Vice Chancellor John, Do as I say and not as I do?

(February 13, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I read John Ratnadurai’s reception of my philosophy and real life examples at the beginning of the article ‘Corruption and Cover-up at University of Jaffna’ in the Sri Lanka Guardian of 11 February. I read it as if I were John (to the extent I thought I knew him), and kept bringing me down and down. Then I saw myself as he must have seen me. In other words, I was his ‘other’ half in this matter.

John says ‘I read Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam’s long piece containing rather incoherent thoughts rambling between my piece, her own achievements and problems and other extraneous religious matters.’

This to me is ‘judgment’ and it has preceded ‘facts’.

Then John stated ‘There are also factual errors in her response which need not detain us here.’

In other words, John is not able to produce ‘objective facts’ independent of himself to show other independent observers that my ‘facts’ are erroneous. One is ‘left’ / ‘abandoned’ to wonder whether John has those facts that would, taken at face value, defeat my facts or whether John does not have facts but is expecting (as those who are way above us usually do) to be taken on his word. As per the latter, all those facts needed to bury my erroneous facts – would equal just one statement from John. John from then on would be the subjective authority on that matter as to what happened.

John says after that ‘Ms. Paramsivam is obviously talented. She is an activist and I admire her for it.’

Another judgment and I take myself up (albeit just a little). This is followed by a statement of fact – a photo of John’s mind - that he admires me. Thank you John.

Now, to the other John – Chancellor of the University of NSW from his mind, in response to my open letter challenging the dismissal of the Dean of Science:

Dear Gaja, Thank you for your note about the Dean of Science. You would appreciate that it would not be proper for me to discuss any details of this with you but I hope you might have some reassurance in the fact that the Vice Chancellor discussed the matter with me at every stage….You and I are always concerned about people and I know that these factors were also given every consideration.

The rest of my University ‘certificates’ are in Appendix 1. I identify more with these real life observations based on actual work. The difference between these and John’s assessment of me is the ‘discount factor’ applied to John’s judgments of others within the University system.

John says ‘ What I seek to focus on, however, is her inexcusable excusing of the pursuit of pleasures by Prof. Shanmugalingam which she implies were not “seen and/or known to have interfered with his work, or in breach of rules.” ‘

John’s examples to prove his case and my response:

1.Problem as seen by John - Unfortunately this lascivious behavior by Council members and senior academics does interfere with work when for example a) the grades of students rely on compliance with requests for sex or b) girl students handing in assignments have their hand handing in papers grabbed and kissed by Prof. Shanmugalingam and they cannot respond for fear of getting low grades

Gaja’s response – John, I believe in the Doctrine of Separation of Powers when using the system of Democracy. As per this principle, elected members should not be mixed up with appointed staff and students. Hence the Council, made up of elected representatives is like the parliament and Central Administration, academic who are required to be recruited on merit basis are the parallel of the Judiciary. Students are like the people.

Fact - The act that you would be able to establish here through objective evidence (as if you took a photo/balance sheet) is : Professor Shanmugalingam kissing the hand of the girl student. That is the picture – balance sheet – photo.

Truth – You John, feel pain/loss at this sight. I Gaja, who has the habit of hugging and kissing to express Love – feels happy/gain at this sight.

Thought/Mind : If my interpretation of John’s writing is right John’s says - This is anti social sexual conduct

Gaja says - Nothing

My analysis – At this point in time, neither John nor Gaja knows of any rules of Administration through which to say ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. John feels his investments in social conduct have been damaged. Gaja, who is global minded and sees people hugging and kissing in Australian Universities and believes in Lord Parameswara sitting in the heart of Universityof Jaffna, in the form of Phallic symbol, would identify with the act as an act of Love – as represented by Lord Shiva/Paremeswara (Anbeh Sivam!).

Summary – John is looking from the outside and Gaja is inside and does not feel the need to come out until she feels the need. When Gaja feels the need – someone outside – the Public has a need that Gaja has the medicine for.

2.Problem as seen by John - Or take for example the much more serious incident involving a senior female English academic aged about 60 at the time. She had to fly to Colombo on work with Prof. Shanmugalingam. Taking a trishaw from Ratmalana, Shanmugalingam directly asked her for sex and she virtually jumped out of the trishaw. Can anyone work for or with this Shanmugalingam? Does it not interfere with university work?

Gaja’s response – John, I believe in the independence of women – within and outside family. Sri Lanka produced the first woman Prime Minister in the world. This lady, Mrs. Bandaranayake opened the University of Jaffna. I analyze in this consciousness. If the lady was 60, I am able to identify with her without any reconciliation. In addition, I did spend time alone with Professor Shanmugalingam on two occasions – in his office. Given that I consider myself to be a sexually moral person and that others in my work as well as family environments have shown respect for me in this regard, despite me having marriage twice – first one through Hindu ceremony and the second through Australian law only – I do feel that if Professor Shanmugalingam had been desperate for sex, I would have picked it up. I would expect an English academic to do likewise. It is possible that the lady is far more attractive and younger looking than I. But given that I am usually taken as being at least 10-20 years younger than I am – I expect to have been about equal to this lady at the physical level.

To me, the way I combine with various people differs on the same issue. The most reliable combination is through Truth within me. Hence given that I have not engaged in sexual pleasures outside the boundaries of marriage and I have been actively expressing Love through physical expressions within the boundaries of marriage, I conclude that my sexual pleasures are well within my earned limits and hence I have positive investment which ‘picks up’ others’ minds with similar positive investment and reject those to whom sex is a frivolous pleasure. Professor Shanmugalingam may not have as strong an investment and therefore character as I in this regard, but if he was as frivolous as John seems to claim – I would have picked up. I did not.

A good example that comes to mind in this regard is – when we go about in groups in Sri Lanka – there are relatives who ask me to come with them – solely because they believe in my positive investment – our antenna – in safety especially from the Sri Lankan armed forces. Some of them from time to time, express negatives such as ‘look at him – does he not look like a child soldier?’ – when we near check-posts. I then say to them words to the effect ‘If you say such things, you would invoke that quality in him. Leave it to me – because I mentally demand that he does his job as an administrator’.

When I worked in Colombo, I have travelled from various parts to Katunayake Airport (still do) with many who held positions higher than myself. This January, after visiting Batticaloa at the height of the floods, I ended coming to Colombo by bus. I arrived at the main bus halt just before 2 a.m. – alone – by myself. Some shops were open and I thanked them in my heart. I walked up to Fort Railway station, sat on the small stool-stand in one of the sheds and waited until 5 a.m. to catch the bus to Wellawatte. Around 4.15 a.m. – a young lady – in jeans and very elegantly dressed came to our bus halt. The young lady would have been less than 30 years old and was good looking. The lady waited calmly and we both caught our respective buses around the same time. My antenna said that the lady was going to work. I admired that lady – for traveling alone to work at that time of the day. Only someone who ‘feels’ ownership in that environment would be so calm and collected. I would have expected an English academic to be more independent than this lady. Universities are all about intellectual freedom.

John says in this regard ‘All this is well known at the university. Several of the senior academics have mistresses in public and accost their students for sexual favours. How can an activist like Ms. Paramasivam – who I note is a woman – make excuses for this foul behavior? Even if the misbehaviour is off campus, is the university not a place for building character where teachers are role models?’

First of all, to me, as indicated above, Universities are environments in which we realize ‘freedom’ through the pursuit of intellectual excellence. In the case of Sex, we Hindus have Thirvalluvar’s Kamathu Paal / Kama Suthra as the theory through which we regulate and realize sexual freedom. Hence unless one side expresses pain and/or the other side expresses pleasure outside the boundaries of intellectual research and education, such acts cannot be read in the same manner as they would be in high schools.

As for off campus – it depends on the environmental rules governing that conduct.

A University’s core activities are Research and Teaching in that order. Research helps us become independent by seeking and finding Truth through higher thinking / philosophy. Universities should not be ‘ruled’ through direct application of ‘rights and wrongs’. When they are those institutions lose their basic character.

Character is important in education at any level. Where the focus is on ‘grades’ our contribution towards this character is reduced. If University students are overly focused on grades – and this is known to be the case with Jaffna students, largely due to economic conditions and lack of local employment opportunities, it is highly likely that character is being neglected by students who would be of voting age by the time they enter University. Are you suggesting that their parents hold their hands into the University also?

Control, Regulate and Witness/identify with – are the qualities needed in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions – in that order.

3. Problem as seen by John - The financial irregularities at the university are also well known. One of the VC candidates and Dean of Arts, Prof. Gnanakumaran, recently claimed reimbursement for expenses based on altered receipts and included his personal medical expenses with his claim. The Dean of Science who was in charge of the relevant project, noticed the alteration and reported it. The relevant shop-keeper confirmed that his receipts had been doctored. Shanmugalingam who is weak because he too needs his own misdeeds covered up, did nothing. So in effect the only punishment was that even the genuine part of Gnanakumaran’s expenses were not reimbursed. The university is a great system for a crook. The higher up you are the less the chances that anyone will ever question let alone charge you.

Gaja’s response – Cash is one of the easiest to control at the level of payments. If there is evidence of manipulation and this has been ‘allowed’ by the accountant and ‘approved’ by the Internal auditor – then – we need to write through the Education Department and the Audit Office who are likely to take action against these two positions and not directly the Vice Chancellor. According to you, power must never be devolved from the President (the parallel of the VC).

Once there are rules and regulations, one needs to facilitate the application of these rules and regulations before applying discretionary powers of the respective positions responsible. It is when a solution is not reached through these local levels that we need to go crying to the President / Vice Chancellor, leave alone throwing him out. Anyone taking it prematurely to the President / Vice Chancellor is acting in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.

4. Problem as seen by John - Or take the case of another VC candidate. In his letter dated 08 June 2004 the Auditor General queries Jaffna’s then VC Prof. S. Mohanadas about “Unauthorized payment for the procurement of Computer Network Facilities to the Medical Faculty” by Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam (His Ref. NE/JF/A/JU/2004). The Auditor General says in that letter signed on his behalf by Asst. Auditor General S. Sivaguru “The Dean … has deviated from the procurement procedure … and ordered equipment at a total cost of Rs. 3,000,000 whereas the procurement by a Dean is limited to Rs. 100,000. When the availability of grants was Rs. 963,000 order was placed for Rs. 3,000,000. No tender/quotation was called … to obtain the lowest and efficient bid. A sum of Rs. 722,550 … had been paid without any supporting documents. … The price quoted by Delven Computer had been reduced to half of the original prices after negotiation made subsequently. It shows that the price had been quoted arbitrarily. .. All equipment purchased was not installed. … The entire expenditure incurred could be considered irregular, unauthorized and fruitless.”

Gaja’s response – Knowing the way the Sri Lankan Public Service works, they may still be lagging behind in terms of democratic accounting systems. This was confirmed by the style of their requests for funds for Capital Expenditure. The Operations of the University are on the other hand, moving at a faster rate towards Self Funded, Business Unit approach. (Please see Appendix 1 – especially the words of Dean of Medicine of University of NSW). Until this test is done – it would be damaging to take action merely for not getting approval.

I pointed out worse within the University of NSW, where back then was a very old fashioned Accountant. I did the work to fit the Operations, then complained up to Governing Council level and finally attributed my pain to racial discrimination. When I complained, I was sent to prison and labeled a mentally ill person! I concluded that those ‘certificates’ belonged to them – and as they were ignorant that they were ignorant (as stated by Dr. David Garlick), I took renounced my work benefits and opportunities and decided to help the needy in this respect – so they would know when and where to stop without wasting time – expecting the Government and the Judiciary to deliver justice. This helped me find justice from within and I feel very wise and independent in these matters. That is the value of Truth. Over production of facts without having the experience – results in excess baggage.

5. 4. Problem as seen by John - But what is the bigger picture – it is LARGE SCALE COVERUP. The then minister was notified by the Auditor General and he did nothing. No one asked who at the university authorized payment for Rs. 722,550 without any supporting documents for equipment which was never installed. The then VC is now on the UGC “regulating the administration of universities”! There is widespread talk about officials buying houses in Colombo and hotels in Madras

Gaja’s response – This seems like a hereditary problem. The ‘guna’ / quality would be more quickly and comfortably cured through experts in Resource Management with a high consciousness of audit and assurance – a subject I taught last year at the Institute of Chartered Accountants – Jaffna Branch. I am happy to train a team with this particular issue in mind. My charges would be well within the savings that would result to the Sri Lankan Public. If on the other hand you know of someone who could do it – I am happy to strongly support that person’s appointment – provided I identify with the requisite skills – through my own wisdom in this.

In summary, John, I usually analyze as if I were the Vice Chancellor. I do it from the ‘inside’. Hence I cure through Truth as one of them. This is why despite being sent to prison I am with them. I came down from my earned status as per my own assessment (on the same basis as I would assess another) to invoke the Truth of the ‘other’ side. With the facts produced by both side at the same level – the Truth has been established and each time someone recognizes It there is value. Each time someone actually practices it – they are empowered.

My agency with the University of Technology – happened with least effort on my part. That upheld the Truth that I had earned my Intellectual Independence at University level. To me that is the path of karma – the essence of my true work in time, towards intellectual freedom.

John, if you feel that you are that Vice Chancellor needed by the University of Jaffna, fight for it – as I did for the University of NSW, and through University of NSW, the Executive Government and the Judiciary – to improve Public Service wherever I went/go. That is true ownership which is always rewarded. If you feel ownership fight from the inside. Otherwise make sure you use regulated paths as per your official position/s. Otherwise you run the real risk of hurting yourself by prematurely judging others

Appendix 1

Professor Bruce Dowton, then the Dean of Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW) to Professor Merilyn Sleigh and to Professor Mark Wainwright, then the Deans of Life Sciences and Engineering respectively, on the subject of ‘Financial Service Agreement’:

‘I have had some difficulty getting John Wilding, Phil Kringas and Chris Lidbury to understand and accept my perspective on this. Medicine had a very complex set of accounts which were largely being run on cash flow basis – many thousands of individual accounts run straight from the ledger system – almost like dozens of semiautonomous small businesses. I insisted we move immediately to prospective budgeting using a modified accrual system (eventually I believe we should move to full accrual with assets on the budget as well as the operating funds). The person we hired under this arrangement with Financial Services has done a remarkable job in getting this underway in three months. Henceforth we will move to a prospective budgeting system whereby annual budgets for each School and Unit will be determined in Oct/Nov for opening on January 1. These budgets will be linked to the planning process I am launching. Gaja Paramasivam is well able to support this but is doing it by running an accounting system she has set up in the faculty office since the ledger system does not easily support this (particularly to be able to provide easy to understand operating statements using accrual on a monthly basis for all Heads of Schools and Units). In essence I am delighted with her performance.’

And later ‘..In her role Ms Paramasivam was charged with responsibility from the Financial Services Department for managing the interfaces between the Faculty Office and the centralized systems of accounting, financial reporting and purchasing. In addition, she was asked by me to manage the communications and activities related to finances between this office and the multiple schools and research institutions affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine. …..Ms Paramasivam has an excellent repertoire of management accounting skills. She came to UNSW with considerable experience in the hospital / health sector in Sydney as well as a number of private sector enterprises. In the space of several months she developed a new approach to budgeting for the Faculty of Medicine. She developed all the spreadsheet support for this purpose and spent a considerable amount of time working with administrative officers and senior academic staff in the Schools in developing the procedures for supporting the detailed content within the budgets. She has an excellent orientation towards client service. Her focus was on development of an activity based budgeting system which began to move us away from an inappropriate emphasis on cash management to a modified accrual system.

Ms Paramasivam quickly engendered the confidence and support of many of the administrative officers and academic leadership in this Faculty. She was always sensitive to their situations in matters related to administration and management of finances. She always indicated a preference to deliver strong client service by regularly visiting the Schools and affiliated organizations. She demonstrated patience in working with them to help them understand the rationale behind new systems and approaches to managing finances. In her dealings with centralized agencies in the organization she was always forthright and determined in her quest to improve service and improve systems used to support resource management in the faculty. She achieved remarkable success in a short period of time with the University.’

Dr David Garlick – Founding Director of UNSW Sports Medicine to Gaja Paramasivam

We wish to record our gratitude for your consultancy for us in our UNSW Sports Medicine Programs during the past 5 months.

Your financial expertise has been invaluable to us in providing us with accounting services of the highest order for our unit in regard to such functions as *Enabling us to understand the concepts involved in operating as an ‘off budget’ unit; * Producing a Business Plan; * Producing financial statements based on accrual accounting; * Producing Cost-Benefit analyses; * Producing financial assessments at 2-monthly intervals.

These contributions will lay the basis for our Programs to advance, based on sound business principles. It will also enable us to interact more effectively with the financial structures within the University.

Your financial services have also been invaluable in regard to the detailed development of proposals for the new undergraduate Bachelor’s course in Health & Exercise Science so that a Business Plan could be developed on the basis of student fees and the staffing positions based on these. This will lay a sound basis for effective planning for this new and exciting course. We look forward to being able to engage your consultancy in the future.

Dr. Garlick wrote also to the Chancellery about Ms Paramasivam:

In his view, one of her striking features was that she genuinely wanted to provide service, unlike other financial staff member he has met. He considers her to be an extremely ethical and moral person. He said that she had almost a touch of genius and that this, together with her other characteristic, made her look so unusual that it could be possible to misinterpret her comments and suggestions.

Chancellor, Dr. John Yu again – wrote all the way to Sri Lanka – when I was helping Sri Lankan Health Service:

From: Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 09:43:38 +1100

Dear Gaja,

Thank you for your greeting from Sri Lanka. I am pleased that fighting

Has stopped but as you note, there is now an equally challenging task of helping those who suffered the consequences of many years of hatred. I am afraid those emotions will continue for a long while yet unless your people are significantly different to the peoples of so many different lands which have been literally torn apart by conflict and death.

I think that Australia and more specifically Australian can and should

Try and help. My bias in these circumstances is to help the children and this can probably be best done by helping child health workers with basic resources but better still with training expertise. I should be a

"Train the Trainer" approach.

Do you know what the situation is with child health nurses, midwifery
And others such as physiotherapists etc? These people and public health
Doctors are needed to help put preventive measures in place as quickly as possible.

I am afraid that I am pretty ignorant about what and who is available

On the ground.

Best wishes,
john Yu

Mr. Neil Morris - UNSW Director of Human Resources who said that I ought to be the Senior advisor to the Vice Chancellor.

Gaja, rest assured your emails are read by me……..Attached is a word document that is our guidelines for recruitment and selection. I would be happy to have your comments. It’s a large document and I suspect it will take some time to read decipher and comment on,

New South Wales Auditor General Mr. Bob Sendt:

Mr. Sendt wrote on 20 November 2003 in response to my Public demand for him to pay his Dues as an Auditor:

Ms Param, I fully understand that auditors are not to participate in the management of the entities they audit. That is basic. What I said in my report is that external financial reports only give a partial view of the performance of many public entities. Such entities are not established to earn a profit or a return on assets, but to provide services to the public. So to give a true and fair view of how well they are providing services, they also produce non-financial performance indicators. If financial reports are required to be audited – to give the public confidence in their accuracy – then so too should the performance indicators. I fail to see how you can state that this is participating in the management of the entity.

Bob Sendt
NSW Auditor General

Appendix 2

To my mind, Common Law covered all of us as if we were one social group. Then there was Equal Opportunity basis – through Anti Discrimination legislations which recognized by their very existence that society was divided and separated on the basis of race, age, gender, disability etc. This meant that the facts produced by the two groups would be ‘different’ in form. For example that I would describe my nationality as Australian whereas the UNSW and the NSW Police would describe my nationality as Sri Lankan. But Mattson claimed in the Equal Opportunity Section of the Federal Court of Australia that my complaints had already been dealt with – meaning that they were dismissed as being vexatious. This was the ‘standard’ defence by the respondents in my matters. Interestingly, The Age reported ‘But Ms O'Shane's lawyer Gabrielle Bashir said on Thursday the police application for an apprehended personal violence order (APVO) should be thrown out, as it was "frivolous or vexatious".’

The Court area where Mattson and I were seated and arguing was the same area where on 29 April 2005 the Officer from NSW Probation Service said to me that UNSW were bad people and asked me not to communicate with them. He said also that I had had bad relationship with my parents and recommended some Buddhist therapy that he himself was following. The officer said in a loud voice in that public area that I was saying to all of them ‘f..k you’. He kept repeating this many times and said that I needed help from him and his department. He said also that I would be sent to prison if I did not let them help me.


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