A threat to the credibility of the University of Kelaniya
Posted on July 14th, 2011

Academics of the Faculty of Science,  University of Kelaniya

Vice Chancellor
University of Kelaniya

Kelaniya

 Dear Sir,

A threat to the credibility of the University of Kelaniya

The Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya is well known both nationally and internationally as a center of excellence which dispenses knowledge of Science by producing a large number of eminent scientists since its inception in 1967.  It has been accepted practice of the researchers of the faculty to publish their findings at academic conferences, seminars and in internationally accepted peer reviewing journals. It is a known fact that these research results often receive high recognition in academic circles, nationally and internationally.

However, the studies conducted by some researchers of the Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya on Kidney disease in Rajarata area  and their findings have received immense media attention and has led to a controversy in the country.

It has been stated over and over again by some members of this research group over the media that these research results have been based on assumptions and advice received from divine godly forces.  At times the present dean of the Faculty of Science, the leader of this research group, had also openly stated to the media that they do not accept the principles and methodology of the globally recognized scientific methods taught within the Faculty of Science.  It is evident that these statements and actions have led to a very bad impression about the University of Kelaniya in general and the Faculty of Science in particular, among the public and the scientific community.  Not only does this situation degrade the reputation of the Faculty which was achieved with great effort in the last 45 years, but also jeopardizes the recognition of the graduates passing out from the Faculty in future.

We would like to stress upon the fact that the majority of academics hear about these extraordinary methods and their findings only through the media.   We would also like to stress  the fact that the teaching and research conducted by the majority of us are based only on globally accepted scientific methods. We would like to request your immediate involvement in safeguarding the reputation and good name of the University of Kelaniya in general and the Faculty of Science in particular in these undesirable circumstances.

 Yours truly,

 Academics of the Faculty of Science,

University of Kelaniya.

2 Responses to “A threat to the credibility of the University of Kelaniya”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Whether Arsenic is there or not. pesticide use is a very very dangerous practice because of it’s health issues as well as the environmental damage. In Sri Lanka, it is the other way; people are unaware; scientists and academics are silent and are thinking only about themselves and no one is talking about the damage done by pesticides.

    Some one talking about non-scientific things have become an issue.

  2. Geeth Says:

    As observers, what we can see in this whole scenario of arsenic issue is that many parties have demonstrated so much of their concern of so many irrelevant things but have never been concerned about the burning issue of chronic renal disease in Rajarata (North central province). We can’t help saying that the way some politicians and scientists have handled the issue was most deplorable. None was ready to talk about the real issue, instead they either declare that this controversy will bring adverse effect on rice production and market, or now they have brought an issue of reputation. The grave issue that truly concerns the whole nation is not your reputation dear faculty, but to find answers for…
    1. Whether or not this disease cause by arsenic.
    2. Whether or not ground water and perennial water sources of the region contaminated by arsenic.
    3. Whether or not widely imported and used fertilizer varieties contain arsenic.
    4. Whether or not these fertilizers used in the region has been the primary source of arsenic that contaminates water causing renal failure.

    Have you done anything to answer these questions dear faculty? The nation turned toward you to find answers but you have neglected their call. Besides, people have moral right to demand answers from you since they have spent their good tax money to provide you with world class education free of charge to reach the heights you have reached today. If they have never protected our right to free education religiously for last few decades when it was severely threatened, you wouldn’t be able to talk about what you have mentioned… “to publish your findings at academic conferences, seminars and in internationally accepted peer reviewing journals.”

    What we witness today is not only you are confused of the situation dear faculty, but also it seems you are trying to confuse the entire nation as well. By failing to mention the real case, this letter has become a clear indication of your ungratefulness toward a helpless nation that helped you by providing all free facilities to educate you. It is sad to see that you were unable to see their real problem. The issue that demands first priority at the moment is definitely not your reputation dear faculty, but the rapid growth of death rate in the region. If you have forgotten, let me remind you of the problem again.

    At present, 65 billion rupees of public money have been spent for the fertilizer subsidy of paddy farmers amounting Rs. 50,000 a year per farmer. Rightly or wrongly people believe that most pesticides and fertilizers including paddy fertilizer contain arsenic. However, importing polluted fertilizer that contain Cadmium salt as a major pollutant and two other agrochemicals have been identified not only the agent that harms our agriculture, but also as the root cause of myriad of health problems, like the chronic renal failure of the peoples in North Central Province. One person dies per day from this man-made incurable disease. Current casualty rate of this disease is greater than the casualty rate of our erstwhile war. (Refer Prof. Bandara’s research paper on the internet to find more information: “Chronic Renal Failure of Sri Lanka”) Do you have any concern about this situation dear faculty, or you concerned only about your reputation and academic future dependent on western funds?

    At the height of this ‘controversy’ we expected all scientists to rally around and form a “Research Task Force” to arrest the condition and get into resolving this so-called ‘controversy.’ But alas, what we saw is a bunch of cowards concerned about their academic future. Your words tell it all about your thinking dear faculty.
    (beginning quote) “It has been accepted practice of the researchers of the faculty to publish their findings at academic conferences, seminars and in internationally accepted peer reviewing journals.” (Kelaniya science faculty) now you are only feared of losing those opportunities due to unscientific practices of some members of your department right? If you do not accept the results of arsenic issue, why don’t you conduct a parallel research adhering true scientific methodologies to uncover the real cause of farmers’ deaths in Rajarata?

    For us we always had ‘Deviwarus’ such as, natural instincts and astuteness governed by the principles of academic/intellectual honesty to do the right thing. But most of our professionals’ and intellectuals’ have killed their ‘Deviwarus.’ Now they have exchanged the places of their Deviwaru with blood money earned at the cost of innocent lives of Sri Lanka. Consider dying farmers as your ‘deviwarus’ dear faculty, and use your all scientific creativeness to save their lives. Then you can reclaim your lost credibility much easier than the way you have tried now.

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