President tells academics:
ĎDo your duty by your countrymení
Proper method should be followed by TUs to win
*Ready to talk to them at any time
*Govt always treated academics with dignity
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday called on university academics
to perform their duty by the young people of the countrymen to the best
of their ability, adding that the government would not neglect to do its
part for the benefit of university lecturers at any time.
The President said so during a discussion with a group of university
academics at Temple Trees on Monday.
The academics discussed several current issues faced by them with the
President including those related to salaries. The President told the
academics that there is a method to follow by trade unions when seeking
to win their demands.
He added that the government is prepared to talk to the academics at
any time to solve their issues.
The President pointed out that certain political parties were trying
to use the issue to create a conflict and the academics should be aware
about these facts.
He told the academics that the government needed some more time to
address the requests put forward by them.
He pointed out that less than six months had passed since granting
salary increases from the last budget and there were certain
difficulties in making a further hike at the moment.
He said that the government had always treated the university
academics with dignity and any issues faced could be sorted out
The academics in turn said that they would fully support the
The decision to provide a research allowance to academics too came in
for high praise by the lecturers.
The Presidentís attention was also drawn towards reducing the time
limit of a duty free vehicle permits issued to academics to enable them
to buy a vehicle within a shorter period.
Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake, Presidentís Secretary
Lalith Weeratunga, Finance Ministry Secretary P B Jayasundera, Higher
Education Secretary Sunil Navarathne, Chief of Presidential Staff Gamini
Senarath, University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Gamini
Samaranayake, Vice Chancellors of all universities and other university