Dons told not to fall prey to NGO agenda

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Patriotic University Teachers’ Alliance called upon academics not to fall prey to the agendas of several NGO-type university lecturers canvassing for the Oct. 18 Hyde Park rally of Gen. Sarath Fonseka.

Convener of the PUTA senior lecturer Nemsiri Jayathilake said that there were two groups of university dons in the recently suspended trade union action. There was a group of lecturers who were with the NGO clique during the war in support of the Tigers’ cause.

Their demand was to take the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) struggle to international level so that the countries which funded their NGOs to intervene in country’s internal matters, could capitalise on the problem, he said adding that this attempt was defeated and now they have ganged up to take to the stage with Gen. Fonseka on Oct. 18 at Hyde Park.

"Recently we saw FUTA spokesman Dr. Mahim Mendis calling upon academics to support Fonseka’s cause. We request academics not to join them against the motherland," he said.

Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said that some university teachers who participated in the 100-day FUTA strike did so with a political agenda in mind.

When the government claimed that a political agenda was behind the FUTA strike, they vehemently denied it but now it has been proved by its spokesman’s invitation to join Sarath Fonseka’s rally, he said.

However, FUTA denied the claim.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that it was personal views of Dr. Mahim Mendis.

"Anyone has freedom to express their views," he said adding it was absolutely not the views of the FUTA.

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