Vice Chancellors enlighten Chief Minister Wigneswaran
Vice Chancellor, Jaffna University Prof Vasanthy Arasaratnam and the
Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University Dr. K. Kobindarajah
enlightened Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) C.V.
Wigneswaran at the National conference on Post-terrorism Socio-Economic
Development of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces held at Taj
Samudra Hotel, Colombo on Thursday.
University Vice Chancellor,
University Vice Chancellor
The conference was organised by the University Grants Commission
under the patronage of its Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hiriburegama.
The Vice Chancellors of the University of Jaffna and the Eastern
University shot down baseless allegations made by the NPC Chief Minister
who was the chief guest at the conference.
Wigneswaran, who is better known for making false allegations to
please his supporters in the Tamil Diaspora, came out with his usual set
of allegations but the university dons gave factual and statistical data
to prove the Chief Minister's allegations are baseless.
The findings of the two Vice Chancellors is a great setback for
Wigeswaran as the two eminent academics have been with the people in the
North and the East and have first-hand experience in the situation
whereas Wineswaran, living in posh Colombo 7, is a political parachute.
Jaffna University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Arasaratnam gave a lengthy
speech on her personal experience and said that when infrastructure
development is taking place, they should move forward. "We as academics
will give their fullest collaboration in livelihood development of the
Northern people," she said adding that she and the people in the North
had suffered enough due to LTTE terrorism. "We need to move forward, try
to forget the past and rebuild the North, like I have rebuilt my home
that was destroyed due to terrorism," she said.
"I have been living in Jaffna, working in the Jaffna University from
1984 till today. I have witnessed all the ups and downs and I have been
carrying my bed-ridden mother during 1995 from Jaffna to Wanni. Then I
brought her back in 1997. So I am somebody who has witnessed everything,
who has written my PhD thesis in the kerosene lamp where we had to pay
Rs. 300 for kerosene and not use the normal kerosene lamp and have used
the kerosene lamp using cotton wool which has been very famous those
days. So, I have been one who has been there, who have been living in
Jaffna," she said.
Prof. Arasaratnam said that she still remains in Jaffna because she
wanted the area to be developed. "I have no parents, no brothers or
sisters. I am living alone. But still I am living in Jaffna because I
want to develop my native place. I want to develop the Jaffna University
for which I strive hard as the Vice Chancellor. I have no personal
interest. Only interest I have is the Jaffna University has to come up.
The society has to come up," she added.
The Jaffna University Vice Chancellor said that she does not want to
be a politician. "But being an educationist I want to work there and I
still want to work there and develop the area. In order to develop the
area, we need to develop the infrastructure. It has been taking at rapid
pace. We have to work together. I have done a lot of research and I have
published lot of things which are really related to the development of
the region. My humble request is to forget whatever that had had
happened in the past. We have to think of the development, the
development of the economy of our people who are waiting for us to
help," she said.
The Jaffna University VC said she had lost a of things due to
terrorism but will not look back. "I have lost my parents, I have lost
my house, but I have rebuilt the house. So why cannot we rebuild our
society? We have to think positively. All of us should work together and
let us work together without petty political differences," she told the
Eastern University Vice Chancellor Dr. Kobindarajah suggested forming
a committee of academics to work with President Mahinda Rajapaksa with
the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). "All parties concerned
should address the real cause and genuinely work hard. I firmly believe
that if you work with an open heart we could definitely sort out
whatever the problems we have. We as the academics are ready to play a
key role to promote ethnic harmony and reconciliation," he said.
He said that the Naval Base of the Trincomalee housed the University
during difficult period. "I lived in Canada for eight years with more
than 100 communities, they say "We are Canadian". Their culture is not
more than 400 years old but we are more than 3,000 years old culture.
Still we have three to four communities and still we call as we are
Tamil, we are Sinhalese, but we never say we are Sri Lankan," he said.