19 September 2020
Interference by University Grants Commission
Many Tamils lament about the damage to Jaffna Library on 01 June 1981. The virtual Jaffna Library is the wisdom of the consolidated mind of those to whom Jaffna is ‘home’. That is not limited to a building nor to the books in Jaffna. It is in the truth that is discovered in Jaffna and / or by those to whom Jaffna is home. Ceylon Today reported as follows under the heading ‘Cyber ragging at Jaffna Uni : UGC Chairman orders prompt probe’:
[Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Professor Sampath Amaratunga, said a prompt probe will be conducted into the recent exposé by Ceylon Today, into alleged acts of cyber ragging by a group of senior undergraduates of the Jaffna University.
He said, those found guilty will be dealt with according to provisions in the Ragging Act.
Prof. Amaratunga also commended Ceylon Today for the revelation of the sordid act by a group of senior undergraduates of the Management Faculty of the University, to humiliate its first-year undergraduates.
He said on reading the article, he had contacted the Vice Chancellor of the University and discussed the matter at length. He observed that the Vice Chancellor had confided in him that no complaints had been made to him with regard to the incidents of ragging that were reported in the article.]
Was it the right protocol for UGC Chairman to speak to the Vice Chancellor? The UGC Chairman ought to have been alerted by the protests by the likes of Dr Guruparan who has been finding fault with the UGC which directed that law academics were banned from practice of law in Courts. I shared my article of 11 September, headed ‘Is University of Jaffna Independent of the Government?’ with the UGC chairman also. In that I shared my analyses on the basis of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. Accordingly, I concluded :
[In a court of law, the lawyer is junior to the judge and therefore lacks the independence to judge. THAT is where the conflict arises between intellectual freedom and the obligation to submit to the Judge. ]
In terms of Administration of students, the Vice Chancellor of each University is responsible to the Governing Council and therefore any communication from the UGC ought to have been channelled through the Governing Council and not directly with the Vice Chancellor. Rebel thinking is a reality in most Sri Lankan Universities and is strongly prevalent in Universities which cater to students from rural areas where the line of separation between Administration and Politics is thin. With students from rebel affected areas – the line of separation is almost absent. It is almost fully politics. University of Jaffna is known for its rebel politicking.
As per Wikipedia:
[Srisatkunarajah was educated at Hartley College. After school he joined the University of Jaffna in 1979, graduating in 1983 with a B.Sc. honours degree in mathematics. He received a Ph.D. degree from Heriot-Watt University in 1988 after producing a thesis titled On the asymptotics of the heat equation for polygonal domains. He also has a postgraduate diploma in education from the Open University of Sri Lanka (2004). Srisatkunarajah holds dual Australian and Sri Lankan citizenship…… In August 2020 the University of Jaffna's council nominated Srisatkunarajah along with K. Mikunthan and T. Velnampy to be the university's new vice-chancellor. Srisatkunarajah was chosen by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.]
The career-structure of both – the President of Sri Lanka and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna, seem almost identical. Both were educated in Sri Lanka; became citizens of a Western nation and are now holding leadership positions in Sri Lanka. There are no published reports of Independent Academic life in Australia in regards to Professor Srisatkunarajah. Likewise none in Defence in USA, in the case of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa. If in his mind, Professor Srisatkunarajah does not feel that he was capable of being the Vice Chancellor of an Australian University of parallel grading to that of the University of Jaffna, then he would not feel sovereign and therefore would not share the power of Independence with the University of Jaffna. Likewise the President if he did not feel that he was capable of being the President of America – even though the American People may not elect him – the same way staff of the University of NSW would not have thought that I was capable of being the Vice Chancellor. By establishing in court – through self-representation, that the Vice Chancellor had erred – I confirmed that I was capable through my intellectual capability and my courage.
As per the law of nature, when we complete a relationship from junior position, we own the relationship and hence will be empowered by the whole. As per Wikipedia, Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century discovered and shared the following through his writings:
[The study of the forces that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world. The older political science was fully aware of this truth but drew a wrong and detrimental conclusion—the right of the more powerful. The modern era has corrected this unethical fallacy, but while breaking with the alleged right of the more powerful one, the modern era was too much inclined to overlook the real might of the more powerful and the inevitability of its political influence..]
In Jaffna, one needs political insight into the consolidated mind of current students of University of Jaffna. This is an essential requirement in structuring the Management of students – as political insight into the current generation People is essential in structuring the laws of Sri Lanka – beginning with the changes to the existing constitution.
One of the changes to the Constitution brought about through the 19th Amendment – was to prevent Dual Citizens becoming Law makers - because it is easier in Sri Lanka than in the other country. The current President promised to withdraw from the UN Resolution due to the same reason why Professor Srisatkunarajah would be as good in teaching Mathematics in any Australian University as he would at University of Jaffna. But managing people who have very little heritage of lawful Administration is a different matter. It requires cultural oneness to at least manage mentally. If Professor Srisatkunarajah had been more familiar with online facilities in management – at global standards, he would have prevented such ragging or at least learnt about it through his own system of communication. Likewise, if President Gotabaya Rajapasa believed that he had the capability to manage America, he would not have withdrawn from the UN commitment in relation to Ethnic problem and war-crimes. Hence he fears being ‘junior’ to the American president – just as politicians driven by ‘seen outcomes’ delivered by the LTTE showed themselves to be juniors – as Mr Wigneswaran also did.
The ‘only’ syndrome in South & North has diluted our investment in higher education through which we mind-merge with others beyond our local borders, through Common values. The higher the mind, the stronger the commonness. Both groups used youth to ‘show’ physical victory and killed politicians who would not submit to them. Untold damage was caused to our real opportunities to intellectually connect and develop virtual communities that are highly disciplined especially when they are unsupervised.
This kind of damage often happens when we ‘find fault’ beyond the pain we actually suffered. It then becomes attack with the cause of it being our desire for lawlessness.