The Great Leap Backward! How FUTA Met Its Intellectual Nandikadal
Posted on October 11th, 2012

by Janaka Yagirala

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The recently concluded FUTA strike went on for 3 months. During these three months, the students of state universities had to idle in anguish. It was a stalemate at the expense of the future of the university students of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Industrial action is an accepted method of protest against exploitation, for better benefits and safer working conditions. Rising against genuine exploitation by greedy employers (as in the acclaimed novel Yuganthaya) is always seen as a good thing in the eyes of the public. During such a strike, it is the only the greedy management who suffers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, whenever a strike is at the expense of the general public it is a different story. If bus operators were to go on strike the privileged with private cars will not even bother but the masses who depend on public transport to make ends meet will suffer. The same can be said about the healthcare sector where those who suffer are those who cannot afford private healthcare.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The current government of Sri Lanka is not at all perfect. Corruption, nepotism and lawlessness are rampant. However, anyone who walks the street on this country without the fear of being blown to bits by a terrorist bomb is still grateful to this government for ridding our motherland of the LTTE terrorist menace.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The very minute anti-national garbage like the UNP, JVP, Mano Ganeshan or Vickramabahu Karunaratne get involved in something, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something isn’t right. Unfortunately most academics failed to see or question Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri’s connections to the Frontline Socialist Party (the bankrupt party that had to stage fake kidnappings to gain attention) and Cheewaradari Dambara Amila’s connection to the JVP.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There were plenty of ulterior motives for this strike. Regime change was the most obvious. Besides that there were those who wanted to see the government cut down on defense spending by spending ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-6%ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of the GDP on education. There was also the University of Jaffna who wanted to mask from the public the setting up of their new monoethnic engineering faculty entirely from Indian financial aid and Indian lecturers. This is nothing more than another stepping stone in the multi pronged Indian agenda for a vassal Tamil Eelam which includes the upgrading of monoethnic UoJ, printing of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-6% GDPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ T-shirts, Indian ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-academicsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ expressing solidarity and last but not least insisting the cancerous 13th Amendment be fully implemented.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The greatest achievement of this strike is that it gained absolutely nothing, besides a great leap backwards for the brightest students of Sri Lanka in terms of lost time for undergraduates and delays in A/L paper marking. In short, it was an intellectual Nandikadal.


19 Responses to “The Great Leap Backward! How FUTA Met Its Intellectual Nandikadal”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Well done if the govt stood its ground.

    Give them NOTHING!

    Now the budget has been prepared. Education allocation is SAME!!!

    Defence has increased.

    Good punishment for these LTTE losers.

  2. mjaya Says:

    Another “anti national garbage” that had a big hand in this strike was the “Friday Forum”.

    Also we should seriously think about saving public money by not funding the three racist uni’s of Sri Lanka which are almost exclusively for one ethnic group.
    1. Jaffna – exclusively Tamil
    2. Eastern – exclusively Tamil
    3. South-Eastern – Ashraff’s Taliban-Wahabi university

    Throughout history they have done nothing more than spew out vile ethnic or religious hatred. The Jaffna and Eastern universities were hideouts for the LTTE while the SEU was were the notorious “Oluvil Declaration” was made.

    All other universities in Sri Lanka have fair access based upon merit (not ethnicity).

  3. mjaya Says:

    It has been reported that most FUTA members are thinking of taking sabattical leave to conduct research.

    The most popular research topics are
    “How school dropout politicians outsmarted the PhD”
    “Sustainable industrial action – how to live without your salary for the maximum amount of time without consultancy, PG courses and external teaching at private universities”
    “The science of spin – how to keep a face in the face of public humiliation”

    Well at least they will be doing something useful for a change!!

  4. nandimitra Says:

    It is not the merits or demerits of the FUTA or the political opponents that matter it is the detrimental effects of a policy that is preventing the youth of this country of having a decent education. The gradual privatisation with mushroom tutorial classes and two tier curriculum one geared to the poor and another catering to studies in the USA and European countries that needs to be condemned. ( wholly inappropriate foe Sri Lanka) Attacks on FUTA will not take us anywhere. But change of policy that gives hope for our youth of a decent education immaterial as to whether their parents are rich or poor is the most important. The present policy must be condemned by every sri lankan , The attacks on FUTA is aimed to take our minds away from the real issue.

  5. mjaya Says:

    Some more topics
    “Negative return investments – the phenomenon of getting nothing”
    “Cattle and the cowherd – how even the intelligent can become cattle when they don’t use their heads”

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    I agree these dirty universities exclusively for one ethnic group should be closed down or turned into all ethnic universities.

    1. Jaffna – exclusively Tamil
    2. Eastern – exclusively Tamil
    3. South-Eastern – Ashraff’s Taliban-Wahabi university

    SL digging own grave by having these racist enclaves.

  7. Lorenzo Says:


    The problem is FUTA (F***** Up Tigers Ass-o-CIA-tion).

    Didn’t CIA Blake meet them and JVP students recently?

    How dare they hold children’s education to ransom for 3 months for their stupid greedy demands?

    What did they achieve? NOTHING!

    University allocation is cut in other countries but they NEVER strike for 3 months. This is unacceptable.

    Well done SB for bringing this to a conclusion without bloodshed, further waste of money, without bringing down defence budget or other nonsense.

    Undergraduates learn from 2 things.

    1. what these academics teach them
    2. the EXAMPLE of these academics (MOST IMPORTANT)

    So what will these graduates do when they become doctors?

    Hold dying patients’ lives to ransom and strike!!!

  8. nandimitra Says:

    To hell with FUTA. The government must invest on education, get better teachers, give proper education in schools not allow tutories to replenish the deficiencies in the curriculum and teaching in schools, etc. The unfortunate thing is the rulers are ruled by the IMF and the world Bank. This needs a serious discussion among the sri lankans. The rulers must acknowledge that with out proper investment on education our people will be only fit for slavery in the middle east or south korea. Perhaps that is what the rulers want.

  9. Leela Says:

    I have always suspected that, that 6% of GDP for education, the later addition by Dons is a cover to deceive the public. I thought they added that addenda to continue their strike to get yet another pay hike, or instigate other public servants also to go for salary increases, or instigate people to protest on streets and pave way for their much dreamed Arab spring and destabilize the country.

    Surely Dons should have known that the government can never ever agree to politically motivated demands like 6% of GDP for education. How much to spend and on what to spend should be decided not by the gun but at elections.

    Sure, education must be free for everyone up to a certain level. But how could we expect the government to allocate resources to educate everyone who pass three A/Ls at a university for free. Why not well to do people are made to pay for their children’s University education like in most other countries. And not so well-to-do are provided with a mixture of loans, grants and scholarship to pay for their education and collect loans part back afterwards. After all, those that become doctors, lawyers, accountants etc and etc earn good money doing private practice and charging exorbitant rates from the very public that have subsidized them in the first place.

    So those who aimed to reach higher echelons of life shouldn’t be a burden to others; surely we have passed the stage everything is free for everyone. And private universities should be there and state universities must be geared to cater for that demand. Just like the way people opt to pay for private hospitals throughout the country, we should be given a choice for education as well. Government has no choice for otherwise they would go abroad earn the relevant degree, come back and practice what they learned there. So what nandimitra says doesn’t hold water. Besides, if it is good for India, China, Russia, UK, US and etc, it surely is good for us.

    Now back to FUTA. Hundred days have passed, road parades have ended, but sympathy for the extended strike has not materialized as expected by radicals. On the contrary, we have witnessed the topsy-turvy priorities of strikers have made the strike passed the climax stage and started to skid downhill.

    So we are not surprised to hear that Dons have ended their strike. Did they get their addendum demand fulfilled or at least near 6% that they yelled is a must to end the strike? No. If so, the extended strike is a failure and an utter waste. Hence, Dons who were on strike shouldn’t be paid for the period they were on strike.

    In my opinion, the strike is just another sham like the claim that they say that most Dons would have gone abroad if their salaries were not increased. Sure salaries must be increased but only in proportion to that of the other professions. Nothing more, nothing less. If Dons claim that they are in a special category, then they must prove it. Whether they are making good enough contributions as their counterparts elsewhere, and they are qualified enough for that claim, and their fields has a demand to secure jobs abroad as they say, these must be debated earnestly and in relation to other fields.

    Somehow, with all those tricks and threats, I say; Dons got an unreasonable increase to their salaries in the end. Unreasonable, because Dons had not volunteered/agreed to improve productivity and/or performance of their profession by way of added work or extracurricular activities or any-other way.

    In my opinion, most of them would continue to stay put where they were and carry-on preaching their old notes and tunes to produce more and more unemployable graduates (paper pushers) who would be a burden to the country. That shouldn’t be allowed to go on.

    Without waving wild cards, Dons should come up with a detailed plan and a strategy for new research in every field to help improve the production and productivity of the country. That way, they would have earned a respect in addition to their salary increases.

  10. Lorenzo Says:


    But you can’t rule out FUTA.

    They wasted 3 months of this year 25% without ANY education to university students!!!

    FUTA idiots wasted 25% of the education investment for this year already and demand more. What nonsense is this?

    Now the REAL investment is 25% less because FUTA ate that up.

    So who is the problem for education investment? FU(K)TA!

    Can you understand?

    We have to make use of what we have FULLY before asking for more.

    Govt idiots are no better. They too found this the perfect opportunity to get their cut. But I cheer SB for a good job done. SB is the perfect man for FUTA and JVP thugs.

  11. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:



  12. aloy Says:

    What is the noteworthy contribution our Dons have made to the country or themselves?. There are no Sri Lankan academics who have caught the world attention. It appears non of them return home to continue their work. In the west and Japan (where our Dons prefer to go for PhD) it is the Dons who win Nobel prizes for science and medicine by continuing their work. It is the university fraternity in US that helped shape the digital era and because of that, US is in the forefront of technological development.
    GOSL should devise a scheme which will evaluate the research work done by them and give salary increase or demotions accordingly.

  13. Lorenzo Says:


    Then ALL of them will get demotions!

  14. mjaya Says:

    Nirmal Devasiri is one of the main proponents of the Tamil homeland myth.

    All of them should not be demoted, they should be kicked out of state universities.

    The “Save State Education” was nothing more than a concoction to hoodwink the public. The only thing state education needs saving from is incompetent teachers like those of FUTA.

  15. mjaya Says:

    I think its enough humor against the Federation of Useless Tertiary Academics. They have been the butt end of all jokes of the nation for long enough.

    Lets look at positive ways of improving our education system.
    1. Abolish the year 5 scholarship.
    2. Have more emphasis on practical subjects like agriculture, carpentry etc. Teaching agriculture will encourage people to grow at least some Manioc at home.
    3. Scrap this useless leadership training
    4. For to be medical students have them work as voluteers in an orphanage for 6 months and home for the elderly for 6 months. Make it mandatory, then we will end up with a health service with compassionate doctors!

    Any suggestions?

  16. mjaya Says:

    In another recent development, the Supreme Court has rejected the petition against SAITM.

    Way to go!!

  17. aloy Says:

    I want to deviate a little bit from this thread to highlight the importance of using modern technology (which actually should be initiated by the academics). In 1970 our country had a mainframe computer installed at the State Engineering Corporation which was shared by the Central Bank. Prof. Sam Karunaratne was its head. By that time he had done his PhD and even written a book on Fortran programming, a programming language widely used even today in Science and Engineering. That was the formative years of digital era that started in places like Bell Labs in US (presently AT&T). Why did’n he made an effort to popularise software devlopment among engineers?. I remember he made a half hearted attempt, but it never went beyond the first lecture. That was the time IT could have got rooted in SL. India started much later and is way ahead.
    Few years later uni students in Thailand developed a packgage called Microfeap and was widely used for design of structures in the region including Sri Lanka. They go on to develop new packages even today. Why cannot our professors do similar things here?. they do not even have a subject for computer programming in our engineering courses. Recently I spoke to a uni professor in SL regarding the use of software packages in engineering and also told him that our country seems to be lagging behind in this area a bit and requested time to give my inputs with regard to what ever little experience I have gained overseas. I haven’t got an invitation for a discussion up to now.

  18. Dham Says:

    I too was at a “uni in Thailand” you mentioned and FEAP( which we used there generally together with much better ones) was a program given in the back of a book from Prof. Zienkiewicz. MicroFeap ( I still have it) is nothing but FEAP coverted from mainframe to normal computers. So, forget about Uni in Thailand – it is not much better , if not worse than Moratuwa.

    Not sure who uses Fortran now, even though it is the only language I know. I worte one of the “world’s first package” for a praticular use in FORTRAN but did not have time, support and money to convert it to “micro computers”, as I went back to beloved Sri lanka for good and got caught at the time of IPKF and JVP nonsence, wasting valuable 2-3 years. By that time one professor in USA ( a lebanese fellow) started selling a slightly better one !

  19. aloy Says:

    What you are telling may be true. FEAP converted from mainframe to work on PCs. But they did it in the uni and I got my copy through one professor at Peradeniya in 1988. It appears they now have something called GRASS, that means they have been continuosly at it. That is exactly what I would like our unies to do; work on it consistently. Those days mainframes were very slow. In 1971 I did a stair case from ground floor to first floor and that mainframe ran for 45 minutes to give me a result and a two inch thick stack of punch cards. Now I can do the analysis of a 30 storeyed reinforced concrete building in a few seconds and with a package like CSC Orion you can generate the working drawings and Bill of Quantities (BOQ) also at the same time. I offered a cracked version of that package for trial to the professor I referred to above. The original costs around Rs. 3.5 million now

    Yes, Fortran is very old, but it has the best number crunching ability out of all languages even today. If I am not mistaken it is a dotNET languge too. and supported by Microsofts newest technology. Therefore it is used in solving of engineering problems which involves lot of mathematical calculation including partial differential equation etc. That is what Prof Sam Karu tried to do instead of just adding 2 and 3 at the first Fortran lecture in SEC.

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