse of the kind you describe was unheard of even among the underclasses, let alone the university. Even the LTTE of that time would not have tolerated it.

    I have heard from many that, drained of its middle class during the war, Jaffna is having a serious crisis of values and morality. But the university teachers, even the poorly qualified ones, are supposed to be solidly middle-class.

    I remember reading about the alleged rape incident involving the pro-LTTE ‘Mr. P’ at the University of Jaffna a few years before the final war, and thinking that if it was true, it was a clear sign that the LTTE, known in our time in high school as a disciplined group despite its occasional brutality, had worsened sharply and started to dig its own grave.

    If you have clear evidence that the incidents are true, then you should publicly state their names, including the names of the TNA lawyers who appeared for him; the law may take a long time to get results, but there should at least be some naming and shaming.

    • 1
      0

      Agnos,

      “If you have clear evidence that the incidents are true, then you should publicly state their names, including the names of the TNA lawyers who appeared for him; the law may take a long time to get results, but there should at least be some naming and shaming.”

      A lot of the evidence is not strong enough for police and courts and the wittnesses will often be silent. The students are young and unwilling to spend 10 years in court, having problems with employment, bad reputation etc.

      You left Jaffna a long time ago and don’t know the reality that faces us.

      I can name many of the persons Dr Rajan writes about but CT might edit out all the names.

  • 1
    0

    Dr Hoole should print the names of H, P and 16 male academics (?!) along with the names of TNA lawyers who represented P.

    Students should know this shame list then only female students would be on alert with their so called teachers.

    For the recent case of H, VC should send a letter to all female students and their parents explaining what steps have been taken to provide a safer environment for female students to come to the campus and study.

    Not sure, the purpose of the student unions if they cannot kick the wolfs out of the class rooms. With camera phones, voice recorders along with social media, how hard it would be to expose these wolfs?

    Members of the civil society and parents should take the incompetent VC to the court.

  • 1
    0

    The corrupting legacy of war has exacerbated the vulnerability of women & children to sexual predators and the University is far from setting a good example,says Dr.Rajan Hoole.The present VC STANDS IN THE DOCK.She has to be disciplined in the first instance for her Impunity.

    In this instance,the Lone crusader,Rajan Hoole,has exposed the scandal @ Jaffna.
    In all probability,there are similar scandals in all the Universities,but we do not hear of them.There should be more Rajan Hooles.

    As reader Echo has stated the names of H,P & 16 male academics should be published.But who will bell the cat?
    I see similarities between Ex:Airlanka Chairman Nishanta Wicremasinghe and H!
    Both High Fliers.

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    0

    It is not matter of sex. If any girl want to have sex with anybody that is their business. We talk about more deeper crises that is appointment of fake professors. Recheck all PhDs and other credentials of joker profs.

  • 1
    1

    This is shameful and shocking. Moral values may not be present in other disciplines but the university where all lecturers etc are educated to be like this is totally unacceptable. There may be discrimination in universities of the south of the country but sexual bartering for qualifications is something unheard of. This is the tragedy of the people living in the north the women will forever be exploited by these lowdown skunks. This may be the reason they are asking for a separate state so that they can continue the good work! What a tragedy!

  • 1
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    “P is back in business as a senior union official leading a signature campaign in the University for an International Inquiry into war crimes.”

    Why do the others in this group allow P to participate?

  • 4
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    The biased, dishonest, corrupted and politically appointed Jaffna VC must be dismissed immediately. There is no academic freedom at Jaffna University. Some girls may agree to have sex with the professors/Lecturers to obtain first class or Lecturer position. Those culprits must be punished. Please appoint a competent authority ( very similar appointment at eastern University) to investigate all the malpractices at Jaffna University

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