Saturday, December 31, 2011

Principals, teachers want A/L results revised

Daily Mirror, 31/12/2011,
Ten education sector trade unions including principals and teachers charged that the formula used to calculate the GCE A/L Z-score was flawed and therefore urged the government to revise the results and issue it afresh.

Association of Educational Professionals General Secretary Wasantha Darmasiri told a news conference that there were several errors in the way the Z-score was calculated. 

“There has been no explanation as to how the old and new syllabuses were combined and the way in which it was calculated,” Mr. Darmasiri said. 

He displayed a formula sheet and said the number of children who sat the examination, the marks obtained the number of exams they sat for and other details were all vital in preparing the Z score.  He said there was no transparency in how the Z-score was prepared and the mistake was visible.

“Even if the Education Ministry says these results are accurate, the people do not have any confidence in them. Therefore the Examination Department has to revise the results,” he said. 

The unions vowed to take countrywide trade union action against the Education Ministry’s refusal to revise the A/L results.

The unions also charged that Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena had not taken responsibility for the grave blunders in the A/L results and should resign from his portfolio immediately. (Olindhi Jayasundere)

Friday, December 30, 2011

S. B. Dissanayake - Angry and Happy

The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance

Counterfire, 01/12/2011

The Assault on Universities is a defence of the social purpose and value of universities in the face of the coalition government’s destructive policies for higher education, outlining also the means and nature of the resistance needed, argues Marienna Pope-Weidemann.

The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance, eds. Des Freedman and Michael Bailey (Pluto 2011), 194pp.

The Assault on Universities was written at a time of considerable argument within the left on its struggle against the corporate agenda. The final months of 2010 saw a remarkable ground-up mobilisation against the ConDem government. Hundreds of thousands marched and occupied up and down the country. On 9th December 2010, the day of the tuition fee vote, Parliament Square was swarming with people. However, perhaps in part due to violent intimidation from police and the passing of the vote, which articulated the ConDem’s complete indifference to the will of the people, ‘Day X’ seemed to nudge something in the collective memory.

After that, people were talking about the Poll Tax Riots under Thatcher, and identifying the same corrosive influence at work in the British Government today. More than ever before there was a will to opt out of traditional party politics and avoid this perpetual pendulum swing between two dominant parties (now three) who maintain the same neoliberal ‘logic’ and consistent disregard for the demands of ordinary people. We ‘were asking fundamental questions about society: the neutrality of the police and the media, who has access to education and the best jobs, and the nature of parliamentary democracy’ (p.130).

Despite the loss of the vote, the student movement of 2010 broadened the debate and challenged the trade unions to match its vigour. But in the New Year the movement lost direction, due in no small part to their own NUS’ failure to meet that challenge. With treachery afoot in the NUS, no success in changing the ConDemn course, no voice in the mainstream media and the apocalyptic vocabulary of the Eurocrisis drowning out calls for social justice with screeching complaints about the FTSE 100, the student body experienced a crisis of faith. It was in this atmosphere of frustration that the contributing lecturers and academics compiled The Assault on Universities.

As its subtitle suggests, The Assault on Universities comprises a comprehensive manifesto declaring political principle and pragmatic intent. Accessible and well-researched, it marks out for the reader the trail blazed by the student movement for system-wide resistance. It is not just that we object to the inequality entrenched by rising fees: the student body is at present surrounded by the dying breath of the institutions in which they chose to invest crucial years of their lives. They see waiting for them on the other side of this ‘restructuring’ a greyscale political culture and the crushing conformity of market-based mantras, and it has stirred a deep rage in defence of social-democratic culture itself. The corporatisation of the university threatens more than educational access, and the fight against it amounts to nothing less than the fight for the survival of art, social study, intellectual freedom and democratic participation. Do not doubt we will be living in a very different Britain if we fail.

What happened to the University?

According to UCU, the 80 percent cut to public funding (make that 100 percent for arts, humanities and social sciences) combined with the £1 billion cut already announced, threatens 40,000 jobs and 49 English universities with extinction. The UK already spends only 0.7 percent of its GDP on Higher Education (HE), well below the EU average, putting us behind Mexico and Hungary in this respect. It is also interesting to note that according to data issued by the Bank of Mexico, the average public expenditure among developed economies to prop up our unsustainable financial system in 2010 has been 24.8 percent. The UK has devoted over 80 percent of its 2010 GDP to this purpose.

This restructuring of HE in accordance with the cult of privatisation was steadily perpetuated under New ‘Labour’ long before the Condems got their dirty paws on the budget. Let us not forget it was Blair who introduced tuition fees and allowed private sector activity in HE to double to 64 percent. Our Millionaire Coalition has galvanised this corporate takeover exponentially. ‘In spite of being discredited by the economic recession of 2008 ... the Gilded Age has come back, with big profits for the rich and increasing impoverishment and misery for the middle and working classes... [and] relentless attempts to normalise the irrational belief in the ability of markets to solve all social problems’ (p.145).

Employing the logic of TINA (There Is No Alternative), New Labour, followed by the Condem Coalition, have been extremely successful in depoliticising structural reforms, portraying our economic system as if it were some divinely-inspired or natural law beyond human control. This is essential for the maintenance of a thin veil of legitimacy over neoliberal policy within and beyond the education sector. Of course, such a comprehensive disinformation campaign would not be achievable without almost complete complicity from the mainstream media. Nick Stevenson astutely observes parallels ‘between a new wave of entrepreneurial programming on British television, the emergence of academy schools and the championing of upward mobility’ by New Labour (p.74).

It is the pseudo-scientific justification of TINA which strives to justify bank bailouts and corporate corruption in a nation of staggering and increasing inequalities. Inequality of opportunity in British education was already chronic before the onset of the current reforms. Jon Nixon explains that of the top 100 British schools, 83 are independent fee-paying schools and just one is a state-funded comprehensive. The figures at university level are similar: of the top 100 schools for admission to Oxbridge, 78 are fee-paying and none is a state-funded comprehensive (p.64). Such structural inequality sacrifices any notion of social citizenship in an already stratified society.

The corporate University

All this has paved the way for an HE framework in which the Linkedin business website rankings factor into staff recruitment and pedagogue-student relationships are given up for a pay-per-hour slot machine system. A framework in which international students are treated at best as cash cows and at worst as ‘terror suspects’ who, according to Kirsten Forkhert (p.168), are now routinely spied upon by their own universities for the Home Office. Meanwhile, the syllabus for British universities is to be restricted to our ‘comparative advantage’ in the economy which, according to the government, has nothing to do with the arts, humanities or social sciences.

The disciplines which once walked like titans in academia: sociology, history, politics, anthropology, and so on, are being left behind in Britain. Our efforts to achieve understanding through such disciplines do not meet the neoliberal definition of ‘value’, which they understand only as ‘for money’. The government does not expect higher fees to compensate for the shortfall created by its cuts, and has even advised universities against attempting such a strategy, encouraging instead a series of ‘efficiencies’, tantamount to the scaling down of the breadth, depth and quality of university education in Britain. More than stratification by university, for the elite and for the masses, this reform promises to stratify academia itself. As Stevenson points out, ‘it is not immediately apparent ... why poorer students who tend to be more fearful of debt would run the risk of going to elite high fee-paying universities’ (p.77).

Likewise, social study of the most salient and pressing issues in today’s world is less likely to reap a six-figure salary than a degree in business studies or one of the other semi-protected disciplines, the content of which are sufficiently subservient to the corporate world view. Courses unable to attract sufficient numbers of students will disappear; and through deprivation, not ‘choice’, we can expect this entire facet of higher education to disappear as well, leaving us in thirty years’ time with a populace far less able to interpret the world around them and identify their own interests as divergent from those of the City:

‘The obligations of citizenship have been replaced by the demands of consumerism, education has been reduced to another market-driven sphere, pedagogy has been instrumentalised ... As public issues collapse into private concerns, it becomes increasingly difficult to engage what C. Wright Mills called “the sociological imagination”, defined as the ability to relate individual actions to a larger historical and relational totalities, to connect private issues to broader public considerations’ (p.150).

The transformation of universities into a ‘patchwork of academic supermarkets’ super-serving the rich at one end, while institutions at the other are systematically standardised and undermined (p.2), constitutes a very real threat both to democratic and intellectual freedoms.

The struggle

A considerable portion of The Assault on Universities is dedicated to the charting and evaluation of student-led mobilisation within and beyond Britain. Various contributors draw attention to different aspects of the struggle. John Rees places today’s student activism in the context of the longer history of student protest. Central to the present struggle, of course, have been the occupations, of which there were 46 by the end of 2010. Their significance is well explained by Feyzi Ismail, who dispels several myths generated by the media and university management in discussing how occupations have served as epicentres for political organisation, democratic process and alternative forms of learning. The NUS, as Ashok Kumar discusses, has failed miserably to provide a leadership role thus far, amplifying the importance of these grassroots alternatives. Alberto Toscano considers all this a lesson in contemporary alienation and appreciates that, ‘while collectively deprived of any meaningful power, and individually consigned to precariousness and anxiety’, students have mobilised en masse for demands which will not affect them personally (p.85). This a demonstration of enlightened self-interest beyond the narrow conceptualisations of the neoliberals’ rational choice theory.

The authors are united, however, in emphasising the singular importance of the student movement in the current context of institutional and managerial failure. The book maintains above all the need for continuous and cohesive student opposition to the ‘authoritarian forces circling the university, waiting for the resistance to stop and the lights to go out’ (p.154). Earlier, reference was made to the challenging time in which The Assault on Universities was written. Despite this, the writers, several of whom have many years experience in the HE sector, appear optimistic:

‘Perhaps in part because of their continued inheritance of strangely pre-capitalist and non-instrumentalist principles, universities ... have proven yet again to be incubators of a healthy indignation against the stripping of common and public resources to rescue an increasingly unequal, destructive and decrepit capitalism. It’s not a vanguard, but it’s a start’ (p.88).

Developments since its writing lend serious weight to these words: we have the truly transnational Occupy movement, which has dragged the elusive issues of corporate personhood and predatory capitalism into the light of day. In Britain N30 shows the massive potential for resistance across the board to the neoliberal agenda of austerity and privatisation.

On the most fundamental level, there is a disagreement on the function of education in society. The ConDem’s mass-produced and market-based approach reduces education to the production of so many cogs of each size and function to keep ‘the machine’ running. As The Assault on Universities makes clear, the Millionaire Coalition is trying to make instruments of us all:

‘The austere glass-and-concrete edifices of the Ages of Major and Blair stand testimony to the success of the neoliberal counter-revolution. Entombed within, breathing only the stale air of an “academy” from which all critique and counter-culture has been virtually eradicated, are the proto-proletarians of a digitised, “knowledge-based” capitalism ... So drained of intellect, culture, and politics are they that many of these places are the very negation of “universities”. There is nothing “higher” about them. They are skills factories turning out labour units in an environment that combines the clinical functionalism of Huxley’s Brave New World, the political conformity of Orwell’s 1984 and the bureaucratic absurdity of Kafka’s The Trial’ (p. 27-8).

The British university was conceived to play a different role, the importance, enduring relevance and systematic suppression of which is well chronicled by The Assault on Universities. The roots of the very word ‘university’ are implicitly inclusive, taken from the term universitas, meaning entire or ‘universal community of scholars’. It cannot bend itself to the stifling dictates of class or market and be called a university at all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Save Sri Lankan Universities

Private University Act ready soon



by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Ministry of Higher Education plans to present a new bill titled ‘Quality Assurance Accreditation and Qualification Framework Bill’ which is popularly known as ‘Private University Act’ in parliament as soon as possible.

Minister S. B. Dissanayake told a media conference on Tuesday that the Cabinet of ministers had already approved the draft bill and it would be tabled in the House after it received clearance from the Legal Draftsman’s Department.

He said that a section of politically motivated undergraduates had misled the public claiming that the ministry was going to establish private universities once the new bill became legal, but it was not the truth.

"There are 29 private universities already functioning in the country as Board of Investment projects for the last nine years," he said.

Some of those institutions provide substandard education for very high fees, he claimed.

Some institutions offered three-month diplomas, six-month higher diplomas, one-year degrees and three-year post graduate degrees, but those institutions were not functioning under the University Grants Commission (UGC).

"We will regularize those institutions under the new Act," he said.

Dissanayake said that under the new act, the ministry would introduce new rules and regulation for those institutions to enhance the quality of education.

He said BoI had issued licenses to 51 institutions, but currently only 29 were functioning and most of the institutions had to close down due to their poor quality.

They would also enforce a rule that scholarships must be given to 20% of the students who did not get selected to the government universities, the Minister said.

Higher Education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that the new Act would not be a threat to the free education system, but it would increase the annual intake of students to universities.

විභාග ප්‍රතිඵල නිවැරැදි නොකළොත් නීති මගට යනවා ලංකා ගුරු සේවා සංගමය කියයි

Divaina, 29/12/2011, නිලන්ත මදුරාවල උසස්‌ පෙළ ප්‍රතිඵල නිවැරැදි නොකළහොත් ඊට එරෙහිව නීතිමය ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ගන්නා බව ලංකා ගුරු සේවා සංගමයේ ප්‍රධාන ලේකම් මහින්ද ජයසිංහ මහතා පැවැසීය. විෂය නිර්දේශ දෙකක්‌ යටතේ විභාග දෙකකට පෙනී සිටි සිසුන් එක්‌ විභාගයකට පෙනී සිටියා සේ සලකා ඉසඩ් ලකුණු නිකුත් කිරීමට යොදා ගත් සූත්‍රය හෙළි කළ යුතු යෑයිද ඒ මහතා කීවේය.උසස්‌ පෙළ ප්‍රතිඵල සම්බන්ධයෙන් කරුණු දැක්‌වීම සඳහා කොළඹ ජාතික පුස්‌තකාල හා ප්‍රලේඛන සේවා මණ්‌ඩලයේ ඊයේ (28 වැනිදා) පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවේදී මේ බව සඳහන් කළ ජයසිංහ මහතා විභාග දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව උසස්‌ පෙළ ප්‍රතිඵල විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ප්‍රතිපාදන කොමිෂන් සභාවට දුන් පසු කුමක්‌ සිදු වූයේද යන්න ගැටලුවක්‌ යෑයිද ප්‍රකාශ කළේය. පිළිතුරු පත්‍ර ඇගයීම් කර ප්‍රතිඵල නිකුත් කිරීම විභාග දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ කාර්යය යෑයිද මෙවර ප්‍රතිඵල නිකුත් කිරීමට පෙර තවත් පාර්ශ්වයකට ලබා දීමෙන් දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සිය රාජකාරිය උල්ලංඝනය කර ඇතැයිද ප්‍රධාන ලේකම්වරයා තවදුරටත් සඳහන් කළේය. ඉසඩ් ලකුණු සකස්‌ කිරීම සඳහා සූත්‍රය නිර්මාණය කළේ කවුරුන්ද යන්න ප්‍රසිද්ධ කළ යුතු බවත් එය තවදුරටත් රහසක්‌ ලෙස තබා ගැනීමේ අවශ්‍යතාවක්‌ නොමැති බවත් කී ජයසිංහ මහතා අයදුම්කරුවන්ගේ දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතා වෙනස්‌ වූයේ නම් ප්‍රතිඵල ඉසඩ් ලකුණු පමණක්‌ නොව දිවයින කුසලතාව වෙනස්‌ විය යුතු යෑයිද පැවසීය. ප්‍රතිඵල පිළිබඳව පවතින ගැටලු සහගත තත්ත්වය නිවැරැදි කිරීම සඳහා පිළිතුරු පත්‍ර අයදුම්කරුවන් අතට ලබාදීම සඳහා වැඩපිළිවෙළක්‌ සකස්‌ කළ යුතු බවත් හෙතෙම කීවේය.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hasty release cause for blunder: SB

Daily Mirror, WEDNESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2011 10:28 Pressure exerted by various quarters including highly influential authorities and others who expected to enroll students at overseas universities triggered the hasty release of the 2011 GCE Advanced Level results that contributed to the ranking mess-up, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said yesterday. Addressing the media at his office, Minister Dissanayake said President Rajapaksa met him along with Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana and officials of both ministries on several occasions, and questioned about the delays in releasing the GCE Advanced Level results and instructed that the process be expedited. Students who were looking forward to enroll themselves at foreign universities and their parents wanted the results to be released promptly as the deadline for registration was approaching, he said. Minister Dissanayake however, assured that the 2011 GCE Advanced Level results now available on the internet were correct but said he could not give a guarantee that there would not be a repetition of exam result mess-ups in future as it was a tedious and cumbersome job involving several state institutions mainly, the Examinations Department, the University Grants Commission (UGC) in addition to thousands of teachers and students. “The mistakes that occurred in the district rankings have been rectified and the correct results of the 2011 GCE Advanced Level examination have now been released,” Minister Dissanayake said. He said no one should attempt to find fault with another institution or individual in this episode and there would be no inquiry to ascertain who made the blunder. Minister Dissanayake stressed that there was nothing wrong in the GCE Advanced Level results, Z-score or Island Rankings but the error was only on district ranking as there was a mix up in the rankings of the Matara and Colombo Districts. The mix up had occurred when district results were calculated at the Examinations Department and it was purely a technical/computer error and it has been fully rectified now, he said. Minister Dissanayake said officials worked two 24 hour sessions to issue the results as soon as possible. Responding to the complaints that a number of students had received results totally different to the stream they offered at the examination, he said the blunder had been made by the students themselves when they checked their results on the internet by accessing using a wrong number. “We found that all students who have got contradictory results had typed the GIT (General Information Technology) number instead of their index number to check their exam results which is obviously wrong. They get only the results of another student who sat the exam in a different stream of the results of a previous year,” he stressed. UGC Chairman, Prof. Gamini Samaranayaka said the UGC received the results from the Examinations Department on December 23 to set the Z-score and sent the results back to the department with the Z-score the following day. Commissioner of Examinations in charge of School Examinations and Results Amith Jayasundara appealed to apply for the revision of results if there were doubts. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne assisted Minister Disssnayake during the news briefing. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

‘GMOA to strike if SAITM report un-released’

Daily Mirror, WEDNESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2011 03:36 The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday threatened to go on an all-island strike if the Health Ministry does not release an inquiry report on the controversial South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) by the end of the month. Addressing a press conference today GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe said the union had refrained from taking trade union action in September after Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena assured that a five member committee would be appointed to carry out an inquiry on the standards of the institution. He said a number of medical professionals representing the leading medical organisations in the country had already given evidence to the committee, but the report was yet to be released. “It has been three months since the committee was appointed to look into this issue but the report has still not been released. If the report is not out by December 31 we will go on strike. We cannot wait any longer,” Marasinghe said. He said the gazette notification was not valid as SAITM received BOI approval when it was formally called the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management instead of medicine, therefore there is no validity to the institution, he said. He said the GMOA will provide evidence in support of the parents of SAITM students who had threatened to take legal action. Medical organisations had received an appointment to meet the President on January 6 to discuss a government proposal to make changes to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) including the SLMC presidency and other grievances. “We hope the appointment for the SLMC presidency will not be decided before discussions take place with the President,” he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Z- score policy - UGC 2001

Download the google doc. UGC_Z-ScorePolicy2001

දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතාව අවුල් සහගතයි - පාසල්වලට උ/පෙළ ප්‍රතිඵල දීම අත්හිටුවයි - විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ප්‍රවේශයට බලපෑමක්‌ නෑ

Divaina, 27/12/2011, නිලන්ත මදුරාවල උසස්‌ පෙළ ප්‍රතිඵලවල දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතාව (District Rank) අවුල් සහගත හෙයින් ප්‍රතිඵල ලේඛන පාසල්වලට ලබාදීම විභාග දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව විසින් ඊයේ (26 වැනිදා) අත්හිටුවනු ලැබිණි. අන්තර්ජාලයට නිකුත් කර ඇති දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතා සංශෝධනය කිරීමට ද දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව පියවර ගෙන ඇත. ප්‍රතිඵලවලට අදාළ ඉසඩ් ලකුණු ශ්‍රේණි මෙන්ම දිවයින කුසලතාවේ (Island Rank) කිසිදු වෙනසක්‌ හෝ ගැටලුවක්‌ නොමැති බව විභාග දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව පවසයි. දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතා අවුල් සහගත වීමට හේතු වී ඇත්තේ විභාගයට පෙනී සිටි දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කය වෙනුවට ඇතැම් අයදුම්කරුවන් වෙනත් දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයකින් පෙනී සිටියා සේ සලකා ප්‍රතිඵල නිකුත් කිරීමය. ප්‍රතිඵලවලට අදාළ දත්ත පරිගණකගත කිරීමේදී මෙම දෝෂය ඇති වී ඇත. මීට අමතරව පසුගිය වසරේ අගෝස්‌තු මාසයේ මෙම අයදුම්කරුවන්ම පෙනී සිටි සාමාන්‍ය තොරතුරු තාක්‍ෂණ විභාගයේ විභාග අංක මෙවර උසස්‌ පෙළ විභාගයේ ඇතැම් අංක සමඟ ගැලපීම ද සිසුන්ට ගැටලුවක්‌ වී තිබේ. ඇතැම් සිසුන් එම විභාගයේ අංකය පරිගණකයට ඇතුළත් කළ පසු වෙනත් ප්‍රතිඵලයක්‌ ලැබීම නිසා ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් ද විභාග දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට පැමිණිලි කර ඇත. අවුල් සහගත තත්ත්වයට පත්ව ඇති දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතාව විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ප්‍රවේශයට හෝ වෙනත් කිසිදු කාර්යයකට අදාළ නොවන බව ද ඒ බව ප්‍රතිඵල ලේඛනයේ සඳහන් කර ඇති බව ද විභාග කොමසාරිස්‌ ජනරාල් අනුර එදිරිසිංහ මහතා "දිවයින" ට ඊයේ (26 වැනිදා) පැවසීය. දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතාව නිකුත් කෙරෙන්නේ තාවකාලිකව යෑයි ද ඉන් අපේක්‍ෂා කරන්නේ අදාළ දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයේ එම අයදුම්කරුවා පසුවන ස්‌ථානය බලා ගැනීම පමණක්‌ යෑයි ද ඒ මහතා සඳහන් කළේය. කෙසේ වුවද දැනට අන්තර්ජාලයට එක්‌කර ඇති සියලුම දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌ කුසලතාවන් ඉක්‌මණින්ම සංශෝධනය කර පාසල්වලට ප්‍රතිඵල ලේඛන ලබාදීමට පියවර ගන්නා බව ද අනුර එදිරිසිංහ මහතා පැවසීය. උසස්‌ පෙළ පළමු වසරේ සිසුන් සඳහා පැවැත්වෙන සාමාන්‍ය තොරතුරු තාක්‍ෂණ විභාගය වෙනුවෙන් සිසුන්ට ලබාදෙන ප්‍රවේශ පත්‍රයේ "ජනවර්ගය" යනුවෙන් සඳහන් කර ඇතැයි ද එලෙස සඳහන් කරන්නේ උසස්‌ පෙළ විභාග ප්‍රවේශ පත්‍රය වෙනම හඳුනා ගැනීම සඳහා යෑයි ද කී විභාග කොමසාරිස්‌ ජනරාල්වරයා සාමාන්‍ය තොරතුරු තාක්‍ෂණ විභාගයේ විභාග අංකය පාවිච්චි කිරීම පිළිබඳ තමන්ට කළ හැකි දෙයක්‌ නැතැයි ද සඳහන් කර සිටියේය.

Errors in A/Level results

Daily Mirror, MONDAY, 26 DECEMBER 2011 11:04 The Advanced Level results which were released late last night contain errors in the calculation of district and island ranks. Sources at the ministry of education stated that there is a strong possibility of the results that were issued being suspended. There have been many reports from the different parts of the country that even the Z score and the results of certain students are erroneous. The Examination ministry previously stated that only the rankings were inaccurate. Some students allege that they have recieved results for subjects they werent candidates for during the examinations held in August.

GCE (A/L) results mess-up triggers public outcry - Teachers, students demand re-evaluation

The Island, 27/12/2011, by Dasun Edirisinghe A wide array of teachers, students, undergraduates and opposition political parties has been irked by what they call a mess-up of the GCE (A/L) results issued by the Examinations Department on Sunday night. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said that district ranks and countrywide ranks of the students of most districts could not be accepted as they were contradictory. As an example, he said, the District ranks of two students who had obtained B, B and C in the same subjects were 369 and 144. Their country ranks were 4,113 and 4,649. The district ranks of two other students with B, C and C in the same subjects were 278 and 405. "Those ranks were very contradictory and we want the results re-evaluated," Stalin said. Pointing out that according to the Examination Commissioner the results had been delayed due to an Z score related problem because the examination had been conducted under two different syllabuses, Stalin asked how the department had been able to release the results immediately after President Mahida Rajapaksa’s order to that effect. According to Stalin, Education Minister, Higher Education Minister, Examinations Department and University Grants Commission had issued very contradictory statements regarding the results. Addressing a media conference at the Kelaniya University, Inter University Students Federation demanded the cancellation of results and reevaluation of the answer scripts. He said that a student of Royal College who had sat the examination in Commerce Stream had received the results for Buddhist Civilization, European History and Sinhala. "According to our information, the Z–scores of students whose district ranks were 160 and 280, were higher than that of the student placed first in the district," Bandara said. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told The Island that this was due to the incompetency of the Examinations Department. Accusing the Commissioner General of Examination of being responsible for what he called a fiasco, the Kurunegala District MP said this was not the first time the present commissioner had messed up the results. "Examinations Department should have known two years ago that students who studied under two different syllabuses would sit the examination in 2011," he said adding they had to take precautionary measurers earlier to avoid university enrolment problems and results delays. Denying all allegations, Examination Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe said that every year they issue the district ranks on a temporary basis and those rankings had nothing to do with university entrance. He said the district rankings would be revised but there would by no changes in the results and the Z score. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said district rankings and island ranking had been messed up due to a technical error and they would be corrected. He said however, the results or Z score would not be changed.

Universities as torture chambers

The Islan, Editorial, December 25, 2011, 4:38 pm The government may have thought its controversial residential leadership training programme for the prospective university entrants, at military camps, would serve as an effective antidote to campus ragging because the trainees were physically and psychologically prepared to stand up to the sick elements in the garb of undergraduates. But, if the very high incidence of ragging reported from universities during the past few weeks is any indication, that scheme has failed to yield the intended results. Unable to bear it anymore, some first year undergraduates have gone public with the suffering they are made to undergo in the name of ragging. There have been several unfortunate incidents; one female student of the University of Ruhuna was admitted to hospital due to ragging the other day. Time was when the government used to blame the ultra radical political elements for using ragging as an instrument of indoctrination. But, today, the pro-government student groups who used to haul their rivals over the coals for torturing the new entrants stand accused of ragging! Brutal ragging where force and violence are employed is an act of terrorism, which must be treated as such. The severity of that offence does not diminish in anyway because it is perpetrated at the seats of higher learning. The government, the university authorities and the police are duty bound to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice to make universities safe for others. It is also imperative that university teachers stop running with the hare and hunting with the hound; they must come down hard on ragging. They should put their own house in order before campaigning for restoring the rule of law in the country at large. Some dons at the Colombo University have taken up the cudgels for the victims of ragging half-heartedly. They as well as their counterparts elsewhere must go the whole hog and protect the cowering, voiceless students. It's no use urging new entrants to confront their violent, organised tormentors who hunt in packs. One cannot reason with mobs to act rationally. Even the university teachers lack the courage to do so, don't they? So, what needs to be done is to deal with the torturers severely according to the law. While there is absolutely no need for any intimidating police presence inside universities, the law enforcement authorities must be able to move in, in case of breaches of law, unless the university authorities are capable of handling such situations themselves. In May last year we pointed out in these columns the pressing need for the police to be deployed to arrest lawbreakers in universities. In 1953, no less a person than Sir Ivor Jennings had this to tell the Warden of the James Peiris Hall, Peradeniya University, at that time, who in a letter to Sir Ivor opposed police action against students during riots in that year: "It is of course the practice of this University as it is the practice of other Universities, to endeavour to maintain discipline among its students, including the observance of the general laws, without requiring the assistance of the police. The police in Ceylon, as in England, help the university by drawing attention to any threat against the laws of Ceylon of which they become aware, in the hope that the University will be able to prevent it. This practice does not, however, deprive the police of the right and the duty to take steps as may be lawful for dealing with actual or threatened breaches of laws … The simplest and the best way for the students of the James Peiris Hall to keep the police out of this Hall is for them all to do their duty as citizens and observe the laws of the island … If either because of a request from the University or because of their general duty under the laws of the island it becomes necessary for the police to enter the Hall it is the duty of every student to assist the police in the execution of their duty. The university itself will give the police every assistance and in no circumstances will it condone or excuse breaches of the laws of Ceylon in the James Peiris Hall or elsewhere." The government boasts of having removed the scourge of terrorism. But, sadly, it has failed to clear some pockets of terror. The time has come for it to liberate the universities from the clutches of terrorists who employ mindless violence and torture for political purposes. Its reluctance or hesitance or failure to do so will bolster the contention of its critics that under the pretext of eliminating ragging, it is only trying to neutralise the JVP-led student unions and consolidate its power in universities with the help of another bunch of thugs.

On Student Centric Violence and Culture of ‘Ragging’

The Island, December 13, 2011, 7:00 pm cross Sri Lanka, a spate of University-centric violence has unfolded. The Arts Faculty of the University of Colombo popularly claimed as ‘anti-ragging,’ remains conspicuously silent. However, within the confines of a hallowed institute of education, students are insulted, coerced and scared out of their wits by seniors who claim the exercise is one of familiarisation and not hostility. In little over 30 days since entering University, the students have gained a wealth of extra-curricular knowledge. How many words or phrases in the Sinhala language may express disgust at ‘loose’ women or prostitute? The university definition even encompasses students who wear high-necked blouses and skits that sweep the floors! Where exactly does the city fade into the village? The line is blurred, that the 1st years’ greatest enemy, a group of fist year students who choose to label themselves quintessential ‘villagers’ come from homes as close by as Homagama! What’s more, they have effectively conned the system, into receiving hostel facilities, in spite of this proximity between home and university. Yet another example of duplicity arises where the ‘ watchdogs of university culture’ choose to prevent students from wearing rings or chains – accessories which, especially in the context of girls, are used not so much as an ‘indication of prosperity,’ but as a means of warding off ‘apala’ (ill fortune) or preventing superstitions of isolation from affecting them. Personal choice is a nullity here – and every thing comes with an ulterior motive. As a female student, I have questioned, repeatedly, why skirts? Why not long skirts? Or dresses? A friend answered in kind, describing how, in a skirt , she was forced to mount a table, and parade for a group of boys who seemed to her crazed! Other girls were made to crawl the floor of the passages in the building, or stared at, inappropriately, not in the face, but the chest! I have personally faced the threats of physical violence if I am to arrive at university with astrological rings, pririth nool, or even so much as nail polish. Authorities, once informed of these events , offer lukewarm responses. Lecturers are sympathetic and proactive, the Ministry of Higher Education, vehemently displeased yet inactive and Vice Chancellor remains in constant denial. As the situation worsens, and seniors carry brickbats, knives and blades at all times ( the latter too, which I have seen, myself), students are terrified. And no hope of restitution appears to be available in the least! First Year female Student, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo

Colombo Uni dons want ragging stopped

The Island, December 16, 2011, 9:17 pm Teachers of the Arts Faculty of the Colombo University have come under pressure from pro-government student activists to deny that there is ragging on the campus, The Island learns. Although the government tried to eliminate ragging by means of a leadership training programme conducted at military camps for prospective university entrants, first year Arts students at the Colombo University undergo severe ragging at the hands of students affiliated to the ruling party, according to sources. This newspaper recently published a letter by a victim highlighting their traumatic experience. The Island has secured a copy of a statement Arts Faculty teachers have prepared but not yet released to the media due to pressure from the pro-government student groups. Full text of the teachers’ statement: The Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association, University of Colombo (AFTA-CU) vehemently condemns the reported ongoing ragging of first-year students at the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo. Ragging is reportedly carried out by senior students as well as by first-year students living in hostels, under cover of a so-called ‘probationary period’ imposed on first-year students. Hostel students ragging of non-hostel students pose the threat of clashes developing between these two groups of students. According to reports, senior students are: * Enforcing a dress code on first year students * Demanding that first year students make themselves easily identifiable to seniors by always carrying a special cardboard file with their assigned nicknames * Ordering male students to cut their hair and beards * Directing verbal abuse at first-year students, and carrying out many other acts of harassment. These are clearly violations of the bodily and mental integrity of new students. AFTA-CU strongly believes that the newcomers to the University should be treated with respect and dignity. They should be encouraged to engage in the University’s academic activities with full freedom and without any fear of being intimidated and harassed by any other student, senior or peer. Women constitute the overwhelming majority of Arts Faculty students. We recognize that any harassment or verbal abuse directed at female students can be open to the charge of sexual harassment. We vehemently condemn such acts. AFTA-CU strongly recommends that: * Senior students stop ragging first-year students, * First-year hostel students stop ragging first-year non-hostel students * First year students take the initiative to voice their anti-ragging sentiments openly in order to bring an end to ragging.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2012 Budget allocation

IUSF - Presentation on Privatization of Education

Download the .pdf from google docs.

Privatisation of Education - IUSF

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Clinical trials: Cart before horse?

The Nation, 25/12/2011,

By Panduka Karunanayake

The government has stated that it will bring three new bills relating to health, by early next year. One relates to the national medicinal drugs policy, which I discussed recently (The Nation, November 13, 2011). Another relates to clinical trials. According to a news report, this bill “…would be introduced to attract researchers in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals to the country to conduct medical research along with local consultants” (The Sunday Times, December 11, 2011).
Clinical trials: What it is
The type of “medical research” that the bill proposes to encourage is called clinical trials. In simple terms, a clinical trial is a human experiment that seeks to scientifically establish the efficacy of a new drug (medication) in a certain disease (see Boxes 1 and 2). This is necessary for registering the drug with regulatory authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is a pre-requisite for marketing drugs in Western medicine.
Naturally, a clinical trial subjects the human beings in the experiment (who are called ‘participants’) to potential risk. Its usefulness lies in the results of the experiment, and this is, in essence, beneficial for future patients, not for the participants. Importantly, there are examples of trials that have caused death or permanent complications.
In other words, a clinical trial is a situation where we, as a society, ask our altruistic companions to subject themselves to an experiment, at personal risk to themselves, for the sake of humanity’s shared future.
Almost all of the highly effective Western medicines that we benefit from today have gone through clinical trials. Just as importantly, such trials have also weeded out many useless or dangerous substances, keeping the general public safe. Clinical trials are a legitimate, worthwhile and valuable exercise in scientific experimentation, since they further our collective knowledge of diseases and their treatments.
What it is not
But a clinical trial is not a strategy to give the participants ‘better care’ or care that they would otherwise not receive – for which society needs to develop or strengthen other suitable strategies. Although participants might indeed receive such care, this comes at the personal expense of exposure to additional potential risk – the former should not be an inducement for accepting the latter.
Furthermore, the participants must take part in a trial out of altruism – not ignorance, helplessness, respect for the doctor, fear of reprisals if they refused to participate (such as denial of usual treatment), inducement by material gain, etc.
A trial must have enough justification to subject participants to the risk involved (see Box 3). To ensure this, it must receive prior approval – and if possible, monitoring – from a recognised research ethics committee, which should be well constituted, effective and independent. \
Underdeveloped countries: Benefits
Clinical trials were conducted mainly in developed countries, but in the last two decades, they have increasingly shifted to underdeveloped countries (see Box 4). This is achieved by having foreign collaborators in those countries, usually medical consultants, who can recruit the necessary participants from those countries. The collaborators may be rewarded professionally (e.g., career advancement) or materially (e.g., equipment, gifts, overseas trips, money, etc).
Over the years, clinical trials have become more common, complex and costly. As a result, a new type of service industry, called ‘contract research organisations’ (CROs), has arisen to conduct them on behalf of the biopharmaceutical industry.
It is important that underdeveloped countries are able to conduct clinical trials for their own public health problems, so that local scientists can find contextually valid solution to them. For instance, Sri Lankan researchers have conducted several excellent clinical trials on the treatment of snake-bitten patients – without these our patients would have suffered more, because few other countries are interested in this problem.
It is also important for us to conduct clinical trials with foreign collaboration, because (like in other branches of technology) this enables transfer of know-how and technology and elevates local standards.
Underdeveloped countries: Risks
But the shifting of clinical trials to underdeveloped countries also has a global context that we must consider. CROs are attracted to underdeveloped countries for several reasons, such as cheaper cost, less legal obstacles, and less likelihood of having to pay compensation for any injury caused, especially in phase 1 and 2 trials. But the most worrying reason is that underdeveloped countries may be a permissive setting for trials that would not be permitted in developed countries, such as RCTs with active control groups.
Developed countries have strict, evolving criteria on research ethics. Trials that are considered unethical there (but would provide the data for pharmaceutical companies to obtain registration for marketing) might then be conducted in the more permissible underdeveloped countries. Here, ethics issues might be considered less strictly, the public may be less aware of the implications of being participants, and research ethics committees might not be as robust or independent as in developed countries. 
Underdeveloped countries may have professionals or academics that would willingly collaborate in clinical trials in return for career advancement or material gain. The patients themselves may be relatively less informed of their rights and the risks involved, and they may be economically and culturally too disadvantaged to question, negotiate or argue with their doctors. The cost of the trial may be less, and compensation to participants for any harm caused by the experiment may be cheaper or even entirely avoidable. Not surprisingly then, there has been a tendency for clinical trials to be moved to underdeveloped countries, including phase 1 or 2 trials and trials with ethically questionable study designs.
Local and global
We must remember that in Sri Lanka, the ordinary patient attending the state hospital is not usually in a position to properly understand the implications of being a trial participant, not usually capable of exercising autonomy in decision-making, and perhaps may not even be informed about the nature of the drugs given to him or her. The ordinary patient here is far more vulnerable than his or her Western counterpart.
Although ethics approval must be obtained before starting clinical trials, research ethics committees in Sri Lanka at present may not have the expertise to appreciate the nuances of international biomedical research, the capacity to monitor the conduct of trials, or the logistics to detect non-adherence to protocols and take corrective action. In fact, it is possible that some committees even lack independence and are vulnerable to pressure from powerful groups.
To ensure that clinical trials are conducted appropriately, at least two requirements must be fulfilled outside the medical profession and the scientific community. First, there must be a robust, independent and effective system for monitoring research ethics. Each trial must receive clearance from a recognised research ethics committee and be monitored on adherence to the protocol throughout its conduct. Importantly, the issue of the consent of the participants must be treated with the greatest possible care and circumspection, because it is around here that much of the vulnerability of the participants from underdeveloped countries hinges. Secondly, awareness about clinical trials and their implications must be developed amongst the general public, civil society groups (including patient rights groups), lawyers, social scientists, etc.
In this context, legislation that merely seeks to “…attract researchers…to the country to conduct medical research along with local consultants” may be a steppingstone for the abuse of innocent, ignorant and helpless patients in our state hospitals, while research ethics committees lacking independence or capacity helplessly look on. Indeed, such trials in other underdeveloped countries are seen as a new form of colonialism, and we must tread this path with the greatest possible caution.
Above all, the policy elite (including legal draftsmen and state economists) must not think of clinical trials as a revenue earner – that would be both a recipe for disaster (because financial considerations can take precedence over research ethics, especially with the existence of poor, ignorant and helpless patients in plenty) and a cause for disappointment (because any appreciable revenue actually comes to collaborators, not to institutions or the national treasury).
We must first create the appropriate background for conducting trials ethically, which especially includes strengthening the capacity of local research ethics committees and educating the public. International biomedical research is indeed a useful, legitimate and justifiable project, and legislation that seeks to regularise it is indeed a good move – but only if the appropriate background is created first. People who push for legislation (and who have the ‘powerful connections’ to do so) for the sake of promoting foreign collaboration must not think that their social responsibility stops short of creating this background. Otherwise, the harnessing of ‘power’ in this ‘asymmetrical’ way – and putting the cart before the horse – can lead to the exploitation of the ignorant, poor and helpless ‘biomass’ and, on the long term, their loss of faith and trust in the state healthcare system and the medical profession.
The writer teaches medicine at the University of Colombo.
1: Clinical trials
A new drug must successfully negotiate three sequential phases of clinical trials, before it is registered for marketing:
• Phase 1: The drug is given to a small number of human beings (usually healthy volunteers) to determine initial safety.
• Phase 2: A small number of patients suffering from the disease in question are given the drug, to obtain preliminary data (such as the correct dose).
• Phase 3: This consists of a controlled experiment (usually a randomised controlled trial, or RCT: see Box 2) involving hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of patients with the relevant disease. (There is also a phase 4, but this is not important to the current discussion.)
Naturally, phases 1 and 2 are riskier to the individual volunteer or patient (called ‘participant’), because of the unknown element of any new drug.
4: The shift to underdeveloped countries• According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the number of clinical trials for drugs that were intended for use in the US which were conducted in foreign countries has increased from 271 in 1990 to 6,485 by 2008 – an increase of over 2,000%. By 2008, 80% of applications for the registration of new drugs submitted to the US FDA were based on data from clinical trials conducted in foreign countries.
• The triennial number of new foreign collaborators in the FDA’s database grew from 988 in 1990-2 to 5,380 in 1996-8. 
• Some ‘foreign hot spots’ for such trials were Brazil, China, India, Poland, Romania, Russia and Uganda.
Sources: Kamalakar Duvvuru (Dissident Voice, 2011.09.15) and DHHS.
3: When is a clinical trial justified?• It must have the capacity to yield valid conclusions: scientific value.
• These conclusions should be useful to the community from which the participants are selected (social value). For this, the disease in question should be a public health problem in the community, and the community must benefit from its participation (for instance, if the drug is proven to be efficacious, the community should be able to afford it).
• The risk that the participants are exposed to must be kept to a minimum, and it must be commensurate with the usefulness of these conclusions (favourable risk-benefit ratio).
• The participants should be selected from the community in a fair manner (fair selection). For instance, it is not fair to select participants from the poor to test a drug for a disease that mainly affects the rich.
• The rights of participants, including their autonomy, respect and dignity, and rightful compensation must be safeguarded.
• The results of the experiment should be made available widely amongst researchers (dissemination of results), whether or not this is profitable to the manufacturer of the drug in question, so that the wider scientific community can share the lessons learnt and more participants elsewhere need not be exposed to the same risk to learn the same lesson.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers condemn state iron fist

The Island, December 23, 2011, 9:53 pm
By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY: The Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers Association (PAFTA) has strongly condemned the excessive use of force by the state to suppress the lawful expression of dissent by the students of the University of Peradeniya on Wednesday (21).

The PAFTA in a statement issued yesterday (23) has stated that it also condemned the suspension of the student unions of the university by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendation of an Advisory Committee.

However, the PAFTA has warned the student body to use democratic means to settle differences.

The statement of the PAFTA is as follows:

"On 21st the student body of the University of Peradeniya embarked on a march to Colombo to protest against the proposed new University Act. The march was stopped by, an inordinately high number of armed personnel of the state who were deployed in and around the university premises. We as the Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association(PAFTA), strongly condemn the excessive use of force by the State to suppress the lawful expression of dissent by the student body of the University of Peradeniya. We also condemn the use of armed Military personnel in matters concerning actions of civil society.

"PAFTA also condemn the temporary suspension of the Student Unions of the Peradeniya University by the vice chancellor on the recommendation of an advisory committee. Firstly, it is the democratic right of the students to organize themselves and hence banning of the student unions contravenes this right. Secondly, we see this decision as an arbitrary act, taken without following any procedure of inquiry. By banning student unions, they are stripped of their democratic rights, forcing them to go underground. We know from history that this could have deplorable consequences.

"We also urge the students and the academic staff to avoid unnecessary confrontations. As mature and responsible members of the academic staff we should strive to maintain normalcy at times like these. On the other hand, if any of the students have assaulted a member of the staff, we condemn that action strongly and urge the student body to use democratic means to settle differences and remind them that they have no moral right to preach what they do-not practice.

" We at PAFTA, have not, so far, heard from the lecturer concerned. He has not made any complaint either to PAFTA or to the University authorities concerning the incident that is purported to have taken place on Wednesday 21, December, 2011, involving him. The directive demanding action on the student unions has come from forces outside the university administrative structure. We are deeply unhappy about this and wish to voice our protest at this kind of arbitrary action. Such interventions are a grave threat to the autonomy of the University system, which we are fighting hard to maintain in spite of extreme external pressures.

"In the matter of the incidents that took place on Wednesday the 21st, we request all concerned to voice their protest against violent suppressions of legitimate dissent. We also request that all action taken by the authorities follow transparent democratic procedures. And in conclusion, we appeal to all to restore normalcy in the University and to restore the democratic rights of all."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blog Postings on Higher Education

ආණ්‌ඩුවට ඕනෑ විදියට පෞද්ගලික විශ්වවිද්‍යාල පනත ගේන්න ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් තහනම් කරනවා

Divaina, 23/12/2011,
ප්‍රභාත් විතාන

ලබන වසරේ පෙබරවාරි මාසය වන විට පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ගෙනඒමට සැලසුම් කර තිබෙන පෞද්ගලික විශ්වවිද්‍යාල පනත ආණ්‌ඩුවට අවශ්‍ය ආකාරයට සම්මත කර රට තුළ ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය පසුබිම සකස්‌ කර ගැනීම සඳහා විශ්වවිද්‍යාල මහා ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් ඇතුළු අනිකුත් ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් අහෝසි කරමින් සිටින බව ජනතා විමුක්‌ති පෙරමුණේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී සුනිල් හඳුන්නෙත්ති මහතා පැවසීය.

මෙහි මූලික පියවර ලෙස පෙරේදා (21 වැනිදා) පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ මහා ශිෂ්‍ය සංගමය ඇතුළු තවත් ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් 8 ක්‌ තහනම් කළ බවත් හඳුන්නෙත්ති මහතා කියා සිටියේය.

එමෙන්ම මේ වන විට පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය ඇතුළු ජයවර්ධනපුර, සබරගමුව, රජරට, සෞන්දර්ය, කොළඹ, වයඹ හා ඌව විශ්වවිද්‍යාලව මහා ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් හා අනිකුත් ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් 30 ක්‌ තහනම් කර තිබෙන බවත් හෙතෙම පැවසීය.

ඒ මහතා මේ බව කියා සිටියේ ඊයේ (22 වැනිදා) පස්‌වරුවේ බත්තරමුල්ල, පැලවත්ත ජනතා විමුක්‌ති පෙරමුණේ ප්‍රධාන කාර්යාලයේ පැවැති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදීය.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ඊයේ පාගමනටත් උසාවියෙන් තහනමක්‌ - පේරාදෙණියේ ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් අත්හිටුවයි

Divaina, 22/12/2011

නිලන්ත මදුරාවල - සිරිල් විමලසුරේන්ද්‍ර සහ තිවංක අභයරත්න

පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ මහා ශිෂ්‍ය සංගමය සහ සියලු පීඨ ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් ඊයේ (21 වැනිදා) සිට තාවකාලිකව අත්හිටුවීමට උපකුලපති මහාචාර්ය එස්‌. බී. එන්. අබයකෝන් මහතා පියවර ගෙන ඇත.

විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයේ කීර්තිනාමයට හානිකර අයුරින් ක්‍රියා කිරීම සහ විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ශිෂ්‍ය ප්‍රජාව අනාරක්‍ෂිත තත්ත්වයට පත් කිරීමට ක්‍රියාකිරීම හේතුකොටගෙන මෙම තීරණය ගත් බව උපකුලපතිවරයා පවසයි.

නියෝජ්‍ය උපකුලපති, පීඨාධිපතිවරුන්, ලේඛකාධිකාරී සහ මූල්‍යාධිකාරීගෙන් සමන්විත උපකුලපති උපදේශක කමිටුවේ නිර්දේශ මත ගනු ලැබූ මෙම තීරණයට අනුව අදාළ සංගම් ඊයේ (21 දා) සවස 

2.00 සිට තාවකාලිකව තහනම් කරනු ලැබ ඇත. එම ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම් කාර්යාලවල යතුරු සහකාර ලේඛකාධිකාරී වෙත බාර දිය යුතු බවට එම ශිෂ්‍ය සංගම්වලට දැනුම්දී තිබේ.

මේ අතර පෞද්ගලික විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ආරම්භ කිරීම සඳහා පනත් සම්මත කර ගැනීමටත් විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ශිෂ්‍ය මර්දනයටත් එරෙහිව පේරාදෙණියේ සිට කොළඹ දක්‌වා සැලසුම් කර තිබුණ පාගමන අධිකරණය මගින් තහනම් කර තිබීමෙන් පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය සීමාවට පමණක්‌ සීමාවූ උද්ඝෝෂණයක්‌ පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාල සිසුන් විසින් ඊයේ (21 දා) පවත්වන ලදී.

පේරාදෙණිය සරසවි භූමියේ සිට ගලහ මංසන්ධිය දක්‌වා උද්ඝෝෂණ පෙළපාලියක යෙදුණු සරසවි ශිෂ්‍යයෝ පසුව රැස්‌වීමක්‌ පවත්වා උද්ඝෝෂණ වැඩසටහන නිමාවට පත් කළහ.

පෞද්ගලික විශ්වවිද්‍යාල පිහිටුවීමේ පනත අත්හිටුවීමත්, ශිෂ්‍ය මර්දනය හා අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීමත්, අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්න වුන් මුදාහරින ලෙසත් ඉල්ලා සිටින බව ගලහ හංදියේ පැවැත්වුණු රැස්‌වීම අමතමින් පේරාදෙණිය මහා ශිෂ්‍ය සංගමයේ සභාපති මහේෂ් ප්‍රභාෂ්වර ලංකා සහ අන්තර් විශ්වවිද්‍යාල බලමණ්‌ඩලයේ කැඳවුම්කරු සංජීව බණ්‌ඩාර පැවසූහ. 

ඊයේ (21 දා) පෙරවරුවේ පේරාදෙණිය සිට කොළඹ දක්‌වා යැමට සංවිධානය කර තිබුණු ශිෂ්‍ය පාගමන පොලිසිය මගින් අත්හිටුවන ලදී.

මහනුවර අතිරේක මහෙස්‌ත්‍රාත් රවීන්ද්‍ර ප්‍රේමරත්න මහතා විසින් නිකුත් කළ තහනම් නියෝගයක්‌ අනුව පේරාදෙණිය පොලිසිය ශිෂ්‍ය පාගමන තහනම් කර තිබිණි.

පේරාදෙණිය පොලිසිය මගින් අධිකරණයෙන් කරන ලද ඉල්ලීමක්‌ අනුව මහෙස්‌ත්‍රාත්වරයා එම නියෝගය නිකුත් කරන ලදී.

මහනුවර කොළඹ මාර්ගය රථවාහන ධාවනයටත්, මහජනතාවගේ එදිනෙදා කටයුතුවලට බාධා ඇතිවීමත්, විශ්ව විද්‍යාල සිසුන්ගේ උද්ඝෝෂණයෙන් ගැටුම්කාරී තත්ත්වයක්‌ ඇතිවීමට ඉඩ තිබෙන බැවින් පොලිසිය අධිකරණය නියෝගය ලබාගත් බව ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ නියෝජ්‍ය පොලිස්‌පති එච්. එන්. බී. අඹන්වල මහතා පැවසීය.

ඊයේ (21 දා) අලුයම් වේලේ සිටම යුද හමුදාව සහ පොලිසිය පේරාදෙණිය පාර, ගලහ වටරවුම ඇතුළු ප්‍රදේශයේ රැකවල්ලා තිබිණි.

මාර්ගයේ ඇතැම් ස්‌ථානවල සහ ගලහ හන්දිය ප්‍රදේශය මාර්ග බාධක හා කම්බි ආදිය යොදා රැකවල්ලා තිබිණ.

සරසවි සිසුන් තුන් දහසක්‌ පමණ උද්ඝෝෂණයට සහභාගි වී සිටි අතර පොලිසිය හා යුද හමුදාව පන්සියයක්‌ පමණ ආරක්‍ෂක කටයුතුවල නිරතවී සිටියහ.

Lecturers involved in stirring up students: SB

Daily Mirror, 22/12/2011


Minister of higher education S.B. Dissanayake speaking to Daily Mirror online stated that certain lecturers were behind yesterdays protest and had instigated the students to behave in the way they did. He further stated that the students involved in acts of intimidation must be expelled.

The Minister said that during yesterdays protest four persons including two lecturers and two members of the non academic staff were assaulted by the students and are currently receiving treatment at the Kandy Hospital. "The background of this university is a very brutal one with many students involved in ragging. This university has been responsible for the deaths of students. Therefore they need to be curtailed. These students don’t even have a proper slogan, they can protest against the establishing of private universities, that I understand, but this is just one slogan they are hiding behind. The other requests that they have put forward which include an establishing of a management faculty are unrealistic, both the students and the academics know this,” he said.
The Minister went on state that a certain section of the lecturers were directly responsible for the incidents that took place yesterday. “There are lecturers that I know of who are personally responsible for the situation that arose. They had continued to assist the raggers over the years and it is the few of them who are to be held responsible together with the unions,” he said. The outspoken minister went on to state that he agrees with the decision of the Vice Chancellor and the council to suspend all Student Unions. “I think they took the right decision, if the students continue with this sort of thing it is their parents who will take to the streets,” he said. (Hafeel Farisz)