Bogus doctorates

(March 03, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A PhD now stands for ‘Permanent head damage’! If those who are parading around with the prefix of Dr think that they are impressing us that they are Intellectuals, the clowns are only fooling themselves. These clowns do not seem to be having any sense of shame or self respect. Do they really believe that we the people of this country are impressed by the prefix Dr. before their name? That is indeed a laugh.

Some years ago a physician (a real one at that) decided to launch two rackets -- one was to package Acupuncture and market it in this country in a big way, he also used this gimmick to bring many foreigners particularly young foreign women who became his playmates. He next affiliated his bogus institution to another of dubious repute in the former Soviet Union and he used this institution to award Doctorates for a fee of course. This country was fertile ground for this racket. The man has now passed on, but yet another sporty type doctor has taken over the racket, he arranges with dubious institutions to award degrees and Doctorates for a fee.

Minister SB who is a University man himself decided very early after his assumption of office that this racket must be stopped but it does appear that he too has been stymied and we are not surprised.

Since we are in the lessons learning mode, we can certainly learn a lesson from the Germans for the Defence Minister has resigned when he had been exposed as having plagiarized when he wrote his thesis for his Doctorate. This was a case of plagiarizing, but we know of cases where ghostwriters have written the Dissertation for a fee, there are also Ghost writers who have written books having had access to internal classified documents and Doctorates awarded by mushroom so called Universities for such books!

Sri Lanka is home to four of the great religions of the world, all of them condemn fraud in all its forms, and of them Buddhist principles are said to guide the government. Buddhism is wholly intellectual and this fraudulent practice if allowed to continue not only demeans our religion and culture but also degrades our real intellectuals and our Universities. The government should bring in legislation to ensure that no recognition is given for such fraudulent awards.

This fraudulent practice must be stopped for it demeans the real intellectual and also our universities. Over to you Mr. President and Mr. Dissanayake!


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