Ragging and the assurance of learning
Posted on April 16th, 2012

by Dr. Ruwantissa Abeyratne

  I wish to refer to excellent article entitled “Deplorable Conditions in Sri Lankan Universities” written   by Darshani Wimalasuriya. Ms. Wimalasuriya, in her well structured and analytical essay provides extremely disturbing reports of recent incidents of ragging in Sri Lankan universities, and at a point says: “According to the 2011World University Ranking Sri Lankan universities have a lower position and some African countries with low literacy rate than Sri Lanka have far more better educational ranking than the Sri Lankan Universities”. I do not doubt the veracity of this statement. She also says that the universities deteriorated within the span of the past 40 years.

As a student in the University of Colombo some 30 plus years ago, I could agree with this statement because just 10 years before I entered the Faculty of Law, my brother was a student in the same faculty and his milieu was entirely different from mine. The difference between our two eras was clearly the Sinhala medium, whether it was in the Law Faculty or the Arts Faculty. When I entered the Faculty of Law, we had such excellent teachers as Professors T. Nadaraja, G.L. Pieris, Savitri Gunasekere and Anton Cooray, and perhaps the only persons who were sent overseas to study were the children of the Prime Minister and a handful of cabinet ministers. But still, standards in terms of ragging were despicable, particularly in the context of the Sinhala medium seniors in the Arts and Law Faculties (I was not much exposed to the Science Faculty) and therefore I do not believe that there is a correlation between the quality of university teachers and the quantum of ragging.

I must say the seniors in the English medium in the Law Faculty were a pretty decent bunch who gave us “freshers” some mild chores which we performed with some ease and the minimum loss of dignity. However the Sinhala medium students shouted obscenities at us and there was no discrimination between the genders. I soon figured out the reason for this anomaly by piecing together the questions that were posed to me, while one day I was in the process of removing my pants in public at the insistent request, nay command of a particularly raw vernacular senior. I was asked in Sinhala such questions as “how many cars does your father own”? Did your father drop you off by car today”? In which part of Colombo do you live? 7, 5 or 3?” My first visit to the washroom (if it could have been be called that) was even more revealing. The first slogan I saw on the wall (etched in charcoal) was “Unta Biththara, Apita Karawala” (They have eggs while we have dried fish). It was a revelation to me that there was a stratum in society that considered an egg a luxury food!!

All this might give the reader the impression that I came from a rich home. On the contrary. My parents did not own a car and I came from Colombo 9 (Dematagoda) which by no means was the “posh” area of Colombo. However, I was fair in complexion, fairly globular (which certainly meant that I was well fed), reasonably well dressed and entered the University from a private school in Colombo. Most of my contemporaries in the Sinhala medium were dark in complexion and this, for some inexplicable reason, was another reason for an inferiority complex which earned me the nick name “Law FacultiyƒÆ’†’© Sudu Bada” (The fair fatty from the Law Faculty) from the the Arts Faculty. Of course it was pronounced “Low PacultiyƒÆ’†’© Sudu Bada”.

Later, once the rag period of two weeks was over, they all became my close friends (with whom I dabbled in Student Council Politics) and who received me well. Therefore, and in retrospect, I began to feel that the rag was just a “psychological catharsis” where students from downtrodden areas were exposed to the upper class bringing to bear a serious rift between the self proclaimed “Haramanis” element with the “Kulturs” who wielded the “Kaduwa (English Language). The result was a surge of pent up resentment against the privileged class who spoke a different language and ate different food. My experience in the university was that when most found that my Sinhala was as good or better than my English they warmed up to me so endearingly.

Bruce Mathews, in his excellent article University Education in Sri Lanka in Context: Consequences of Deteriorating Standards (Pacific Affairs. Volume: 68. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 77) states that arguably, ragging in Sri Lankan universities, which is cruel and indecent, is a result of an admissions policy that suddenly throws students from widely different social backgrounds together. He observes that, in a country like Sri Lanka, where the hierarchical nature of society, either as caste or class, is very pronounced, giving those from underprivileged backgrounds power to “initiate” new students (especially young women and those from the great schools) can be problematic. He also says that the issue is deeper than this, for ragging is also a form of protest against authority of any kind – university, the law, even traditional social norms and customs.

There is no such bizarre complexes and torture in the university which my child attends in Montreal (and in most, if not all other universities in North America) arguably because all speak the same language, are equally well dressed and well fed and, if they come from disadvantaged families they are given student loans by the government. At the Montreal universities, the “freshmen” are treated on consecutive days by the seniors to hot dogs, beer and blaring hip hop music in the quadrangles of the Colleges where they dance till the wee hours into the morning. I must hasten to qualify this by saying that by no means am I saying that there is absolutely no instance of criminality but this happens mostly when acts are perpetrated by the criminal elements. In other words, there is no culture of ragging here in Montreal or in most of North America.

I believe another reason for the malaise in Sri Lankan universities is what I call the lack of “assurance of learning” (AOL) at the high school and pre university phase. AOL is what schools emphasize in North America to students from elementary school through high school to universities in preparing them to go out into the outside world. As a university teacher (part time) , I have to practice AOL even with my post graduate students. AOL is a shift from the traditional mode of measuring the success of teaching techniques per se to the level of assurance a university or lower educational institute has that the student has learnt what was expected before that student graduates and seeks employment. Major determinants in AOL are communication, ethics, analytical skills, and the ability to use information technology, multiculturalism and reflective thinking.

Largely because of AOL, one does not find in North American cities (particularly in the capitals, and I am not talking “boondocks” here) teenage boys seated on parapet walls casting lewd comments at innocent girls and women waiting for a bus on the street. There are no school boy “louts” in buses ridiculing and denigrating school girls. There are no separate “ladies only” compartments in buses or trains. Above all, there is strict enforcement of the law, irrespective of whether the offender is the son of a cabinet minister or not.

The imposition of legislation against the harassment of the innocent is an effective deterrent. Legislation introduces legal certainty to a society as an integral element of the rule of law. It makes people aware to a great degree of precision the manner in which the law will impinge on their conduct. Therefore laws have to be coherent, specific and set out in advance with clarity so that the citizen has a full understanding of the law. Criminal laws are enacted on the basis of values that are considered acceptable to a society which are institutionalized through the legislative process. As a follow up to this process the rule of law requires that judges make specific decisions that enforce the laws concerned.

Although ragging can be cruel and indecent, the legislation must be drafted with the consideration in mind that there has to be a harmonious balance between recognizing the innocent as against the guilty as the offence would involve young persons of a certain age who may not necessarily be hardened criminals. Particularly in instances of arrest, the legislation must insist that the arrest be legal and can be supported by cogent evidence. This would provide a safety net to protect the innocent “seniors” who may otherwise be perceived to be guilty in an instance of ragging where a whole group of students are involved and it is difficult to decipher a specific offence and determine the culprits.

Ragging is a culture in Sri Lanka which students bring with them as a corollary to their own depravity, poverty and deep seated resentment against the haves. It is a complex that can be eradicated if decency, respect and dignity for the human being are inculcated at school level.

30 Responses to “Ragging and the assurance of learning”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Govt has to be strict with the people who rag.

    Govt should inform every senior student and their parents in writing the repercussions if they get caught in ragging or in a place where ragging takes place and their classes should be suspended for one whole or so.

    By that way, govt should stop ragging.

    Instead should organize some orientation for the freshers and welcoming party to get to know one another.

  2. madagama Says:

    Dr. Ruwantissa Abeyratne has worked in the field of aviation law and management for over twenty five years. He is currently Acting Deputy Director, Air Transport Bureau, at the International Civil Aviation Organization. He is also Professor of Aeropolitics and Law at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal.

    Its great that the true intellectuals and internationally recognised academics express their views on ragging in Sri Lankan universities and its aftermath. We have to improve the quality of the Sri Lankan Universities changing its low productivity / low educational quality and the sadistic nature.

    Unfortunately pseudo academics like Prof Naleen De Silva who has no any international recognition and always scolding the western education (due to his inferiority complex) are largely responsible for the present deplorable conditions in the Sri Lankan universities. Thanks to the JVP and the extremist ideology of Prof. Naleen now we have low quality local universities that are lagging behind the Ugandan universities – country that is under developed and grossly illiterate.

    World University Rankings 2011

    Makerere University Uganda -according to the World Ranking number 1062

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    What a pathetic situation

  3. nandimitra Says:

    This is a reflection of cruelty and moral deprivity of our society. Be it abduction,bribery and corruption, or sexual exploitations are a common feature of our society that we have been forced to accept as being normal. The poor and the deprived are unfortunately suffering in silence. Lets face it if the elders behave in this manner can you blame the young. Punishing the young is not the answer. The Politicians, public servants and the corporates must be made to observe certain moral standards then the rest of society including students will follow.

  4. AnuD Says:

    Madagama is highly biased. I am pretty sure about that. He does not understand what Dr. Nalin De Silva is saying. There are Sri Lankan people living overseas which degrade Sri Lanka for no reason and they don’t remember they went through the same system.

    [country that is under developed and grossly illiterate. ]

    Why you don’t explain this using the graduates where you studied ?

    Are any Chinese or Russian Universities included in this ranking ?

    Sri Lanka’s problem is Universities are rolling out many graduates. But, they are not useful to the country. That is why Sri Lanka needs changing the education system.

    Sri Lanka needs to change the education system to suit the country’s need. In that context, system can be changed to be compatible as well as to the same standard of other universities..

    I say, Dr, Nalin De Silva is spot on about the Sri Lankan education.

  5. AnuD Says:

    [Lets face it if the elders behave in this manner can you blame the young. ]

    That is how every where, where human greed is involved.

    Only problem is, There should be a fool-proof Law enforcement and Justice system. Sri Lankan system is highly abused and people in the system have very low moral I suppose. It is not working.

    Other than that, every where people are corrupt and when they get the opportunity they engage in it.

  6. madagama Says:

    AnuD

    go through the rankings , Chinese , Korean , Swiss , Russian , American , African all the universities are included , then compare the slandered of the Sri Lanka universities. we must feel shame about what we did to our unis over the years.

    see below

    NeelaMahaYoda Says:
    April 14th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    World University Ranking 2011
    Harvard University – According to the World Ranking number 1
    Oxford University -World Ranking number 6
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich -World Ranking number 15
    University of Hong Kong -World Ranking number 21
    University of Tokyo -World Ranking number 26
    Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea -World Ranking number 28
    Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
    University of Alexandria Egypt -World Ranking number 147
    Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
    Indian Institute of Science Bangalore -World Ranking number 559
    Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
    University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    (Ranking Web of World Universities http://www.webometrics.info/ )

    For the World University Ranking 2011-2012 please see the link ( http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2011-2012/top-400.html)

  7. nandimitra Says:

    every where people are corrupt- Then dont complaint about the behaviour of the students

  8. madagama Says:

    AnuD

    I know Prof Naleen De Silva and his work more then you, so please don’t teach me about his importance. When he was preaching his ideology we were at the Colombo University, the students were not allowed to drink coca cola or dress in denim jeans , speak in English, use the libraries, have discussions with other lecturers (so called prathigamin) by his followers , They used to intimidate, humiliate or throw water with human excreta at moderates. These are the people who took us under the level of Uganda. Are you happy now ?

  9. sena Says:

    The university education (specially in countries like SL where it is free unlike in rich countries like Canada and USA), scarce public resources are expended as an investment to modernize the economy as well as improve social standings such as social justice and awareness of responsibilities and rights. All developed countries have been immensely benefited from the services of these higher learning institutions, in terms of providing skilled workforce, inventions and innovations that have measurable input to modernizing the economy and most notably as birthplace of entrepreneurs who engage in enterprises of high technical or commercial potential adding value to the economy and driving it beyond subsistence level. In Sri Lanka this has not happened even in a minor scale despite eighty years in operation – whether during the much hailed English medium instruction era or much maligned swabasha era. Probably the writer can comment on the reason for this unfortunate situation as he is fully aware the graduates in Canada and other western countries do not expect them to provide jobs as they demand here in SL. Also Western universities function in a much business like model where professors do much more work than mere teaching and also update their teaching materials to reflect latest advances in the subject. In Sri Lanka universities simply run as high schools, directly depending on public funds with no or little activity or interest in technology innovation or transfer. It is a terrible thing to waste human intellect which is a rare commodity and is in high demand in developed and truly developing countries (and hence the siphoning off capable people from poor countries). Because the subsistence economy in Sri Lanka has nothing much in common with universities (actually it has become a burden where government absorb them on tax payer account), it is better to train these highly intelligent students (which is a rare resource) on a volunteer basis in middle level technical jobs in a trade schools where they can find employment in or outside the country with added benefit of weaning away from sending women to earn dollars

  10. AnuD Says:

    [ every where people are corrupt- Then dont complaint about the behaviour of the students
    ]

    You talk not like an educated person.

    Medagama:

    [I know Prof Naleen De Silva and his work more then you, ]

    I don’t know him. I have only read what he was writing. He is very nationalistic. I think, he is very correct. With the very little that I know, Russian education and Indian education are very different. Earlier, people were laughing at Indian education because it is like a soup and teaches everything. In other words, it is highly multi- disciplinary. See, how Indian education is thriving. Because, now educating in a number of limited subjects as done in the west does not work. Similarly, SL education does not work for Sri Lanka.

    I think, people should know more languages. But, in Sri Lanka, speaking English is a higher up class (may be not now) and is a fashion. I think, if we don’t value our culture we will be doomed at one point even though we may have everything. It is understandable when people are trying to imitate others and not trying to be selves. We are Sri Lankans. That may not go well with everybody.

    I don’t know why he did not want students to use libraries.

    BTW, even here people discourage others drinking Coke like drinks. that is why most promote water.

    Anyway, now, I understand that you personally don’t like him. Otherwise, Even Einstein is also a mathematician. So, he is a Psuedo scientist. Yet, people identified Einstein as the number one Scientist in the Century.

  11. Sirih Says:

    I agree with some of the comments here re. education system is not catered for the modern world and few yrs ago I went to check the post graduate syllabus in SL’s top technical uni and was appalled that they are running, 1st year under grad UNi education syllabus in UK and US since DSP is a major area that we need to develop.
    Being a specialist in this area I got funding and the training from Cisco to set up a subsidiary via BOI in Colombo. Middle of all the signing of the deal BOI chief got fired and non of the BOI guys were interested in this project.

    Bottom line is SL politicos are absolutely corrupt and everything we do is for short term gain and nothing to do with long term prosperity of the country. Same wording came from former Japanese SLT CEO in Colombo since he said our people are smart but UNi’s lack proper education and also need to increase Uni places.

  12. Dham Says:

    Ruwantissa’s article is mainly about ragging and there is a hint of anger towards people of certain background.
    However, I too have suffered by ragging and in no way that I don’t agree with total elimination of ragging.

    But that does not mean that he can endorse Dharshani’s horrible statements hidden behind his article. By approving her article he proves he is in the same clan as Medagama and Dhrashani with the agendas of exaggeration and blaming the governement, taking advantage of the current situation. This is deplorable.

    I agree with AnuD that this Medagama guy is a totaly biased barking with personal grudges and likings.

  13. Dham Says:

    According to Medagama ( the biigest snob ), simply explained, Sinhala Buddhist majority intake ( by merit ) has dragged down our Universities below the level of Ugandan Uni.
    I really don’t understand the motive behind bringing “Uganda” in to this argument. Also Bangaladesh uni’s are above us , according to rankings. Why didn’t they exposed some Australian Unis which are below us in rankings ?

  14. Dham Says:

    According to Medagama ( the biigest snob ), simply explained, Sinhala Buddhist majority intake ( by merit ) has dragged down our Universities below the level of Ugandan Uni.
    I really don’t understand the motive behind bringing “Uganda” in to this argument. Also Bangaladesh uni’s are above us , according to rankings. Why didn’t they exposed some Australian Unis which are below our in rankings ?

  15. aloy Says:

    All commenters above seem to have accepted that this ranking is fair. If they do not include Russian and Chinese universities how fair can this ranking be?. If our graduates are from such low ranking unis, how come they are being recruited in large numbers by companies overseas immediately after they pass out, particularly engineering and science specials?. I think Sena’s comment for unproductive arts streams is very appropriate.

  16. AnuD Says:

    [Same wording came from former Japanese SLT CEO in Colombo since he said our people are smart but UNi’s lack proper education and also need to increase Uni places. ]

    Above is the truth.

    Even here, some time ago, I heard, some universities pay horrible salaries. Yet, Professors liked it because they were chasing for grant money.

    In Sri Lanka, Lecturers seem to worry more about salaries and perks. That is why Sri Lankan system need revamping.

  17. AnuD Says:

    I think this article is very unfair for Sri Lankan university students. Author is writing his own feelings. Other than that, some of his conclusions are absurd.

    Is ragging unique to Sri Lanka. Was or is there any ragging in British or European universities ?

    How did Sri Lankan students learn it at the beginning in order to continue and evolve it to the status that it is today.

    Here, I heard, Armed forces training schools carry out hazing (ragging) and it is sometimes very inhumane just like in Sri Lankan universities.

    It is simply began at the first occasion and now it is continuing.

    Sri Lankan ragging may have changed and may had been worsened when JVP politics rooted inside the campuses.

    I think, social dispartieis among students certainly has some bearing. It should be mostly hateful politics. Here in Universities, some students are very very poor. Some students live very luxury lives. Some women, I have noticed probably engage in prostitution in order to continue the life. Yet, they continue their lives and no one tries to take revenge for the situation that they are in.

    I think, govt should take the responsibility mostly. But, the govt doesn’t do that. Instead, keep on blaming JVP.

  18. madagama Says:

    aloy and AnuD see for your self this ranking system include American, Russian, Chinese , Korean etc Universities

    World University Ranking 2011

    Harvard University – According to the World Ranking number 1
    Oxford University -World Ranking number 6
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich -World Ranking number 15
    University of Hong Kong -World Ranking number 21
    University of Tokyo -World Ranking number 26
    Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea -World Ranking number 28
    Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
    University of Alexandria Egypt -World Ranking number 147
    Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
    Indian Institute of Science Bangalore -World Ranking number 559
    Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
    University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    (Ranking Web of World Universities http://www.webometrics.info/ )

    For the World University Ranking 2011-2012 please see the link ( http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2011-2012/top-400.html)

  19. Fran Diaz Says:

    Here are some points to consider re the divide in Sri Lanka society which affects the Universities here.

    (1) Sri Lanka has undergone some 500 yrs of Colonisation. Colonists did not develop or care for rural development. They came initially because of the Ports & Trade Route facilities, took over and expanded into the plantations & local labor. In fact, some of them destroyed the ancient places of learning tied to Buddhism. There was no ‘ragging’ in our Buddhist based places of learning in earlier times. Ragging came with British rule. The British also had a well defined Class structure. However, in the modern day world, we cannot go back to how matters were done in earlier times, though we can bring back the VALUE & RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE from earlier times in Lanka.

    (2) The ethnic proportions changed vastly during Colonial rule where Tamil people were brought in large numbers and brought in Tamil Nadu culture of Caste base in greater proportions than earlier almost purely Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka. Though there was some caste practices in Sri Lanka, it was loosely based on occupations, rather than the permanent base of Manu Laws in Hinduism for Tamil people. Education & Modernisation has to happen to break Caste.

    (3) Prof. Nalin de Silva is a mathematician and patriot. He has great talents and people who really know praise him. We are proud of him. We are similarly proud of Dr Ruwantissa Abeyratne for his achievements in Canada and his caring to write about our universities.

    (4) As Education, Modernisation & Awareness sets in, Caste & Class will be automatically erased. What citizens of Lanka must do is to see that Colonisation never happens again in Lanka. Illegal migration must stop and illegal migrants deported. An Oath of Allegiance to Lanka a must. Guard your country against crime and negative acts against society here. Good deeds start in the homes and schools. The Clergy & Politicos have to guide Lanka in the right direction.

    (5) Universities should offer courses that lead to job skills, here and in the world job market.

  20. madagama Says:

    World University Ranking 2011

    Harvard University – According to the World Ranking number 1
    Oxford University -World Ranking number 6
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich -World Ranking number 15
    University of Hong Kong -World Ranking number 21
    University of Tokyo -World Ranking number 26
    Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea -World Ranking number 28
    Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
    University of Alexandria Egypt -World Ranking number 147
    Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
    Indian Institute of Science Bangalore -World Ranking number 559
    Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
    University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    (Ranking Web of World Universities http://www.webometrics.info/ )

    For the World University Ranking 2011-2012 please see the link ( http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2011-2012/top-400.html)

  21. AnuD Says:

    I say, most problems in Sri Lanka, not only niuversity ragging other problems too, are because of the lack of a proper law enforcement and justice system.

    Sri lanka has micromanagement by the politicians. Recent attacks in universities were attributed to politics. Thise were solved and some leaders were harassed and arrested too. Those solutions were just temporary solutions. I don’t think they took proper actions sent those people through the law enforcement and justice system.

    What happens if this govt becomes the opposition, then these politicians also will do the same thing.

    Other ragging should be considered simply unlawful activities and the culprits should be punished.

    That is how every where inthe Sri lankan system. when the next minister comes he micro manages ina different way.

  22. NLS Says:

    Whether it was 40, 30, 10 years or yesterday, the situation is the same. When people are injured or dead due to ragging, it doesn’t even deserve any rating at all. As a person who avoided the University who really had enough marks to attend from Colombo district, I am still alive and doing way better than my collegues in every which way I can think of compared to friends went to the University.

    The reference AOL was interesting. “Major determinants in AOL are communication, ethics, analytical skills, and the ability to use information technology, multiculturalism and reflective thinking” But I don’t see many of these values within the recent graduates from the SL Universtities. Maybe the older ones had it better. Futher to that we should develop, adaptability, tolarence and innovative thinking among students in Schools so that a better lot of students will actually enter the University.

    University selection is flawed in Sri Lanka. Student participation in the community activities that help the innocent or creative people are not given any preferece and the selection depends on just one exam where the best book worms without any other knowledge gets into the University. As a result, SL doesn’t build our own roads or bridges nor do we manufacture electronics or pharmaceuiticals. What CAN those graduates actually do?

    Universities should not be free in Sri Lanka. Anything that is free is low quality. There should reasonable fees for everyone while need based (not merit based) scholarships should be offered to students who cannot afford. This will actualy help in putting some value to the University education since the poor students will not want to misbehave and lose their schorlaship while the paying students will not want to lose their investment. This is what’s actually happenning in those high ranking Universities around the world.

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    AnuD,

    In a Democratic system such as in Sri Lanka, almost all politicos are chosen by the people, even at PC level. It appears that people do not seem to know whom they are choosing ? People ought to vote only for people with a proven record of better ethics & morality and those have worked for the good of their electorate.

    In America, there is such thing called the Recall System to remove unsuitable people appointed to office prior to term end, at least at the different state local government level, the equivalent here being the PCs. We ought to have a similar Recall System since a number of misdemeanors come from PC level ?

  24. Lorenzo Says:

    These criminals should be behind bars.

    Why MOST innocents have to suffer because a few maniacs have all the rights to do anything?

    It is unfair.

  25. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    AnuD and Dham
    This is for your info
    Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
    Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
    So Russian and Chinese universities are also included in the Ranking

    World University Ranking 2011
    Harvard University – According to the World Ranking number 1
    Oxford University -World Ranking number 6
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich -World Ranking number 15
    University of Hong Kong -World Ranking number 21
    University of Tokyo -World Ranking number 26
    Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea -World Ranking number 28
    Peking University China -World Ranking number 37
    University of Alexandria Egypt -World Ranking number 147
    Moscow State University -World Ranking number 155
    Indian Institute of Science Bangalore -World Ranking number 559
    Makerere University Uganda -World Ranking number 1062
    University of Zimbabwe -World Ranking number 2246

    University of Colombo Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2690
    University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2324
    University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2615
    University of Ruhuna Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 2552
    Open University Sri Lanka -World Ranking number 4189

    (Ranking Web of World Universities http://www.webometrics.info/ )

    For the World University Ranking 2011-2012 please see the link ( http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2011-2012/top-400.html)

  26. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear AnuD and Dham again
    I studied at Imperial College in London as early as 1975. We have never seen ragging in England. But instead, they used to organize traditional rag night celebration for fresh students who were new to the University. Even rag nights are celebrated today.It is only a party organized by the students union. They never think of humiliating the new comers in these parties, instead senior students are all out to help and welcome the new students. In England it is the tradition that new students starts about two weeks before the seniors and during that period seniors are there to help the new students to get themselves settle down. It is apparent that ragging in Sri Lanka was first introduced before 1956 by Colombians to humiliate the handful of village boys who were lucky enough to get admission to the Colombo University and the Medical College from Government Central schools. Unfortunate that JVP is now using it for their own political ends.

  27. Sirih Says:

    UK and US uni’s do not have rag system and Uni’s there have unions that welcome students and never seen ugly ragging in any of these countries.

    In early 80’s UK Uni’s start to create different commercial technology/business units so that Uni’s patents are marketed with tech companies as JV and this is how Stanford and other US Uni’s are so rich since and some of the tech rich past students donate to the Uni’s as well.

    In Australia this concept is new and few Uni’s start to do this and Sydney Uni and UTS are few and Cisco have all their courses certified with UTS. UTS is possibly a top tech savvy Uni in Australia.

    My former Uni in London start to do this commercial part in early 80’s due to American professor and I was one of the first to employ there… Brits are so bad in any tech/ commerce ventures and I learned this hard way since we started a Broadcast tech company and later became leader in Broadcast industry with two Emmy Awards(highest awards in Broadcast area) but raising money was so painful.
    In US venture like that is not a problem since so much money is there from VC’s and this is one of the reason that US having technical lead in so many areas.
    We need similar models in SL and one of my brothers already funding Uni’s in Colombo with groundbreaking agriculture products under BOI and now all of them are earning precious foreign exchange and employing 300+ people.

  28. Dham Says:

    NeelaMY,
    I don;t know how accurate these assesments are. IIT india used to be No. 3 for some time. Then they realised that there no such place as IIT India because IITs are at few places in India and then the ranking dropped more than 30 places overnight.
    When I compare what we learned and how we leanrned in Sir Lankan unis with my children’s learing process (who are in in Australia) our colleges are 10 times harder and more complete fundamentally. There is no doubt in that.
    There were unblievably bright people with us who chose to stay in Sri lanka and this Dharshani woman has insulted these good partriots. And this new Colombian has come to rescue her. Ragging aside, both these individulas should apoplogise to those people who chose to stay back.

  29. Dham Says:

    Correction :- IIT Inida was no: 3 in Engineering & Technology. I have worked with few IIT first class special honours graduates. They were not at all better than our second class graduates. I don’t give a damn to these ranking.
    In the practicle world, regardless of the uni you win on talent.
    Mixing ragging and politics with insult to teachers should not be tolerated.

  30. Fran Diaz Says:

    Here is a write up from Wikipedia re Ragging in Sri Lanka. It says there that re Ragging, Sri Lanka is the worst affected country in the world. Is this true ?

    “History

    There is no record to prove such an act has prevailed in the ancient Sri Lankan educational institutions such as Mahavihara or Abhayagiri Vihara. It was in the post World War II era, a concept called ragging came into existence. Ragging is not an indigenous phenomenon, but a direct result of the British colonialism in Sri Lanka. Soldiers returning from war re-entered the college and brought with them the technique of ragging learned in military camp. These techniques were used to make individual fail as an individual and succeed as a team. But eventually when lesser number of military persons entered the universities, ragging lost in primary objectives and became a violent and hazardous exercise”.

    For full text : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raggin in Sri Lanka

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