10 July, 2020

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University Act meets its Waterloo At Eastern University

By Thangamuthu Jayasingam –

Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingam

Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingam

Many may not be aware of the Academic corruption at Eastern University over the past 3 years under the executive administration of Dr K Kobindarajah as Vice Chancellor. He is perhaps the only Vice Chancellor who was on Vacation of Post from the same university at the time of application and appointment; the only Vice Chancellor who had never been a Head of a Department or Dean of a Faculty prior to this appointment; the only person who had Police guards for 24 hours as a VC and many more of such exception.

The acceptance of his application was totally illegal in terms of the act and the E-code and the Waterloo begins. It ends with his nomination for the second term, approved by the UGC as legal.

He claimed that on the day of his assumption at the Eastern University he went and signed in the Department of Mathematics, thus terminating his VOP, which is the next waterloo. He had only requested for removal of VOP after the application to the VC post and letter went from University on December 1st to report and he agreed to report y end of February 2012, which he never did.

However at the time of reporting he was not a citizen of Sri Lanka and he thus has no right to sign as per E-Code. When this was raised the Faculty the administration just stated that he was ‘eligible’ with no documentation or proof of eligibility.

The 2nd Waterloo

Dr Kobindarajah never declared in his application of his VOP or citizenship and this was reported to the UGC on 4th November 2013 and to this day there had been no action by the UGC on it under the regulation.

The 3rd Waterloo

The Auditor General queried about the application during the VOP and the Non Citizenship factor from the university. The university on the advice of Dr Kobindarajah wrote ‘the requirement of citizenship was not in the advertisement’ and ignored the VOP clause.

This is the 4th Waterloo

Dr Kobindarajah applies for a duty free vehicle and gets one which he disposes. He is not entitled to the concession as a Vice Chancellor. He had not served continuously for eight years to be eligible as a Lecturer. In fact he had denied the benefit to other lecturers who were eligible and was restores on the order of the Minister of Higher Education at that time.

This is the 5th Waterloo

Dr. Kobindarajah reconstituted the leave and award committee (sub committee of the Senate) to keep away the Teachers Association representation in it. Not only that it was made of only Deans and Heads and no elected representative from the faculty from senate. The interesting aspect is that the decisions of the committee have been implemented without the approval of senate which is really null and void as it has no legal standing. Leave were arbitrarily, no pay leave was placed arbitrarily. Procedures were altered instantly and executed at the will to affect certain individuals positively or negatively.

This is the 6th Waterloo

Dean election had been postponed for more than a year against the UGC circular; appointment of a head was made before he assumed duties as Head of department; VC appointed the Head instead of Council; VC then ensures that person is elected Dean of Faculty.

This is the 7th multiple impact Waterloo

A person is appointed as Acting Dean as has been allowed to vote for the VC election. He had been away from the University for the past three weeks, having been also appointed the acting rector. He is allowed to Vote (illegal as the Dean is an elected position), the leave was interesting. He is granted leave from 5th October 2014(exact date may be incorrect) to 24th October 2014(exact date may not be correct) with the exception of 21st October 2014( the day of the VC election). The backdated leave was granted on 21st October 2014.

This is the X th waterloo, which drowns in the grave …

I could go on to list the irregularities and violations at Eastern University which I as a member of academic and we as Teachers Association of Eastern University are almost exhausted.

However with the change of government which promised corrupt free administration and charging those who violated laws as their MOTTO we still have a hope that the system may be able to rise from the graves of Waterloo. There is discussion on Changing the University Act. However if those who violated the law are buffered by the political verbosity and ambiguity to escape charges, then those affected would never get justice. If so, I have no option than to pray ‘may the God save higher education in this country from who prey on it’, academically, administratively and politically.

*DR. Thangamuthu Jayasingam – Senior Lecturer Eastern University

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    Minister Rajeeva Wijeinha appears have already adopted an approach like “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” as shown by his “no interference” approach towards the chairperson of the UGC who was rewarded the post by former president.

  • 0
    0

    I also can add more in this regard,

    Present VC Kiddunan Kovintharasa alias [Edited out]

  • 0
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    [Edited out]

    We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 1
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    Dr Jeyasingham you are absolutely right….but as usual Dr kobi(VC) will say only some members of the Teachers association complaining about him. Instead of saying this, Dr kobi has to think about the truth of the complains and he has to answer for these.

  • 1
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    Rajiv has no back bone and nothing will get done.

    Colombo and SJU VCs are political appointees and they are still in office.

  • 2
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    The content of the article is absolutely correct. Dr. Jay clearly justified it. We can see present situation of the Eastern University where the decisions are taken wrongly with the wrong person as head of the institution with no administrative experiences.Unfortunately he chosen the same types of people as the VC himself in the other administrative posts as Heads, Deans and Directors who have “no guts” in decision making, instead of that they support whatever the VC states and do not know whether the decisions obey university Act or Establishment code. Therefore the university is in a mesh condition.

    Dr Jay indicated some waterloos at the Eastern University…but we heard that many waterloos in there, including SEXUAL ABUSES. We heard that there were more than 6 staff (academic, non-academic and labour and they were Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim)resigned from their post due to [Edited out] sexual harassment. One lady reported to the Police regarding the sexual harassment [Edited out]

    [Edited out]

  • 2
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    The Colombo Telegraph is a forum that exposes all acts of Corruption,Impunity and other acts of irregularity by those holding high office.Therefore,the responses of readers to this article should also shed more light into the the reign of this VC. A CANADIAN CITIZEN appointed by the UGC is by itself an irregular appointment! Besides,the regularisation of his VOP is hilarious! The award of a car permit when he is not entitled to one is quite another. Rajiva Wijesinghe the turn-coat State Minister of Higher Education was himself a bit of an Academic for sometime.Perhaps,his inaction may be due to the fact that this is the style in other Universities as well and an exception cannot be made to the Eastern University! That is the style of Rajiva. If he does not move in the matter he should be moved out.

    By the way I was told that the former VC of the Eastern University Prof:Ravindranath was done to death so as to pave the way for the present guy to assume office. Whist it may not be a pleasant exercise for the Staff and Students to wash dirty Linen in Public[quite unlike the VC] THE EXPOSE IS VITAL.

  • 0
    4

    EUTA President Dr T Jeyasingam is trying harder to become the Vice Chancellor of Eastern University since he was never selected by Council even though he had applied 7 times in his life (VC post was advertised only 7 times in the history of Eastern University and tried everytime) He is trying to take advantage of regime change to become the Vice Chancellor by misleading FUTA. Someone please help him to become the Vice Chancellor. Please Dear Academics of Sri Lanka, here is an interesting question for you. Why a person who claims himself as one of the Guardians of the academia in our Country could not get enough votes to become one of the three names for VC post even though he continued to apply at Eastern University?
    By the way, Dr T Jeasingam [Edited out]

  • 0
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    I do not wish to enter the controversy without knowing the facts. Perhaps the EUSL VC is bad and perhaps he is not.

    But on vacation of post — there is nothing in the Act that says VoP is a barrier to employment. So that is no Waterloo for the Act.

    The Establishments Code does prohibit such employmentg but it is by the UGC and is stated to be a guideline in the E-Code itself; and as such the UGC is entitled to give waivers. For example many who fled because of the war were reinstated by the UGC as I believe the VC was.

  • 3
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    I would like to clarify to Academic on the VOP issues. You are correct, people had been invited to return to their positions or to the country those who fled for fear, by the President and it is used by many including Dr Kobindarajah. When DR Kobindarajah applied for VC position on August 2011 he had not even made an application to return to the country. He only made an application in October 2011 for removal of VOP which was replied favorably in December 2011. Further on the day of the election to the VC position he was still under VOP as he had not reported yet. IF he was not elected he may have never reported for duty or service( his citizenship query being set aside). I don’t think the request for the return of the expats was meant to return to take up VC position, but return to SERVICE of those genuinely interested in the development of the country.

  • 4
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    I usually do not like to enter onto debate of my article. However JONYPAPPA ( whoever you are and whatever your name may be; I am able to write in my own name) had been making the same comments on many places and I think it is proper to explain to my readers.
    The question is not the VC position. The charges I have pointed out/placed not been answered. It is independent of my application to the position of VC ( you made wrong counts). Some of us may not have the skills to OBTAIN VOTES in a FREE and FAIR election, but that does not waive my rights to point out corruption and malpractices in the system. I hold pride that I had been the longest serving member of the Eastern University. in fact the 1st Academic member to be enlisted (having been Permanent in University of Peradeniya) at Batticaloa University College(predecessor of the EUSl)in 1981. I had stood the test of time at the university facing issues and not running away from it. Jonypapapa, getting VOTES in an ‘INDEPENDENT COUNCIL’ is not a measure of of an ACADEMIC or clearance from corruption and malpractices. I prefer to be an ACADEMIC ALWAYS, and am glad am able to speak for those who are affected as a person or as a UNION.

  • 0
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    Dr Jay, You are perfectly correct. Jonypapapa is not in the position to express his name like us. But any how we know who is this.REAL ACADEMIC does not go behind the politician or other armed group or even students’s union for their OWN benefits like the EUSL VC. I can understand why Dr Jay could not get VC post. We have to salute Dr Jay because he never ever go behind the people for his own benefit.He maintains the academic dignity. We are proud…

  • 4
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    Hellow Johnypapa (Dr Kobindarajah),

    You need to be get more experiences in order to handle ‘problem solving mechanism”. You always blames Dr Jay that council not selected Dr Jay for the post of VC. You wants to know one thing that VC position is politically appointed. Dr Jay don’t want to ‘beg’ the politician to get the appointment..like you. [Edited out]

    If the council proceeds with the qualification of the candidates who applied for the VC post, Dr Jay is the one MAN who eligible for the post. This is known by all of the people in Sri Lanka. You may thrown away from the post.

    Dr. Kobi what is your qualification…in the academic field to contest VC post?

    (1) You have ONE YEAR master (MSc)- you dropped that one also in the middle and then went again to complete. Did you remember?

    (2) You have 18 months PhD – this is part of the ongoing research work at that time at South Africa. You did not do a complete study. Your supervisor was almost in retirement at that time of your study. You beg that prof not to retire until your work.Then you completed one part of the research. Your begging started from South Africa. UGC asked minimum 2 years full time research or PhD that equivalent to 2 years full time.What about you???

    (3) Your research – one research paper in your Masters and one from your PhD. But you claimed your MSc and PhD thesis as publication in your CV (at EUSL Web). Don’t you know the research ethics???

    (4) NO OTHER QUALIFICATIONS…???

    (5) Only one post(Director/computer centre, EUSL)-you got by begging the LTTE.

    So, such type of qualification is not from Dr Jay. You not compare Dr Jay with you. Rethink how the councils for last 7 times worked to select the VC…It not due to the qualification but to the political influences and “begging capacity” of the VC candidates.

    If Kobi is a genuine person..he would have been answered to all the allegations against him…AT LEAST ONE of the ALLEGATIONS. Instead of that he blame unnecessarily to other “ACADEMICS”.

    The Teachers Union handed over 160 pages document of allegations of Kobi to UGC, Ministry and Kobi himself. What is the output…?? Nothing…Kobi had good relations (….????) with former UGC chairperson Shanika, Secretary to the Minister Sunil Jayantha, Secretary to UGC chairman Nandasena and the former MoHE. So the document was hidden under the carpet.Now the time to dig the carpet.

    RECENT NEWS: The supporters/”boneless people” of Kobi went to one of the members of parliment in Batticaloa to ask to recommend Kobi for next term of VC post. The MP asked them that kobi has various allegations and [Edited out]. Those “so called academics” who met the MP accepted Kobi’s [Edited out] and told the MP that “ALLEGATIONS OF KOBI INCLUDING [Edited out] ARE TRUE AND PLEASE FORGIVE KOBI”. The “boneless people” asked SORRY for Kobi to the MP (TNA).

    This is the real face of KOBI. He can talk fantastically…but facts are nil. His building looks like strong but his basement is WEAK.

  • 0
    2

    Hello Dr T Thiruchelvam [Edited out]
    We are supporting Dr Kobi as he is one the genuine academics, not like you. [Edited out]

  • 0
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    Thanks Jey and UTA for their initiatives. This is a good opportunity to expose all corruptions at the Eastern Uni. By hook or crook we have to send corrupt people home. Especially we need to get rid off those with blood stained hands. We have not forgotten Prof Raveendranath. We should respect the FEW academics with principles.

  • 0
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    Thanks [Edited out]……..I just visited to VC profile and saw the publication……you are correct. He has put his PhD and MSC thesis under publication…..its very funny…..even some probationary staff has more publication than him. I wonder how he manage the university where he was working in Canada with these poor publication….and want to know whether he worked as tutor there….

  • 1
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    Now that the UGC chair has resigned, the VCs who got appointed by going behind politicians and their stooges also should resign. However, the UGC chair person is a professor on her own merit mislead by politicians in the past. The mere fact that they could give honorary degrees to people without any basic degree or any recognized contribution they may have made in a discipline in that university(like for example Dr Martin Wickramasinghe) shows the poverty of academic culture that prevailed in that premier institution during her period as a VC, before getting her spouse appointed as VC by the former authority overlooking professors.We all know that even the former PM late Margaret Thatcher’s name was rejected for such honor by the Oxford University in the UK. I hope that the Colombo University will rise to such status in the future by recognizing appropriate excellence in areas under its domain.

    With respect to the relatively younger developing university in the East I was ashamed to see the credentials given by the person on his application to VCs position. Listing ones qualification in such a fraudulent manner is pure academic prostitution to fool those council members who got appointed by the same VC.
    If the Deans of faculties representing Senate and Council are NOT capable of assessing a CV, their presence in the academic institution is a disgrace for people like Prof Sultan Bawa and Prof Arulpragasam – former VCs of this institution.
    In Thai Language the term “Doctor Banana” is used for those who fail to contribute to knowledge after their PhDs as the Banana tree produces only one bunch of fruits in its life time. Dr Jeyasingam who authored this article is NOT such a person, who volunteered to come and help this institution from its early days from University of Peradeniya. His contribution to his discipline and National Human Rights movement is well known.

    We can only talk about democratic numbers in an academic matter when people involved are capable of making academic decisions rather than political decisions. Even after making such a decision the University Act provided an opportunity to the appointing authority to make a learned decision on a candidate within the 3 selected by the council. Unfortunately in the previous occasion in appointing the VC the authority has taken advice from former rebel- changed politicians rather than people with knowledge of academic leadership.

    When it comes to appointment of technical nature, merit should over ride all other considerations. When we see one “blast cell” or see one “organism’ under the microscope we never ask for hundreds of cells or organisms in a democratic sense to diagnose and manage a patient with a malignancy or an infection.

    Now we have some freedom from “white vans” and those people with expertise and merit should NOT wait any more to prevent the decay in the university system!

    jayawick

  • 1
    0

    OLD MAN.

    There is a Principle that Justice delayed is Justice denied. With respect to the murder of the former VC. by elements known to the University community pretty little was done to articulate this.Instead,you all are holding a brief for who should be the next VC! The murder of the former VC.Prof:Rabindranath was the handiwork of Karuna/Pillaiyan.Am I right or wrong? Is it also correct to say that the present VC was the choice of KARUNA who massacred 600 odd Policeman after they surrendered. There is no justice even for the families of those Policemen!

  • 1
    0

    Now three things have to be highlighted throughout these comments

    1.Present VC of Eastern University has no prior experience in administration

    2. He has no sound academic gain except PhD……… “Banana Doctor”

    3. He has been appointed by the influence of thrid class politicians and former members of terrorists

    So what is he thinking…..up to him !!!!

  • 0
    0

    Pygmalion,
    if you want to read what happened at Eastern Uni and what the roles these people played in the murders of Prof Ravindranath and Thampiah, please read the biography of the respected Journalist Thurairatnam’s article at Thinakkathir. I am giving the links here.
    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    OLD MAN.

    Thanks mate.The links seems to have been edited out? Is there an English version detailing the foul murders?

  • 0
    1

    Dear Reader
    you should be aware of the person who defeated seven times contesting for vice chancellor in EUSL. his last attempt of him to occupy the VC chair.

    several time he blockaded the former VCs of EUSL there are so many inquiries against him . the person spoils the campus

    His only aim is occupying the VC chair
    don’t believe the person allegation and be fare and let the campus ….. be free from the ‘academic freedom’ people.who disturb the campus

  • 1
    0

    Dear Musthaba,

    Please do not write without knowing the facts of the university and the person who you are mentioned. COMMON statements are USELESS. Do you have evidence of “so many inquiries” as you said.

    He is the person wants to develop the campus not like you mentioned the others. If he has the only aim to occupy the VC chair…he would have bee on the chair long before….He do not want the political influences.

    Musthaba, do you know he is the first Rector of the Trincomalee campus and got abot 200 acres of land where the Trincomalee campus is functioning now. DO you know him….He resign his rector post when the administration and the situation not well to function as a Rector. All the developmental process are going through his hand. I am challenging you that if any one in the university able to get the foreign fund to develop the university. Present VC also requesting Dr Jay to write the proposal and after undercutting him.

    You should know how to write a commence, please update yourself before get into the space.

  • 0
    0

    Although Karuna was the perpetrator, [Edited out] were the real conpirators in the assasination of Prof Raveendranath. This was a well known secret and Journalist Thurairatnam wrote about it clearly.

  • 0
    0

    Hi everyone! let me give an small analysis as the first term of VC is almost over (?). No one is perfect each an every Administrater has positives and negatives. In their periods, if positive things overtak nagtive he/she will be either successor or the system would request their service..but when the negative things overtak their wiil be the lossers…then they have to go behind the politicians and use their power to hold the chair. When we see these thing of VC of EUSL the following invisible facts are matter (apart from what Dr.Jey’s allegations. Questions is how the EUSL staff make EUSL a world class University if the follwings are seen there (these things are submitted to VC as well to br forcused on if he is selected for second term..anyway)

    1. His primary policy is “DIVIDE AND RULE”, due to that there are three groups among the staff at EUSL because of his strategy, which is not good for the development of any institution because there will be a lack of coordination, group work and mutual understanding(don’t blame UTA as usual).

    2. Instead, his policies to control the staff are shouting, humiliating or insulting wherever no matter and taking revenge indirectly ……but no advice or guidence..may be due to his inexperience

    3.No consistency in decisions taken in Senate, LAC and Council…he usually change (MANUPULATE) the decisons that already taken in the previous meeting after lenthy discussion….some times the decisons have been changed more than five times..if someone oppose his decision that staff will have to face the consequeces depends on the value of the case. Most of the decisons are taken on his influence…saying “I AM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR..I HAVE POWER TO TAKE THIS DECISION”….then someone may asked what other staff are doing at the meetings..yes they will stop argument after certain level and keep quit thinking NO USE of further discussion.

    4.He does not know how to have professional speach at any open forum or common fucntions like convocation, meeting with diplomates or in confererences..which probably damage the name of the instituion as well.

    5. He always humilate senior academics saying there are useless in the system…bey he should understand that actions of young academics with the experience of senior fellows would be much more productive.

    6. He never thing he is one of among the staff..instead he always acts as superior or alien and treat all others below him.

    7.He discourage the staff in commiting consultancy in outside thinking people are ruuning for money. Basically this will not help for community and national development because academics are behind the policy making.

    8. He has no good relationship with stakeholders such as other public department, society, and other top officials.

    9. He himself has already damaged the name of the EUSL at severasl forum syaing or qouting lapses and shortcomings like “our staff are not deciplined…our staff have no sound publication…our staff should learn from so and so”…then outsiders beleive that all the academics are same as the recognized person say in this way(but other institution heads never quot in open try to sortout within the system… eventhough they may have more than EUSL).

    10.Though he always speak againts corruption… he either promote or keep close some corrupted people for his own benefit.

    These are the primary negatives..ofcourse some positive and energetic idea that he always propose only at media conference and in front of the officials who are coming from South…..

    1. He is very much keen promoting research culture.

    2. He always speak againts financial corruption(this fact is hanging on untill the corruption allegation is prooved or rejected anyway)

    3.He always try to promote young academics but unfortunatly avaioding senior staff.

    but big question is those energetic ideas become inmaterilized or unimplemented because of the negative things.

  • 0
    0

    ALEX.

    Thanks for your info:on this chap: I was told that he came from a disadvantaged family from Samanthurai.Dhoby to be precise! The behaviour pattern as you have highlighted lends credence to that fact.

  • 0
    0

    alex! I am agree with your statement. An example he can’t compare the research capasity of the staff with his research capasity. He has only 2 publications. His ego and background will never allow to promote others. Anyone can excuse vc but can’t excuse the persons who are supporting him to get benefit from him, to hide their allegation(like deans) shame shame

  • 1
    0

    Dear John,
    Don’t you feel disgraced or ashamed to penalize some with his caste? Are you really educated? Now we can understand that you all are against the Vice Chancellor Dr Kobindarajah since he is come from [Edited out] community as John mentioned. I was told by tamil friends that Cast issue is a main problem among Tamil Community.Guys be academic

  • 1
    1

    Dear Putthan kanthy

    Your view may be correct ? but the problem with the person is puzzling everything.why he step downed from the post of Rector… Purchasing of computers
    then he blocked the VC car and disturb the former VS’ administration. there are so many incidents I can point out.

    some people try to become Vc by using students and community stating corruption is it correct?

  • 1
    0

    John,
    I have lived and worked in Batticaloa. Unlike Jaffna, cast system doesn’t play an important role in Batticaloa. Instead, regionalism plays an important role when top positions such as GA, VC, MP are concerned. In the past regional cards were played by people to win positions. However, this time, all contenders seem to be sons of soil and this old technique may not work. Unless these people stop infighting, this university will not grow at all. Although south eastern university was established much later than EUSL, it has grown and developed faster because of the muslim leader’s guidance.
    This is time for all to choose a corrupt-free charismatic leader to move on.

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