Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do not see, Do not hear, Do not talk by CVCD?

University VCs take Ki-moon to task
I was intrigued by the above statement appeared in the “Nation” Newspaper on 22nd May attributed to the CVCD members (the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) of universities of Sri Lanka) who had their monthly meeting in Ruhuna university. As I appreciate the work done by FUTA voicing the plight of our academic community in various media outlets, and taking other meaningful steps, to find a viable solution, to my knowledge not a single member of the CVCD has come forward publicly to voice his or her opinion about our plight. Why are they indifferent to the just demands of FUTA imploring heaven and earth to give hearing to their demand which will able universities to attract, retain and recruit high caliber academics to their profession? It seems to me that majority of CVCD is taking Do not see, Do not hear, Do not talk approach to our problem. It brings to my mind the Sinhalese proverb, “Gederata maragathe, loketa parakase”? I have copied the news item of the NATION newspaper below.

Dr. Theodore A. Fernando, Senior lecturer, OUSL, Sri Lanka.

University VCs take Ki-moon to task

The Nation, 22/05/2011, By S. Selvakumar
“The United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) was not embarrassed by the blatant use of double standards in his conduct towards member states. While he was persistent in pursuing the report of the panel appointed by him on the allegations of human rights violations during the last stages of the war against the LTTE, he has used double subterfuge to justify non-action with regard to an official UN report on the Gaza that implicated Israel,” the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) of universities of Sri Lanka said in a statement following a recent meeting held at the Ruhuna University.
UNSG Ban Ki-moon explicitly stated that it was an advisory panel that will report to him and subsequently confirmed it on April 25, 2011, the statement said. It further said US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake reiterated the same position during his visit to Sri Lanka in June last year. “The US believes the UN panel can play an important advisory role and it does not have an investigative role,” the CVCD’s statement quoted Blake.
“However, subsequent events and the controversy that has developed indicate that the UNSG has deviated from his original position by attempting to thrust his panel’s report on Sri Lanka,” the statement said. “The UNSG should not be permitted to arbitrarily appoint panels and take action on their reports on internal matters of member states without explicit sanction from either the Security Council or the General Assembly,” it added.
The University Vice Chancellors and Directors also said that they were concerned that the UNSG’s initiative may extend to a subtle and ingenious ‘cold war’ which could include lobbying of governments of other UN member states and the Non-Aligned Movement, international organisations, international funding agencies, international courts with the intention of bringing economic and other sanctions against Sri Lanka.
The CVCD said that these attempts will be a concerted effort by international vested interests to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka that it could culminate in a final objective of regime change that is currently being achieved by violent and military interventions in other parts of the world.
“With regard to the recommendation that he should establish an international investigation mechanism, the UNSG is advised that this will require the host country’s consent or a decision from member states through an appropriate intergovernmental forum,” the statement reminded.