VC Election At Jaffna University: Mockery Of Democracy And University Autonomy

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Colombo Telegraph has come to know that the professor of Mathematics at the University of Jaffna who topped the VC’s election held recently has a questionable track record as academic administrator and public figure. Members of the University Council, as electors of Vice Chancellors, are obligated to search for and elect leaders with inclusive social vision for the highest administrative seat in the public university. If a candidate with a narrow social vision and proven history of sectarianism was able to secure the support of 17 out of the 23 Council members who cast their votes, it is a sad reflection of how these members appointed to the University Councils on the basis of their academic eminence, administrative experience and contribution to social progress evaluate the candidates, the political and ideological affiliations and preferences of the council members and their understanding of the role of the public university and its relationship to the marginalized segments of the country’s polity.

Jaffna University Council

We reliably learn that this professor of Mathematics, who received the highest number of votes, attempted to block the publication of an article that was scathing in its critique of casteism in Jaffna society two years ago. This well-researched article was written by an academic attached to the University of Peradeniya, for a felicitation volume for the Late Mr. Thangavadivel, a Left-wing activist who was involved in people’s struggles against caste discrimination in Jaffna and a well-known teacher at Udupiddy American Mission College. Both the writer of the article and the professor of Mathematics are alumni of Udupiddy American Mission College.

The article (click here to read the article), as it was submitted by the author for publication in the felicitation volume, appeared in a magazine called Aakkaaddi in 2015 with prefatory notes by the author about the attempts made by the said professor to block its publication. Academics and researchers who have contributed to academic conversations on caste and participated in public campaigns against caste-based discrimination wonder how this professor of Mathematics who tried to suppress freedom of expression in a public forum will ensure academic freedom at University of Jaffna, if he is appointed as the VC of the University by the President of the country. Some even questioned the wisdom and politics of the members of the University Council who voted for this professor of Mathematics in the VC’s election. They note that most members of the University Council are either deliberately blind to and complicit in practices of social exclusion that happen along lines of ethnicity, religion and caste in the University or out of touch with the realities on the ground.

The said professor of Mathematics also took efforts to move the university’s main entrance to face the Parameswaran temple inside the campus with a view to giving the University a Hindu character. Moreover, when he was the Dean of the Faculty of Science last year, he gave in to the demand made by the Tamil students to not include Kandyan Dancing in the procession held at the welcome event for the freshers though he initially supported the Sinhala students’ demand. When the Sinhala students defied this decision, and tried to perform Kandyan Dancing during the welcome procession, they were attacked by the Tamil students and the University was temporarily shut down. Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that some members of the Tamil People’s Council, a Tamil nationalist body that includes representatives of political parties and civil groups, actively campaigned for this professor’s victory. Even as the academic community in Jaffna is awaiting the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor, some newspapers in Jaffna have already declared that the UGC would soon announce the appointment of this professor as the University’s new Vice Chancellor and a letter in this regard had already been sent to the UGC by the President. He is also described as the next Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna at public events that he attends in the peninsula.

That the top administration of the University of Jaffna in the recent past was hostile to researchers who exposed casteism in Jaffna society and the caste biases of Tamil nationalist politics is evident in the way an applicant was treated by the former VC of the University when he faced an interview for a Lecturer position in Sociology. This promising scholar who had done work on casteism in Jaffna was denied the post of Lecturer (Probationary) in Sociology because the previous VC who also taught Sociology reportedly did not like the research findings presented by the scholar which demonstrated that caste-based discrimination and exploitation were rampant in the North. Recently, at the invitation of Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research and Jaffna Science Association, the researcher did a presentation on caste issues in the North at the University of Jaffna at a session on social justice in the North and East. But the screening of his documentary that had been scheduled for the weekend after the presentation at the University was abruptly cancelled because a section of the academic staff and administrators were unhappy with the presentation made by the scholar.

It should be noted that the present VC of the University of Jaffna tried to ban the launch of Palmyra Fallen, a book about the violence that the Tamil community faced from within and the outside during the civil war and after, by Rajan Hoole of the University of Teachers’ for Human Rights (Jaffna) who was at the time of the launch was a lecturer attached to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Jaffna. The book which offers an incisive analysis of caste discrimination among the Tamils appears on the list of works cited by the scholar from Peradeniya in his paper on caste for the felicitation volume. Interestingly, the said professor of Mathematics, who reportedly told the author of the article on casteism that he had never read Rajan Hoole’s books because Hoole was known as an anti-LTTEist, was spotted at the launch which was also attended by several academics from the South and representatives of the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA). The present VC also banned the launch of a book on the plight of the up-country Tamil people later because some politicians had been invited to the event.

For free education to be meaningful to the marginalized populations of our country, our schools and universities should nurture academic freedom, awareness of social justice, multi-culturalism and secularism not just in their academic endeavors but also in the day-to-day running of the institutions. While university councils should be autonomous and decisions made by the councils should be free of political interference, the councils and their members are obligated to ensure that these values are given the foremost place in the everyday life of the public university. When they are tasked with the responsibility of electing academic leaders for administrative positions, they should take every possible to step to ensure that people who have demonstrated commitment to these values get these positions.

Appointment of those who indulge themselves in sectarian politics will only lead to the deterioration of free education and our universities and schools will become places that feed competing nationalisms, religious chauvinisms and casteism. First by rejecting the application of an external candidate on spurious legal grounds and then by giving the highest number of votes to a polarizing academic, the majority of the members of the Jaffna University Council have made a mockery of democracy, university autonomy and inclusiveness. The previous Council of the University of Jaffna was remote-controlled by the EPDP and its leader. When a new group of Councilors were appointed by the UGC after the regime change in January 2015, many expected a positive change in the way the University was run. This was mainly because the public saw most UGC-appointed members of the Council as politically independent. However, their failure to address deep-rooted problems in recruitment and investigate charges of nepotism and favoritism in previous recruitments and later its decision to reject the application of an external candidate for the post of Vice Chancellor have made many who anticipated change feel disappointed and angry.

We offer below a translation from the prefatory notes by the author of the article on caste discrimination about the attempts made by the said professor of Mathematics, who polled the highest number of votes in the VC’s election, to block the publication of the article in the felicitation volume:

“A mathematics professor from Northern Sri Lanka tried every trick in the book to stop the publication of my article. The professor told me that this article would lead to others labelling me as someone who writes about caste. He also said he did not read Rajan Hoole’s books because Rajan Hoole was identified as anti-LTTE. The professor also told me that Varnashramadharma [the social classes and their responsibilities as mentioned in Brahmanical texts like Manusmriti] has an eternal life. He added that the article criticizes many people and that it would be better if I wrote from a religious perspective. The professor quoted Ramana Bhagavan [a Hindu sage] who had once said that one should not criticize those who are alive. Because of the illusion created by this professor about my essay, sections of my article were chopped off when preparations were made for the publication of the felicitation volume.”

There may be valid criticism of other candidates who ran for the office of the Vice Chancellor too; as aspirants for the post of Vice Chancellor, their role as intellectuals and public figures cannot escape public scrutiny. But what alarms many and why this case should be flagged is that a person who holds such retrograde, anti-intellectual views was able to gain the support of more than 70% of the University Council and become first in the contest. 

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109 Responses to VC Election At Jaffna University: Mockery Of Democracy And University Autonomy

  1. 11
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    This looks like a clash between some who want to establish the christian culture in the University versus those who believes in the HIndu society. Casteism and Democracy are the key words used. Anyway that helps Sinhale. Because, eventually, christianity will be crap as it is in Europe and some places in North america. No one cares. Casteism is the result of the system that existed in the ancient society ruled by kings and emperors with the help of Brahminic religions. Democracy is a moderen political world which does not make any sense as so-called democratic countries are police- states run by secret agencies. DEmocracy is either worshipping the catholic church as in the Europe, or worshipping the Queen as in England or worshipping celebrtities and the dollar as in the North america.

    jimsofty
    April 19, 2017 at 3:04 am
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      Dear Jim sotie, We ought not to imagine that causing ferment in Jaffna society, we help “Sinhale”. It is in our interest to have the Northern Province strong and united so that we can discuss them how we can all work together to promote a United Sri Lanka. It looks as though you are so perverse that you wish Jaffna Society to have corrupt and self-seeking leaders as a strategy to help us Sinhalese. No than you! This was probably the thinking behind the burning of the Jaffna Library. If you hate Tamils so much stay away from them. You often seize on opportunities to cause dissension among minorities. There’s absolute inconsistency in the stands you take, because your sole purpose appears to be causing dissension everywhere. Before this you have said again and again that I’m really a Tamil pretending to be a Sinhalese. I have given you my phone number, asking that you give me a missed call so that I could speak to you, in Sinhala, at my expense. I repeat that challenge. Regretfully, I don’t know any Tamil; I communicate with Tamil friends in either English or Sinhala. Being the minority in this country, most Tamils who get about a bit, know Sinhala. What I advocate for the younger people in this country is trilingualism.

      Sinhala_Man
      April 19, 2017 at 7:39 am
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        Sinhala_Man: Even in the democratic western society, the selection process is flawed. You won’t get the any position you want.

        jimsofty
        April 19, 2017 at 10:57 am
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          In democratic western society you will be in jail for promoting extremism and terrorism. Definitely you won’t get the terrorist position you want

          AJ
          April 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm
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        Sinhala_Man, “What I advocate for the younger people in this country is trilingualism.” Yes but how to achieve it? If you visit Jaffna schools you will discover what the quality of the teachers and students of English and Sinhalese is. Only the people who have lived in the South speak Sinhalese but very few can read it. I have an idea of inviting Sinhalese to teach the language here in the government schools but this surely would be rejected by the Tamil politicians.

        Lone Wolf
        April 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm
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          It is admittedly difficult to get a second and a third language taught. For people like us it is neither difficult nor crucial. As we see from the comments of some on CT, knowing English is no guarantee that our attitudes are satisfactory, yet most of us interact with each other in a civilised way. Most of us are bilingual, and I have ensured that my children are trilingual. For a Sinhalese there is little economic gain from knowing Tamil. However, we are in a position to ensure that our children are exposed to three languages. If only young people used the Internet intelligently and consistently they could learn English effectively. But few of those needing guidance in this respect listen to our advice. Why? Because we never meet them! That was why I made some acerbic comments on the later “My SAITM stories”. Like it or not, there is a definite class aspect to this. When it comes to learning the other Swabasha, the major stumbling block is not present: the Kaduwa attitudes of the upper classes which causes inhibitions in learners is not in operation. If the political will is there, the third language can be easily taught. Sinhalese government servants DO learn Tamil; I didn’t do so, didn’t have to. When reading English for a second degree, it is compulsory for undergrads at Peradeniya, then and now, to learn something of Tamil Literature in their Second Year. I hope that the results are to be seen in my comments! Our problems are with those citizens of our country who don’t belong to our social level. For the umpteenth time I’ve had to tell somebody today that I’m really a pretty poor guy. However that does NOT mean that I pretend to be disadvantaged in our rat races. Let me assure you, Lone Wolf, that your attitudes could not be better than they are!

          Sinhala_Man
          April 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm
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      What is this fuss? CT is trying to fool Eelam Tamils by highlighting petty issues and ignoring existential demands of Tamils. Tamils’ quest is for Tamil Eelam. All other issues can be considered only after we achieve the Eelam. As our eternal leader Thalaivar rightly noted and demanded all Tamils should commit to Eelam. Instead some misguided elements of Tamils are crying foul about petty issues. Dont be fooled by them, they are the same people going behind genocidal Sinhala government to win favour. This incident is also showing why Tamils need our promised Eelam to manage our own affairs. Now that Thalaivar is not more, Tamils are acting like rapid dogs, biting each other, advancing their own agendas. When Thalaivar and heroic fighters of Tamil Eelam were in command, Thalaivar decided who should be who in Tamil Eelam- not just in Jaffna university, even in the TNA. Tamil society was in peace and tranquility.No one , except a few traitors ever objected to the benevolent rule of Thalaivar who finally had to give his life for the future of Eelam Tamils. Thalaivar was not the president, prime minister and national leader , but also the guide of Tamil destiny. He appointed the vice chancellor . Now Eelam Tamils should be able to see traitors who were hiding their true colour when Thalaivar was alive. If Thalaivar was alive, those traitors would have paid for their treachery. but these traitors should not have their time in this world longer. Eelam would finally become a reality. Then traitors will pay for their treacherous acts with interest.

      Eelam Tamil analyst
      April 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm
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        ET Whatever muckraking that goes on will go on. But please do not tell me that Tamileelam is the answer. Thalaivar by deciding ho should be who destroyed what he had and what little the Tamil people had. Let us be a little more positive and try to rebuild out institutions not for Tamils, but all of us.

        SJ
        April 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm
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          Thanks, SJ. It is never difficult for me to find exemplary comments by you. About your intellectual BRILLIANCE there can be no doubt.

          Sinhala_Man
          April 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm
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        Look mate! Do your shit heads do a better job than our shit heads? Looks like all are same! Just shit heads. Sinhala or Tamil same gene pool. It is your Thalaivar who hid behind Tamil youth and guns! I guess you must be a member of the refugee industry where you send 100 Pounds every month so poor Tamil kids go meet Davy Jones?

        srinath gunaratne
        April 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm
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        The views expressed by the author and thereby the attiude reflected only adds highly inflammable fuel to the fire of hatred. This alone is enough for those in other camps to maintain that this is the typical thinking and attitude of ALL TAMILS though not explicitly expressed. This is further fortified when views are now expressed that any attempt to bring in amity and reconcillation of all of Sri Lanka is to be treated as undermining the “Tamil Cause”. The final paragraph is devasting to imply that even amongst Tamils there cannot be any divergent views and if so better pay it with one’s life. After a 30 year war who lost? ALL OF SRI LANKA LOST.

        Good Sense
        April 20, 2017 at 5:56 am
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        TEA,Tamils’ quest is for Tamil Eelam. All other issues can be considered only after we achieve the Eelam. As our eternal leader Thalaivar rightly noted and demanded all Tamils should commit to Eelam.” ” Speak for yourself and your “thalaivar” – thalai less yar. He who promoted EPDP criminal to ministerial post by boycotting 1994 General Election and most corrupted mass murderer of Sri Lankan children and women to presidency by again boycotting 2005 presidential election cannot be a leader but obsessive madman. As for Ealam, people in North and East have spoken loudly by voting for moderate TNA and completely rejecting Gajendran Kumar Ponnampalam and his party. Let the wounded victims and not the unrealistic followers of “thalaivar” decide what they want. No more idol worship in politics.

        Saro
        April 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm
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        Eelam Tamil analyst: Start another war.

        jimsofty
        April 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm
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        Eelam Tamil Analyst Are you real? I find it difficult to believe that you are serious.

        Susruta
        April 23, 2017 at 7:40 am
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      Traitor, don’t spread your unpatriotic Sunhale separatist ideology here. If you do not want to coexist with everybody, feel free to swim back to Bangaladesh. There they will do Sunnath for you and your faggot BBS terrorists companions.

      AJ
      April 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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      Jaffna University is the darkest place in the North. Therefore, I didn’t bother to apply for the Vice Chancellor position. I applied three positions at Jaffna University; as a lecturer, mentor and tutor but didn’t get an interview. However, I applied for the Vice Chancellor position at Colombo University and got selected for the final stage, but didn’t get the job. At least Sinhalese put me in the final stage, but dangerous Tamils would not even call me for an interview. Dangerous Sri Lankan Tamils take pride in eliminating and ignoring their own intellectuals. No other race in Asia has ever eliminated their own leaders and intellectuals as Sri lankan Tamils.

      Antany Peter
      April 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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        Antany Peter: Are you joking? What is happening to your dream job – Governor of NP? So Jaffna University rejected your application for VC-ship? Are you suggesting that you are on par with the other VC applicants? When are you going to whinge that your application was rejected because you have a non-Hindu sounding name? So Jaffna University rejected your previous application for lectureship? Lectureship in what? Making a fool of oneself? This is not a much sought after course.

        K.Pillai
        April 20, 2017 at 11:19 pm
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          You don’t even make a comment under your own name. Does it make you smart? China won’t allow any online website which operates from the Western country. You are lucky, because you are dealing with Indian Subcontinent which has two billion people lead by foolish Indians. The LTTE was India’s brainchild; it says a lot about Hindu extremists in New Delhi. India fought against the West in 1940’s, but decided to entertain Dali Lama in 1960’s to please the West. By doing so, Indian leaders decided to meddle with China instead of developing their countries. In 1970’s India created Tamil armed groups to create terrorism in Sri Lanka. Again Indian leaders meddled with others instead of developing their country. According to Transparency International, India is the most corrupt country in the world. India claims as the largest democratic country by its population, but it can’t run a corruption free election. Recently, by-elections in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency have been cancelled by the Election Commission a day after cash-for-votes allegations surfaced. During the last two Olympics Games, India could get a gold medal; but India claims it has the largest young population. India is running how the West was planning to run. Clearly, Indian leaders are not wise. Therefore, we shouldn’t look up to India; at the same time we should antagonize it either. We must play a diligent game to cooperate with China and ASEAN countries to move forward.

          Antany Peter
          April 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm
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          Some corrections have been made. Please replace from the second paragraph with this… The LTTE was India’s brainchild; it says a lot about Hindu extremists in New Delhi. India fought against the West in 1940’s, but decided to entertain Dali Lama in 1960’s to please the West. By doing so, Indian leaders decided to meddle with China instead of developing their country. In 1970’s India created Tamil armed groups to create terrorism in Sri Lanka. Again Indian leaders meddled with others instead of developing their country. According to Transparency International, India is the most corrupt country in the world. India claims as the largest democratic country by its population, but it can’t run a corruption free election. Recently, by-elections in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency have been cancelled by the Election Commission a day after cash-for-votes allegations surfaced. During the last two Olympics Games, India couldn’t get a gold medal; but India claims it has the largest young population. India is running how the West was planning to run. Clearly, Indian leaders are not wise. Therefore, we shouldn’t look up to India; at the same time we shouldn’t antagonize it either. We must play a diligent game to cooperate with China and ASEAN countries to move forward.

          Antany Peter
          April 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm
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        I applied three positions at Jaffna University; as a lecturer, mentor and tutor but didn’t get an interview. However, I applied for the Vice Chancellor position at Colombo University and got selected for the final stage, but didn’t get the job. You lived in four continents and but you felt discriminated every where. you also said “I am smarter and I analyze my move very well before implementing it. I have a strategy and I will give you back with interest” Antany Peter May 22, 2016 at 4:25 Colombo telegraph Antany Why are you treating the CT readers this way?

        ken Robert
        April 21, 2017 at 6:59 pm
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          “I am smarter and I analyze my move very well before implementing it. I have a strategy and I will give you back with interest” Of course the West can easily undermine me and keep me isolated, because I am in the Western controlled countries, including Indian Subcontinent. Trust me, I have made a huge difference in Asia, by exposing the West; especially to the dragon. I am giving back to the West with interest. Just wait another 10-20 years, you will see a tangible evidence.

          Antany Peter
          April 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm
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          I didn’t come down to this in this thread because I get bothered when I read the JU’s condition. It was Anthony’s promise to me when he was attached to Old Royals. But as I expected and warned him, lately he went bankrupt and join UNP. Ranil duped China with his Aappa diplomacy. Now Anthony does know where to go and what to write. I don’t how long I can live. But that is ok. But if he ready show some magic in the wonderLand of Asia, I can wait for 20 years to see what is going to be that magic. Old Dialog: me:“The current leaders who talk about good governance do not have guts to tell the Australian government to reveal the reason for deleting my Australian citizenship, ” – a quote of Anthony. I agree with you; the current leaders does not have guts to talk to Australia. With your such a mature condition, instead of quarantining you, they sent you all the way down here and spreading it to everyone. Quarantining is the responsibility of the government first identifying the situation. So they can not deport. Anthony:I am smarter and I analyze my move very well before implementing it. I have a strategy and I will give you back with interest. Meantime enjoy your BS. me:That is ok. But don’t go bankrupt with the principal I gave and will be giving in the future. You appears like you need more investments from me to get started. Anthony:You deny that you are falling and I haven’t damaged you. I am smart enough to assess the situation. I am well aware you wish you never fooled me.

          Mallaiyuran
          April 23, 2017 at 8:33 am
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            You are fooling yourself, if you think that Tamils and their Western Masters aren’t going backward because of my writings. My knowledge is far beyond Ranil or Mahinda. No matter where I live I am hitting on the target. I am well aware of Sri Lanka which has been fighting since the independence. The Indian Subcontinent was ruled by others for thousands of years. It needs far better leaders than Chinese and Japanese leaders, because those countries never ruled by others as Indian Subcontinent. However, the Indian Subcontinent leaders are not smart enough to understand the reality. Therefore, it can’t progress as China or as South East Asian countries. Guiding this fools is a waste of time. They are not wise enough to understand people like me. The West can easily undermine people like me with the help of dangerous Tamils who eliminated far more leaders and intellectuals than any other terrorist organization. I am looking forward to leave the Indian Subcontinent, because it has the world’s foolish leaders and they won’t allow people like me to help. Remember, this is the only Subcontinent has 1/3 of the world population, but couldn’t get a gold medal during the last two Olympic Games. The Indian Subcontinent leaders are disgraceful for the 21st century humanity.

            Antany Peter
            April 25, 2017 at 1:35 am
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              Antany, My knowledge is far beyond Ranil or Mahinda. I know you were better than Old King two years ago, up to a month ago better than Ranil too, but now they both are smarter than China or even more than you. Sorry man, that is disappointing, ….but …. what to do? Time for China to learn Appa Diplomacy rather than teaching Old Brother Prince Chinese diplomacy. It needs far better leaders than Chinese and Japanese leaders, because those countries never ruled by others as Indian Subcontinent. However, the Indian Subcontinent leaders are not smart enough to understand the reality. You have been all over everywhere in the world, but have you been in the British Colony Hong Kong? Why is it taking time to China to bring it under communism even long after UK spinned it off?

              Mallaiyuran
              April 25, 2017 at 3:55 am
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      The problem with educated Tamil men and women are they ever ready to bump off verbally at every opportunity of their educated opponents. The DOWN FALL OF THE TAMILS WAS DUE TO THIS SUPERIORITY COMPLEX. Tamils do have this problem, until they address this there will be no future for the uneducated once . This bickering , snide remarks of even the dead souls are wrong. Educated becomes Uneducated within themselves. What’s the point ???

      Analyst
      April 24, 2017 at 4:05 pm
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        Analyst Thak you. There is nothing called SUPERIORITY COMPLEX. It is an euphemism for STUPID ARROGANCE. There is the saying “kuttak kuttak kunikiravanum mataiyan” and vice versa. It will be good if personal remarks are excluded on CT— but that is its staple!

        SJ
        April 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm
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          SJ, What do you mean by personal remarks? Is it wrong to scrutinize the role of an academic who is seeking the highest administrative and decision-making job at the only public university in the North? You might have followed the debates on Hinduaization of higher education at Indian universities after BJP came to power in 2014. Also, you might have read about how Left-wing academics like Romila Thapar, Nivedita Menon, and many others at JNU and DU expressed their concerns about the changes made to the composition of academic councils that come under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education in India. You might have heard about Rohit Vemula who committed suicide because he faced discrimination from the administration of Hydrebhad Central University. Those who run for positions like VC, including council members like you, are public figures. They are answerable to the larger community. They have all the right to respond to criticism leveled against them. There is nothing inaccurate in the report on Srisatkunarajah. As a member of the Council, have you ever tried to find out from the University Council if Srisatkunarajah is suitable for this job? Sellathurai Sutharsan who wrote the article praises you for your steadfast opposition to caste discrimination. The community expects a lot from you. Please don’t fail them.

          Paramu
          April 24, 2017 at 11:23 pm
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    This is a fight between Tamilnadu – dalits and Malabari tobacco farmers. I think when administrators are appointed it is necessary that the individual be able to get along with others. Certainly, a senior Dalit will have problems and conflicts when a junior tobacco farmer is instructed.

    jimsofty
    April 19, 2017 at 3:30 am
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      This is what happens when an idiots start on their journey of verbal vomit who do not understand the meaning of Dalit and Malabari, but have access to a computer in the Maatala International Paddy Storage airport.

      AJ
      April 19, 2017 at 11:12 pm
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    FUTA should mount a campaign against sectarianism at the universities in Sri Lanka. Free education and allocating 6% of GDP for education alone will not turn higher education institutions into a paradise. There should be some basic values like the ones mentioned in this report that need to be protected in our universities. These election results are an indication how educated elite in the country are responsible for many of the problems that we are facing now. There is a chain effect. Progressive, secular people are kept out of administration by this tiny elite.

    Mathi
    April 19, 2017 at 6:33 am
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    The selection of vc in Sri Lanka is purely politics. The council members too are appointed on the recommendation of politicians. So how can we expect a non political person? Sri Lankan State Universities are following different scheme of recruitment at their whims and fancies to select the pre-decided candidates to the post of lecturer and senior lecturer. The highest degree holders (doctoral degrree in the relevant subject) are simply left out in the selection on the pretext of “preference will be given to the candidate with degree with specialization”. It is only country which depends on first degree for the appointment of lecturers. Fools select fools. Many university academics do not know exact scheme of recruitment. Now universities are turning to be “stores of fools” produced by fools. UGC is not interested in regulating the selection procedures. In India, the degree with class pass is not matter for the selection. Because, the evaluation differ from person to person. Some beautiful lady students who please the lecturers are given not only class, but also the post of lecturers in the very university neglecting phd holders. Marking scheme is only for the differentiating the candidate of the same qualification. In India, only phd holders and those passed NET will be appointed as lecturers. Because they know how people get these classes and selection to special degree.

    Dr. Nanayakara
    April 19, 2017 at 7:24 am
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      What makes you think that PhD’s mean anything? We have fellows here who will sell their m***** to get a merit promotion. The Indian university system is a disaster now with the parceling out of contracts for Colleges for a ‘santhosam’.

      SJ
      April 20, 2017 at 1:59 am
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      Sri lankan university management and the acedemics are doing jobs because they want revenue. These universities are manufacturing plants of graduates and not any places of inventions of any ideas, theories or does not lead to any technologial revolutions. They read the same old lecture note which they copied from another book. They just researched on one topic and they think they are the all knowers. These people come and ask something else. It is simply to christianize a hindu society.

      jimsofty
      April 20, 2017 at 11:07 pm
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        You will rather Budhisicise a Hindu society. I feel your pain from bottom of my heart. But Hindus are not keen on the idea of wearing safron saree, because it is just GAY

        AJ
        April 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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    It was Paul Brunton who authored ‘the book ‘Search in Secret India’,that revealed the attention of world about the sage of Thiruvannamalai as he was known in India as Ramana Maharishi. The late Sam Wickremasinghe formerly a Lake House news journalist was a devotee of the said sage and his ‘writings about him can be found in the website’ Katragama. Org ‘, website set up by Patrick Harrigan a U.S, Skanda Murugan’ devotee who was deported from the Island on unsubstantiated allegations that he was involved withe the LTTE. Another book by world famous author Somerset Maugham titled ‘ The Razor’s Edge’ was also influenced by the Sage Ramana of It would be of interest for not only myself but also others to know when,where and in what context did the quotation that ‘one should not criticise those who are alive’ that is attributed to the said sage manifest, when the said sage was regarded as one to be beyond all narrow distinctions and definitions of caste ,creed,race religions,,nationality,ideology etc.etc.

    Uthungan
    April 19, 2017 at 8:33 am
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      Correction Sage Ramona of Thiruvannamalai,

      Uthungan
      April 19, 2017 at 11:17 am
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  6. 3
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    Not only in Jaffna university…political influence is apparent everywhere in SL..most of PHD in Sri Lanka are copy cut or bought by bribes ..Go to univeristies to see this …some lecturers have no any skills to be lecturer at all .this system of appointment of CV should be scrapped and a give system based on service and experience should be introduced..if Police,,army and other departments could have a good system why not universities shame on them …

    Dr NAS.
    April 19, 2017 at 10:34 am
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    I am sure that even the several council members who voted for him, had deep reservations about his character. To them, with the removal of Prof. Thiagalingam, the question of whom to vote for was not easily answered. Sri Satkunarajah comes across as active at council meetings. He knows what is right even as he does wrong, and is known for his somersaults. One reader pointed out that the Tamil article to which the main article gives a link also reveals a positive side. He was willing to discuss with the writer of the article on Thangavadivel and confess why he would not allow certain things. Many would have acted worse than he did, while giving the picture of being very progressive and open. Sri Satkunarajah does not come across as really a religious man or one with deep prejudices. Based on how he is managed, his opportunism might drive him to do good things. In politics, as in real life, choices are limited. You take politics anywhere, and will find that the same dilemmas arise. Take Bandaranaike for example. As a young man, he showed progressive impulses. Take the Conservative Party, where, overnight, convinced Remainers became born-again Brexiteers. Ideally, the Council should cancel the VC’s election and hold a fresh one including Thiagalingam as a candidate. Otherwise we may have to put up with someone over whose appointment we had no control. And, yet, life must go on, and hope is never lost.

    Fairplay
    April 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm
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      Yes, the council members would have had to pick one from a list of unimpressive candidates. The problem with Prof. Srisatkunarajah is he is smart and has all these regressive ideas. In his comments on religion, critiquing other people, LTTE, caste, he sounds like the ideologue of a right-wing movement like the RSS in India. Such ideologues have good speaking skills and they come across as ‘active’ and outspoken people on television channels and social media (Subramanian Swamy, for example). With forces like TPC and Valampuri backing him, he may prove very dangerous. How he will handle the government once he becomes the VC is another question and one needs to wait and watch. I am not sure if all the other candidates were completely unimpressive. The current Science Dean may be seen as soft-spoken and inactive. But he may not sound like this. Somebody who is inactive is sometimes better than people like Srisatkunarjah who have dangerous ideas about society. At this point, UoJ needs a VC who is not manipulative and who will act in an honest manner when it comes to recruitment. One of the limitations I see in the current Science Dean is if he has the ability to resist domineering council members like Prof. Sivasegaram. Prof. Srisatkunarajah will do that fearlessly. But he will also turn the university into a Hindu cultural center or a den of Tamil nationalism. Some teachers are of the view that the Medical Dean could have been a better choice.

      Naren
      April 19, 2017 at 6:36 pm
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      Fairplay, “Based on how he is managed, his opportunism might drive him to do good things.” Exactly! People like Dr SS can be shown the correct path but I still would prefer a reset.

      Lone Wolf
      April 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm
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      Also, there was a search committee. what were its responsibilities? If the members of the Search Committee had been genuine in their intentions, they would have done a good search, encouraged academics attached to the other universities in SL and outside to apply for this position. People say Prof. Mahesan Niranjan was initially interested. But if the Search Committee had shown some interest in encouraging people like to him apply, they would have felt motivated and found the place more inviting and sent their applications. Srisatkunarajah appeared to be the best of out of the candidates because the search committee was lazy or deliberately lazy. On top of all, how could one expect the search committee to do a good job when it included the wife of one of the candidates. I also wonder what kind of relationship the Council members have with the various organizations at the University of Jaffna? Do they regularly to talk to these unions and find out what the teachers think about the candidates? Do they pay any attention to the Hinduaization processes that are promoted by people like Srisatkunarajah?

      Naren
      April 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm
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        Let’s hope that this is settled in some such way: a properly conducted re-election with Sam Thiagalingam and Mahesh Niranjan (I haven’t met either of them) is something that would shame us, Sinhalese. Please try to ensure that, and none of us will complain if they both lose. Unlikely, of course! As it is the Northern Province is parading naked in front of the world. Depressing for ALL Sri Lankans who desire to see order in our land. The intellectually brilliant SJ would like to draw me in to making some comments on other matters. Yes, Sir! After this situation is put right.

        Sinhala_Man
        April 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm
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          Your suggestions will need a new set of rules: do we accommodate not only a late entry but also a non-entry? We should let CT nominate the UoJ Council, the VC and even the UGC if it comes in the way? The Sinhalese have a plateful in many universities of the South, which are in far worse condition than not UoJ but even the ones in the East.

          SJ
          April 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm
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            SJ, “The Sinhalese have a plateful in many universities of the South, which are in far worse condition than not UoJ but even the ones in the East.” The South and East lack our (=Jaffna) increasingly skillful investigative journalism accomplished by the anonymous “Jaffna Desk” of CT. With uploaded documents like Council minutes, selection board documents etc the “Jaffna Desk” can no longer be described as the Mafiograph. Do you agree? Hopefully we will manage to forget our peninsular tendencies and spread the knowledge to the oppressed masses in the South and East.

            Lone Wolf
            April 21, 2017 at 8:56 pm
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              Skillful? Are you serious? So you agree that it was Mafiograph. Thanks.

              SJ
              April 24, 2017 at 1:42 am
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                SJ, “Skillful?” INCREASINGLY skillful. “Are you serious?” Of course. The links to the documents are very nice and necessary. We need more of this. Copies of UoJ minutes, grievances, receipts, allowances, bids etc. “So you agree that it was Mafiograph.” Partly it was and still is but not the Jaffna Desk. I used to challenge especially the TGTE (the global outfit some how representing all Tamils. Not sure about how they are called) to reveal their sources but they never did. “Thanks.” You are welcome. I reiterate that the Jaffna Desk should take up stories that interest more people instead of only UoJ and JDCSI schools that only interest a small minority.

                Lone Wolf
                April 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm
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          SM, careful what you wish for. If it is MN, he will turn our Hindu temple into a campus pub!

          Suresh
          April 21, 2017 at 10:43 pm
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      Don’t forget that the current VC and Sivasegaram decided to block Sam Thiagalingam’s application and paved the way for a bad choice. There are people like Srisatkunarajah in every society and every university. Right-wing people as some may put it. But they could be avoided if the Councils acted prudently. The impression many had in 2015 was this was the best Council Jaffna had had in the recent past. Many thought so partly because Sivasegaram was known to many as a radical Marxist who speaks up against injustice. But they have messed up a lot. People also trusted people like Devan Nesiah, Tharmaratnam and Hasbullah. I am glad that at least Devanesan and Tharamaratnam stood their ground and tried everything possible to make the council accept the Thiagalingam’s application. The larger share of the mess is owing to the activities of Sivasegaram and Vasanthy. Had there been a different VC and no Sivasegaram on the Council, things would have looked better.

      Ashok
      April 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm
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        I am a student of Prof.Sivasegaram, though he is a leftist, he always stick in to rules. I do not understand why Mr.Thiayagalingam could not sent his application on time where so many post and courier services in the World?

        Shankar
        April 20, 2017 at 10:30 am
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          Dear Shankar, Fantastic comment. It would be good if we could organise the execution of “Mr.Thiayagalingam” for the heinous crime committed by him in handing over his application to Boston Post Office only three weeks ahead of closing date. The guy appears to be in Massachusetts; the execution problems at the moment appear to be in Arizona (may be Alaska for all a godaya like me who’s never left Asia is concerned). Nevertheless you and me may be able to strap this Sam Thia criminal guy on to that ironing board like thing and pump some poison in to his blood stream. Serves him right, for upsetting things on our Paradise Island!

          Sinhala_Man
          April 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm
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    Has the person under attack been named VC? Or is the CT jumping the gun?

    SJ
    April 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm
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      Setting the stage for continuous harassment like in the case of the incumbent. Thank God for small mercies that only the Colombo Telegraph provides a platform. If I was a VC aspirant, I would have done the following; 1. Try and win Tamilchelvam’s favour; if he does not seem to commit. 2. Go and befriend Douglas Devananda; if he does not give in. 3. Try and butter the good old Prez M. Rajapakse and if he ignores my request 4. Madam Chandrika is always there; and she might put a world to Prez Srisena. On the side, I will criticise all the above in my columns also, especially if they do not agree to my requests. Finally, I would ask my cousins and friends including those inside the UGC to support me. If necessary, blindly smear others. This way I would not be humiliated but be seen as taking the Moral High Ground (even though the majority see through).

      Stephen Arumuga Navalar
      April 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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      SJ, “Has the person under attack been named VC? Or is the CT jumping the gun?” If Dr SS has been chosen it should have been communicated in the usual way.

      Lone Wolf
      April 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm
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      SJ, “domineering council members like Prof. Sivasegaram.” You seem to have a cult following you.

      Lone Wolf
      April 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm
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        Yes – how to describe someone who does not even follow the basic democratic norm of keeping quiet till the other person finishes his presentation at council meetings? How do you describe someone who uses his ability to shout at others and obfuscate truth? How do you describe somebody who sent bullying emails to internal candidates who said in writing that they were fine with accepting Prof. Sam Thiagalinagm’s application and the council allow him to run for the VC’s post? The Tamil article posted here approvingly talks about Sivasegaram as a champion of the oppressed castes. Hope he did not vote for Srisatkunarajah. Sivasegaram is very much an establishment man. In other words, a cardboard Marxist.

        Purusoth
        April 19, 2017 at 10:08 pm
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          Purushothaman ass three question “How do you describe …” One answer. Sivasegaram.

          Ratnam
          April 22, 2017 at 10:31 am
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        LW I thought that you were sharper. Shame! You missed CT’s target despite bold font. CT should improve its techniques. I know that I am now a cult figure on CT pages with so many admirers. It was not very hard earned. Do you envy me? I am not hard to beat: just say something different from what the shepherds say, and the flock (including clones) will come at you in all fury. (You may know that devotes of Shiva struck with him with stone, shoe and a bow. Being a cult figure goes with a price.)

        SJ
        April 20, 2017 at 1:54 am
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          SJ, I am sorry for the confusion. My “Dr SS” was intended for one of the new VCs whose long name is difficult due to my dyslexia. “You missed CT’s target despite bold font.” I have always been a bad shooter. “CT should improve its techniques.” Actually their anonymous “Jaffna Desk” has been doing good and necessary work on UoJ and the JDCSI schools. Excellent English, good investigative skills and more and more hard documentation to support what they write. I hope that they continue and expand to other subjects in the North that might interest a wider public. “I am not hard to beat: just say something different from what the shepherds say, and the flock (including clones) will come at you in all fury.” I am a simple creature with few skills and no need to become famous. Should the shepherds not keep the wolf away from the flock?:)

          Lone Wolf
          April 20, 2017 at 9:07 pm
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            LW On CT: You know that there is something called the overkill. (It kills your case.) I do not know where the shepherds are leading the sheep to. (For all I know there could even be a secret deal with the real wolves.) Just remembered the movie title: Silence of the Lambs (1991). Did many know where the shepherd in jungle fatigues was taking them to? I am simple too. Saw what happened! Be on the watch, you never know what will happen to you.

            SJ
            April 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm
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              SJ, “You know that there is something called the overkill. (It kills your case.)” Yes. I have even read about the Blowback and I assume that you also know what it means. For the sake of some others here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowback_(intelligence) “Be on the watch, you never know what will happen to you.” I am one of the wolves and untouchable in many ways. Thank you for your concern.

              Lone Wolf
              April 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm
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        note Dr SS would mean me and Prof. SS a candidate. I am Dr Sivasegaram from the day I retired. Looking at the PhDs and Profs in the country I think that Mr is very respectable.

        SJ
        April 20, 2017 at 2:05 am
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          But Mr. would mean you have a D.Sc too and that you are no more reading for any degree. As an Imperial College guy should know that Sir. Happy retirement with wife and family and farm

          Kandan
          April 20, 2017 at 10:11 am
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            K Thanks for the kindness. But sorry that your comment is inaccurate. I will tell you of an Imperial College man: P Bradshaw BA FRS. Peter (from Cambridge and hence the BA) did not complete his PhD in Liverpool (I think), but went on to do research at NPL Teddingon. He outshone some of the best fluid dynamics academics in the US and UK from mid-1960’s for many years. He joined ICST (now ICSTM) in the mid-1970’s when plans were afoot to wind down parts of the NPL. He was made FRS around 1980. He moved to California some years before retirement in the late 1980’s. He was adorably simple and was among the wittiest persons that I worked with. Unfortunately, I am unable to retire and there is no farm to go to (but for the few papaya trees in the garden and quite a few pigs that I come across on these pages).

            SJ
            April 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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              Unfortunately, I am unable to retire and there is no farm to go to… Try fishing!

              Kandan
              April 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm
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                Thanks. I do try in the shallow muddy waters of CT. It is sometimes fun, but there is also dog s*** to aoid.

                SJ
                April 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm
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                  Why do you keep calling CT readers dogs and pigs? Did not your mother teach you better-to respect all human beings? Does not your wife challenge your speech? Guess your frog inspector Cleuseau too is some gentleman. Gentleman don’t speak like this. Try being nice, then the whole universe will be nice to you. That is the secret of life.

                  Kandan
                  April 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm
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                    I did not call anyone a dog or pig, certainly not the readers. I like animals. But when what is served in these muddy waters stinks like *** **** what do you call it? ### ####? Clouseau (watch spelling the frogs are very touchy about it) is no real frog it is a pet name for the French, used by the pommies.

                    SJ
                    April 21, 2017 at 2:38 am
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                  You are the best person to scavenge the rubbish in Colombo to Putlam. Can’t you join the Municipal Council as a scavenger ! Sanmugi

                  Sanmugi
                  April 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm
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    In university of Jaffna if you are liking the hireups you can easily get your promotions and positions. If you are smart, you have to suffer.

    Sloga
    April 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm
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    Colombo telegraph is attempted to promote a professor from Boston who has no Idea about ground reality of University of Jaffna. I am looking this article is a failure to promote that professor. Highly voted Professor Satkunarajah is a simple man and having very good relationship with the Students. Colombo telegraph to stop unwanted one sided articles.

    Shankar
    April 19, 2017 at 6:38 pm
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      Oh really? Is that why he did not want to run for the Dean’s election in the Science Faculty? Have you spoken to any of the science faculty teachers who worked with him? Did you try to find out their opinion about him?

      Banu
      April 19, 2017 at 9:57 pm
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      Most Colombo Telegraph commenters were unhappy with the reasons given for rejecting the application from the “Professor from Boston”. Whatever the outcome, thanks to T for highlighting the issue.

      K.Pillai
      April 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm
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        Pillai Most commentators, you should know, does not mean many– there were so many aliases operating. The issue was not any person but an established procedure; and nobody personally attacked the applicant concerned on CT or elsewhere. That was commendable behavior. Quite a few champions of the CT’s cause used the opportunity to take it out on someone or another in uncouth fashion. And very few with different views bothered to comment in the context of a visibly strong bias and nasty attacks. In all, the CT hype produced no result except unwanted bitterness. If at all, the ugly attacks on the UoJ and selected individuals could (in my assessment) only have swung away the few who might have been tempted to be supportive of the late application. Even the Jaffna Tamil newspapers which showed much interest in faulting the UoJ only an year ago were rather restrained this time.

        SJ
        April 20, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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      Shanker, What is the ground reality you are talking about? Giving lecturer positions to one’s own students? Giving promotions to one’s favorites? Banning book launches? Excluding candidates from oppressed caste and Christian backgrounds and Hindus with no social connections from academic and administrative positions at the University? Trying to turn the University into a cultural center of Hindu-Tamil nationalism? These are the ground realities at Jaffna University. Prof. Sam Thiagalingam must be reading about all these things. People who know him say that he is a secular man who respects multi-culturalism. Not like your friend Srisatkunarajah. If he becomes the VC one can expect that he will put things right at the University. Don’t forget Prof Sam Thiagalingam studied at Jaffna University. He is not a total stranger to the University. If we go by your criterion, only those who are mired in the corruption at the University of Jaffna can become its VCs.

      Naren
      April 20, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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    Prof.Velnampy is a next Vice Chancellor

    DD
    April 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm
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      “a next Vice Chancellor”? How many are there?

      SJ
      April 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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    How can a people elect a good man/woman when they do not understand what good means? They who make child soldiers of other people’s babies while educating theirs abroad Have cast fanatics as their heroes and can justify the caste system and elevate it to a holy grill Elevate a heartless killer of his own people and poor people’s children, to a god. Live by puranic standards in the twenty first century despite their degrees. Are dull in conscience deliberately. The VC is but a reflection of that sick society. It will continue.

    Kandan
    April 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm
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    CT, Fortunately this comes at a time we are all championing RTI Act and celebrating Jaffna as uniquely setting the standard and spearheading these truly-democratic RTI initiatives (See the recent article by Vivekanandan). On that note, I was surprised at your starting the article with “Colombo Telegraph has come to know that the professor of Mathematics at the University of Jaffna who topped the VC’s election held recently has a questionable track record as academic administrator and public figure.” May I ask you why the secrecy? Why not declare how exactly you came to conclude that the information was credible?

    Kumar R.
    April 20, 2017 at 1:47 am
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    Shankar, “Colombo telegraph is attempted to promote a professor from Boston who has no Idea about ground reality of University of Jaffna. I am looking this article is a failure to promote that professor. Highly voted Professor Satkunarajah is a simple man and having very good relationship with the Students…” Shankar is guilty of the accusation that he makes against CT by promoting the professor. Promoting or practising Casteism is sin as Mahakavi Bharathoyar (modern greatest Tamil poet) condemned it in many occasions. If the accusations made against the professor is right he is not fit to hold the highest job in the highest educational institution. Casteism has ruined our community and made a laughing stock in the eyes of intellectuals and civilised world. If the professor Satkunarajah practises or believes in casteism you are simply not fit for this job and please withdraw your candidacy for this post and give way for progressive educationalists. Practising religion is one’s freedom but inject one’s belief into an institution is not only rejecting others’ freedom of belief but also discriminate them. CT is not ‘attempting to promote’ any individual, but highlighting the internal corruption and favouritism and at the same time not to allow postal delay to exclude the only external application from being considered for the job. The way this application was rejected prompts even the strangers smell fishy in the conduct of the university council.

    Saro
    April 20, 2017 at 2:29 am
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      Previously CT’s article mainly targeted the rejection of Thiyagalingam’s application and now they have changed their attack to a person who is likely to be next VC.

      Shankar
      April 20, 2017 at 10:37 am
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    I find it very hard to accept that the UGC and Ministry of Higher Education have turned a blind eye to the state of affairs at the University of Jaffna – a state of affairs that are so rotten indeed. Normally we would like the Government not to interfere in the affairs of universities. But it is they who appoint external council members and importantly, the Vice Chancellor. The latter could then use his influence to use the University as his or her plaything, and even manipulate things to decide heads and thereby deans too. The rot sets in. And having started the rot the UGC allows things to get worse without any check in the name of university autonomy. In Jaffna, things could be hardly worse. The Vice Chancellor asked for the UGC’s advice hoping that they would advise against having Prof. Thiyagalingam as a candidate. However, the UGC tried to be even-handed and threw the ball back into the University’s court. When that happened, the Vice Chancellor successfully misrepresented this UGC opinion to the Council that the UGC had placed a bar on Thiagalingam’s candidacy and intimidated them that if they insist to the contrary, they would be sacked. If the Government knowingly perpetuates this state of affairs, they have to justify the tens of billions of rupees being dumped into universities where its indulgence in abuses ensures that our remain substandard.

    Shehan
    April 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm
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    The vocal member of UofJ Council may use known tricks in argument to distract as much as he enjoys (e.g. “how come you know the name of the chair, but not the other members?”), but what should not be forgotten is that there is good appetite for change among the lower ranks of our community. That is why the appeal to consider a wider field, and the expression of disappointment regarding conflict of interest, came from the academic staff union, the non-academic staff union and the student’s union. That represents ALL of the university community. Yes, ALL of us! Yet, as far as I know, the appeal did not even get a reply. The community at grass-root level knows that the world could be a better place, and it is a real shame that ignorance and petty arrogance at very senior levels is preventing us rising out of the ashes we have been dumped into, and achieving that change. I hope even at this stage there could be some reflection from members of Council that some things could have been handled an awful lot better: (a) a search committee that could have searched better, (b) there could have been better recognition and adherence to the notion of conflict of interest, (c) a recognition that a member of the senior-most governing body turning up in a forum like this anonymously and being totally dismissive of criticism expressed of the process they followed, and (d) a reflection by the internal candidates that they should have taken no part in the discussions leading to a decision on the late applicant. If there is honest reflection, may be we could act better — in the interest of the University community as a whole — at a future time.

    Luxman
    April 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm
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      Luxman, Good to see you again. “The vocal member of UofJ Council may use known tricks in argument to distract as much as he enjoys” I still don’t understand why the other members of the Council allow his tricks. After reading the minutes where he describes it “illegal” to consider a late application due to the reply from the UGC I believe that he was manipulating others. A man with his knowledge of English and competence surely must have understood what the reply from the UGC means. Illegal as a word refers to crimes specified in the ancient colonial Penal Code and similar Acts. I have never seen accepting a late application mentioned as criminal activity and my understanding is that the UGC gave the Council full powers to decide on what to do with the late application. For the sake of the reputation of most Council members I hope that they understood the reply from the UGC but had for whatever reason decided that the applicant from Boston should not be allowed to participate. “the expression of disappointment regarding conflict of interest, came from the academic staff union, the non-academic staff union and the student’s union.” I sincerely expect that the pressure from the unions continues with the next VC. Since many of the Deans are what they are and the Council appears somewhat helpless the unions will have to be strong. As usual I suggest using the RTI. Expose all the minutes, complaints and grievances! The students and staff have the right to know. Jaffna and Sri Lanka have the right to know! The fact that various documents will be published will make many people nervous and think twice before continuing with their activities. If the unions and Council members fall silent they will have no right to complain about different abuses in the future.

      Lone Wolf
      April 21, 2017 at 8:35 pm
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    I am bound by my pledge to Pygmalion: I will not step on you know what.

    SJ
    April 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm
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      ” you know what.” I don’t. Please elaborate.

      Luxman
      April 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm
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        Luxman, I think that SJ is referring to canine feces.

        Lone Wolf
        April 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm
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        • 0
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          Not only.

          SJ
          April 24, 2017 at 1:45 am
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  18. 0
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    Do some reaserch

    SJ
    April 21, 2017 at 7:05 pm
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    To the President Please read this article carefully and prove to us that this is a democracy where we are ruled by laws. When the law is clear that Dr. Thiagalingam was a proper candidate, the law requires a fresh election including him on the ballot.

    Law Abiding Citizen
    April 22, 2017 at 10:35 am
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      Kindly tell me which Law shows that Dr. T. was a ‘proper candidate’? Even a hundred precedents and legal opinions will not make a law, until their implication is written into law. For a Judge to use a precedent to make an exception to a rule, several circumstances should match.

      SJ
      April 24, 2017 at 1:52 am
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    No appointment has been made. The chairman of the UGC has requested the current VC Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam in writing to continue as the VC till a new appointment is made.

    Announcer
    April 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm
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      Announcer, “No appointment has been made. The chairman of the UGC has requested the current VC Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam in writing to continue as the VC till a new appointment is made.” If this is true I suggest that in addition to RTI requests some Council members record the meetings with their smart devices. According to the minutes the VC thinks that Council minutes are confidential. CT “Jaffna Desk” please request the minutes and publish them to show that the VC is wrong. Even a new VC deserves the above.

      Lone Wolf
      April 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm
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    Here comes confirmation: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170423/news/delay-in-appointing-jaffna-university-vice-chancellor-238133.html “Political interference has allegedly delayed the appointment of a new vice chancellor to the Jaffna University and the current vice chancellor has been given an extension to continue until one of three nominees is appointed.” Why only mention “political interference”? What about the letters to the AG, letters to the President and protests in the media? “Professor Vasanthy Arasaratnam, the current vice chancellor of the Jaffna University who was due to retire last month, has been informed this week of the extension of her service.” OK. Let us continue the protests!

    Lone Wolf
    April 23, 2017 at 6:22 am
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      Continue what protests, may I know? It seems that the CT overkill has hurt the rational thinking of the cheerleaders. Extension of service is not the same as being asked to hang on for a while. That could be a ploy of the establishment to get the next one come crawling for the job. Any person who runs after a politician to help him to jump the queue cannot do much good for any institution.

      SJ
      April 24, 2017 at 1:36 am
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      And she said “I will not stay a day MORE”! Sri Satkunarajah is publicly praising her as Devi. (Shiva’s consort!) They say he is planning to build a shrine to this goddess of truth on the campus when he takes her chair. Suggest a kaavadi too. Arohara!

      Arohara Devi
      April 25, 2017 at 10:32 am
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    Dear President, You have made basically all Cabinet decisions and documentation available through RTI requests. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/170423/news/rti-president-gives-people-access-to-cabinet-decisions-238165.html “In a note presented by President Maithripala Sirisena and approved by the Cabinet recently, the President has informed all Ministers that all Cabinet decisions and Memoranda not falling within excepted categories under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, No 12 of 2016, have to be made available to a citizen upon request.” A lot of these documents will be published on the website of the Cabinet Office due to the proactive disclosure requirements of the RTI Act without any request. “However, with changes brought about by the passing of the RTI Act, President Sirisena has noted that when requests are received from a ‘citizen’ in accordance with RTI Regulations and Rules, necessary action needs to be taken by the Secretary to the Cabinet. He has also pointed out that in conformity with proactive disclosure obligations under the RTI regime, Cabinet decisions and other facts required to be published therein are carried on the website of the Cabinet Office.” Please arrange RTI training for the VC of UoJ and a certain member (members?) of the UoJ Council who continue to confuse their personal opinions on confidentiality with the force of the law. Remind them of the fact that there is no possibility to opt out due to personal opinions and that they are not above the law. How can a VC that publicly opposes the requirements of the RTI Act objectively serve as the Information Officer of UoJ assuming that an IO has not been appointed? For more information read the Council minutes and comments here on CT. Thank you.

    Lone Wolf
    April 23, 2017 at 6:41 am
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    UGC has requested Prof.Vasanthy Arasaratnam to continue as the Vice Chancellor till a new vice chancellor is appointed. Source says Prof.Velnmapi is a next vice chancellor. can anybody tell us about Prof.Velnampi

    DD
    April 23, 2017 at 7:36 am
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    I see some Tamil news saying the appointment of Prof.Sri Satkunarajah is not complete. When any institution is corrupted, internal candidates cannot fix it. Further, when corruption is wide in an organization, basically all internal candidates have hand in that to some extent. The reality, enemies saves enemies in exchange for their own safety. If Prof.Sri Satkunarajah is a good person then bad people will be using the minor stains on his records to keep him under control. But the accusation against him are serious of nature. If he is religiously biased as described, apparently he is not one should be there. Then external candidate is the solution. Even an external person with a weaker experience can do better in a corrupted institution than a stronger experienced one from inside. The Yahapalanaya failed completely because Old King had files on New King and vise versa. UoJ badly needs some external blood. They need to redo the election. 1.Accept and retain all applications and call for additional applications. or 2.Reject all applications and call afresh again. Then conduct the election.

    Mallaiyuran
    April 23, 2017 at 9:26 am
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    When VC finishes his or her terms the Student Union or Teacher’s Union or Employer’s Union has to organize farewell. No one has organized it to this VC. Few academics have arranged a party at the Green Grass Hotel.. That’s it. In that meeting they try hard to bring Prof. Sittampalam to make a speech. He categorically refused. Only few young academics have spoken about her…. Finally she started to thank those people and Prof.Balasubramaniam, Professor of Biochemistry for bringing her to Jaffna Medical Faculty. She has not attended his beloved wife’s funeral even though she was in Jaffna. This is her spirit of Gratitude. But still for all she thinks that her utterance on others invokes a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on others. She has to study Yogar Swamikal’s Natchinthanai to purify her mind and soul. She also should read Bahavat Geeta to purify all her sins. Otherwise she will get all the curse of poor victims. Ramanathan

    Ramanathan
    April 23, 2017 at 11:29 am
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      Baghavanji How kind of you!

      SJ
      April 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm
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    She is the most cursed VC and she deserved because of her revengeful actions

    Sloga
    April 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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      Sloga’s sloga?

      SJ
      April 24, 2017 at 1:54 am
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        I don’t know why SJ is hanging the munthani (saree) of Miss Vasanti? Congratulations for SJ’s service as other stooges in University of Jaffna doing.

        Sloga
        April 25, 2017 at 7:37 am
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    “can anybody tell us about Prof.Velnampi” worse to worst

    Kutti Aliya
    April 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm
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    SJ, “Any person who runs after a politician to help him to jump the queue cannot do much good for any institution”. This is true in general and in the case of current VC in particular. Since Dec 2005 till Jan 2015 MR and his brothers had been running the show including white van abductions, appointments and channelling certain percentage of investments into the accounts of cronies and for longer period since 1994 DD (of EPDP) in the north.

    Saro
    April 24, 2017 at 4:45 am
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    There is no end to dirty tricks: – This article attacks Prof Srisatkunarajah as he is for casteism – Look at this article dated on February 19, 2016: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/what-after-bbs-cbs-chaiva-bala-senai/ It attacks Dr Srisatkunarajah in the opposite way: Dean-Science Srisatkunarajah (Non-Vellalan) ……

    Be Honest
    April 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm
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      Be Honest, I don’t see a contradiction in between the two articles. The earlier article is about SS’ Hindu religious chauvinism. This one is about his casteism. Non-vellala people can also support vellala dominance. Also remember SS is not from one of the oppressed caste or Dalit communities whereas the author of the Tamil article is as he self-identifies in the article. There are many Tamil and Sinhala politicians who support Sinhala chauvinism. Please don’t misguide the readers.

      Freeman
      April 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm
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      Be Honest, Who says that only so called Vellalahs can suffer from casteism?

      Lone Wolf
      April 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm
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    Now our Ali Bala at the Biochem is very happy as Vasanthi will be with him soon. Ali Bala has been appointed by influence of her so he will do all the work on return to Vasanthi. Ali Bala and forth thieves are going to enjoy spending all the theft money. Ali Society (Thiry Nankai Association, Ceylon)

    Ali Baba
    April 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm
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