Wednesday, 4 July 2012

University teachers launch strike today

It was a foregone conclusion that Devasiri’s Strike will continue at any rate, even if their demands were to be granted as  Devasiri has a personal vendetta against the Government and the strike is an  excuse to embarrass the government .

It is regrettable that the intellectual academicians of the country allow themselves to be driven like cattle by a man like Nirmal Ranjit Devasiri, merely because he happens to be the  President of FUTA without using their brains, if they have any ,to question the  fairness of a strike in our country at this time.

Nirmal Ranjit Devasiri wants to be an important man in the country who plays the tune for the government to dance.  He is a second Lal Kantha , the JVP man who seeks popularity by calling strikes against the government.  

Devasiri has his own agenda and the so called intellectual University Teachers are giving in to fulfil  Devasiri’s  personal myopic desire to be an important man, or for the benefit of an international or local political group behind him.   If FUTA is  claiming a salary increase , Devasiri will  organise another strike in six months, and another after another six months and so on.  Should the government give in each time Devasiri calls a strike of the University teachers ?

From what I heard Devasiri said , in a TV discussion along with a JVP MP, is that the senior professors of the Universities already draw a monthly salary of Rs. 117,000.00 and a junior nearly  Rs.100,000. 00 . When are these demands for further increases going to stop.  If they continue , Sri Lanka will have to get special IMF loans to pay the University professors, who as it is contribute nothing progressive to the country but puts in peril the future of a generation of University Students.  While they fight to get increase of salaries which are already considerably high, the university Students and their parents go through immense financial difficulties.

Some of the students who are boarders in houses in Colombo which have no proper rooms with ventilation, and where they are not allowed to use fans or plug points to boil water, charge unfair monthly rentals .  As the Universities are closed for long periods because of the Devasiri’s  call for strike by FUTA, the University students have to come to their homes to be looked after by their parents , while the parents are in addition compelled to pay the rents for the boarding houses to keep the rooms vacant until the children return  after the end of the strikes of FUTA.

The government should make the members of FUTA who have gone on strike to pay compensation to University students who had suffered financial loss and psychological pain due to constant strikes called for by Devasiri the President of FUTA.

Devasiri of FUTA complains that money is wasted by the government  when the president visits other countries taking with him a number of  delegates.  That is no reason for FUTA to go on strike to claim more salaries.      The University Teachers have to work hard to contribute to give the students a good education and raise the standard of University Education in Sri Lanka. What have these members of FUTA contributed to enhance the prestige of Sri Lanka Universities for the large sums they earn as salaries plus allowances.   

FUTA has contributed nothing to the country  by way of  financing at least  a development project, but  brings only  shame to their profession as academicians, as no University Professors any where in the world go out on strike like bus drivers, claiming higher salaries.

Devasiri of FUTA had said that, “.. the Higher Education Ministry and the University Grants Commission had earlier promised to solve their salary problem in three stages but that promise too had not been honoured.”  It is evident from this statement that they are a set of egoists after their own welfare what ever happens to the country or the University Students.

The people as a whole are not in favour of this unjust and unfair strikes organised by FUTA which in guise of calling for a pay hike is in reality a political moment against the Government supported by the JVP and perhaps financed by “certain interested parties” who may have paid Devasiri, and the innocent University Professors are caught in the trap laid by him.

The LTTE rump is spreading its tentacles from abroad.  We saw what had happened in Vavunia. The ways of the LTTE rump abroad are multifarious.  They can strike from any where to destabilise the government with the loads of blood money in their possession .  Who knows whether Devasiri has become another pawn of theirs or not ?   The possibility cannot be  ruled out, and it is better FUTA is investigated to see whether they have dealings with any organisation abroad.

FUTA’s two  new demands, “…allocation of 6% of GDP for the education sector and engagement of university teachers in the process of making decisions on the higher education sector.” are an eye wash to justify the strike which they evidently know is unfair and unjust.

In the mean time Devasiri the President of FUTA had said,…. last night that an unidentified person had threatened him over the telephone to stop the FUTA strike or face the consequences.”

Fortunately , in this threat the person had not been identified, but if Devasiri is to continue  this unfair demand for pay hikes dragging the members of FUTA with him , it may be identifiable people who will attack him, as people are fed up with the strike of University teachers.

There is lot of suffering among the people of others sectors with loss of jobs. In the garment industry where the workers contribute to the enrichment of the Management, the workers have no welfare rights, no medical leave , right to strike or overtime, and lot of families with many children have no decent income even to feed their families while the Members of FUTA asking for pay hikes are  already getting  Lakhs of rupees as monthly salaries and  allowances.

It is time that the public is made aware of the injustice of the strikes conducted by Devasiri  and  FUTA  and  call  the public to come out to  manifest against these unjust and unfair strikes conducted by  Devasiri as the President of the FUTA.

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