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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dons say talk alone won’t solve crisis

Daily Mirror

By Lakna Paranamanna
Long drawn discussions will not resolve the crisis or provide answers to our longstanding concerns unless the government takes practical steps to prove it is prepared to grant our demands, the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) said yesterday.
FUTA spokesman Mahim Mendis said the main reason behind academics’ crisis was the failure of the country’s political leadership to understand the grave situation facing the higher education sector.

“In spite of several discussions between academics and government officials during the past few weeks, nothing like an effective solution has been forthcoming,” he said and added that futile discussions without the will to resolve the crisis  were only a waste time.

The academics had two rounds of talks during the past two weeks – initially with the President and the other with Higher Education Ministry officials. Another discussion was held between academics and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundere and the Salaries and Cadres Commission Chairman. But all these talks have ended in failure. 

“The salary increase we are demanding is rightfully ours. It has been pointed out before that Sri Lanka has one of the lowest salary scales for academics,” Dr. Mendis said.