Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's Time - PART III: CLV Jayatilake's Threat
Part II: HHJ Keerthisena compares Peradeniya with Moratuwa
PART III: CLV Jayatilake's Threat
I realised that I am helpless is correcting the status quo. However, there was still a slight chance of making the future less bleak. That obviously meant that I should become a part of the academia!
I still remember very vividly standing in the Senate grounds and watching a tense situation unfolding in front of my eyes. On that fateful day, 15 July 1983 to be precise, I decided firmly that I should become a member of the faculty academic staff. And in doing so, I set a career path for myself that would last for more than two decades.
To make it sure you can join the academic staff, you need good academic credentials and less competition in your field of specialisation. That required me to choose the field of specialisation wisely. Since I had already given up any hopes of selecting electronics due to JA Gunawardena’s ridiculous teaching methods (see my article written in year 2000 mentioned above) and had developed a dislike for civil engineering (that would mean a high competition in any case), my choice of production engineering was a clear cut case. It was an excellent choice as well, because, with so much study areas overlapping in two and a half out of six final year subjects, just 36 days of studying was sufficient for you to achieve your target.
However the ultimate goal was still a long distance away!
Somewhere in late 1985, a security guard of the University attempted to detain a political activist of the Revolutionary Communist League (now known as the Socialist Equity Party) who was selling their party newspapers in campus, on the grounds that he had a Tamil paper (Tholilar Pathei) with him. I saw that some of my fellow students were arguing with the security guard. As the President of the ESU, I intervened to get the political activist released and later lodged a complaint at the faculty security post. CLV Jayathilake, who was the Dean of the faculty at the time, summoned me to his office and threatened me that such unruly behaviour deserves punishment and if he wants to, he can ruin my career completely.
Having realised that my chances of making into the permanent faculty staff are now miniscule, I decided to look for employment outside the university rather than staying back as a temporary instructor as the tradition demands. I started working full time as a management trainee within two weeks of the conclusion of our final examination. Sanath Ranatunga was very supportive of this idea. “Get as much experience as you can, in the field, Putha!”, he simply said.
It took the faculty staff more than eight full months to release our final examination results. The wait was horrible. By that time, fellow students from Moratuwa University who had their examinations one month later than us, had had even their graduation ceremony as well – and had secured all the plum jobs in the industry.
CONTINUED with PART IV: Life after eFac