Monday, 30 July 2012

FUTA President Nirmal Devasiri is mislead and suffers from a complex

Lanka Truth of the JVP reported on 28 July,2012, “  The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) today said it is not prepared to accept the invitation of Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, to report to work from July 30” . Nirmal Devasiri says, “ the strike action will not end until their demands are met.”

This man Devasiri who is thinking of bring the Minister and the government to their knees is being manipulated  by the  anti- government forces such as  the JVP and Dambara Amala. 

Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, is holding the University students as a “shield” in his personal vendetta against the Defence Secretary and the government,  which the JVP is trying to use to regain if possible its dwindling popularity.

A few days ago the former  General Secretary of FUTA Dr. Rohan Fernando  had said that they would be ready to teach a double batch if the government admitted all those students to Universities.  But Dewasiri instead holds the students to ransom and delays the admission of the new batch of students  in his stubborn, and in a way a violent demand to implement a salary increase and the request for the allocation of the  6 percent of the GDP to Education. The latter demand  which is a camouflage to  cover his egoist call for a salary increase.  In his own admission a Senior University Professor already gets a salary of one Lakh seventeen thousand per month and others  Rs.84,000,00 per month.

They are also under the influence of the JVP activist the Dambara Amala. These are the antigovernment political hands behind the FUTA  Strikes. They have less concern for the students and their parents. 

I know family in a village in  Kandy District whose child is in a Colombo University. As boarding houses are in itself a money making racket in Colombo, her parents pay  Rs.3500, 00 to a makeshift room in a corridor without windows where the child is forbidden to use a fan or use the power plug to  heat water.  The “room” is infested with rodents and cockroaches and a noisy neighbour.

During their forced “vacation”  due to their  “erstwhile professors” being on strike claiming still higher salaries.  This  girl from a Colombo University  has come back to her parents in Kandy.   The family is not rich and with the meagre income, they have  now to feed their daughter and a young son and pay the rent for the makeshift room in Colombo.  

In the mean time the parents have found a better room closer to the University to share with another for Rs.4500, 00 . They  have to pay for it in advance in order to keep it reserved until the beginning of the University  which they do not know when as  Devasiri of FUTA wants to continue the strike until the government gives the salary increase under demand.  On top of this is the fact that the children have to buy food from outside.  And they are unable even to make a cup of tea in the room as they are prohibited the use of plug points to heat water. These Parents have to pay the child her travel expenses to and fro Colombo , when ever there is a strike of the academic or no-academic staff.

This is only one case how many more poor parents ‘who cannot dream of a Rs. 84 000,00 salary per month), suffer this way. Do Devasiri, and  the thousands of  the supposed to be the top intelligentsia of Sri Lanka who follow this man Devasiri like  “cattle without using their “golden brains”, think of these poor parents who suffer financially and get into debt because of them, apart from the inconvenience and loss of study time by the students ?

I met a Professor from the Peradeniya University who said that he has ample leisure at the moment because of the “strike”, but he regretted that they have inconvenienced the students  who have nothing to do with the cause FUTA claims to fight. But he  said he cannot opt out as his colleagues have joined the Strike, after all a salary increase is a very tempting “carrot” held before them by FUTA. 

With that they could buy cars build houses perhaps with swimming pools, while the poor parents some times skips meal and feeds the other children less to ease the financial burden forced on them  in sending a child for a University education.

Why want Devasiri the FUTA president does not want to give in for the request of the Ministers to return to work, for the sake of the children who have gone without an education for 24 days and delay the admission of new student ?  

FUTA can continue the dialogue with the government after returning to work. They  will surely not die of starvation if they do not get the salary increase they claim. The 6 percent GDP to education is outside a trade union demand, as such allocations are made from the Government Budget and by the Treasury, which have been explained by the Secretary of the Ministry of Higher education.

Now Devasiri is making a big issue of the 6% GDP for Education to fool the public and the students to portray that they are not really after a salary increase,  but help the University Education by getting a bigger allocation in relation to  GDP. 

This is a matter that had already been explained by the Secretary of the Education Ministry and it is a matter that has to be discussed with the government without making it an issue for a strike.  A 24 or more days strike by the intelligentsia of the Nation is not understandable as their primary duty is to look after the welfare and the education of the graduate student, and enhance the quality and the standard of the University Education in Sri Lanka.

But the fact seems to be  that Devasiri does not want to go back empty handed and wants some thing in return  as  he  has got his feathers ruffled by an unwanted strike followed by a greedy set of University Professors who try to benefit from a further increase of a salary by joining  Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri’s  personal strike, backed by JVP. 


That is where Devasiri is wrong  and shows his mental suffering  from a complex of  having to give in to the Minister’s demand and return to work. He may  on the other hand perhaps be applauded for at least now realising the folly of following the brain child of the JVP and Dambara Amala and give up the strike and return to work.

If he can see reason and less greedy for money he would call off the strike for the sake of the students who have already lost more than two months of proper studies and my also delay unnecessarily  the admission of new entrants;  other than the inconveniences and financial loss the parents of the students have been put into.

Will FUTA compensate the Parents for the financial loss and mental suffering they were put into ?

Devasiri and FUTA can easily put off their demand for a salary increase as they are not that badly off now, and ask the ministry to make them a party to the disbursement of Funds from the budget for education.  That is a matter they can easily demand the Ministry to accept without having to go on a futile long drawn strike .

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