The JVP General Secretary, in a strongly worded letter to the President, stated that if the objective of advertisements published by PERC was to privatise the relevant state institutions, it was a violation of the Alliance election manifesto. It stated that if PERC contemplated taking such steps, the JVP would strongly oppose the move.
JVP General Secretary, Tilvin Silva stated that it was a well-known fact which President Kumaratunga too was aware of, that the wrong policy of privatisation of higher education and several state institutions were being contemplated. He also alleged that discussions had been held by the President and Education Ministry officials and that the University Grants Commission had decided to permit two private educational institutions to establish universities with degree awarding status under the Investment Board, despite the just charges of students and teachers.
`Our representatives pointed out that by granting permission to private universities to grant degrees a few children of the very rich would be able to obtain degrees easily and when it comes to getting responsible and important posts the educated but poor children would loose, while the rich will be able to grab such opportunities,` Mr. Silva stated. It is clear that this power is vested in the UGC through an Act in force now. By this our pledge in the 2004 Election Manifesto titled `Rata Perata` has been seriously violated. There is no difference between granting permission to already existing universities to grant degrees and opening of new private universities. Accordingly, there are differences in the government statements that no private universities will be allowed to be opened and the course of action which is being followed.
`In addition, steps taken by PERC to obtain willingness by private investors regarding certain state institutions have created serious doubts in the country. We promised in our 2004 Election Manifesto that no state institutions would be privatised. The Alliance government has no right to work against that mandate. Hence, if the objective of the advertisements published by PERC is so, it is in violation of the education manifesto of the Alliance. If such privatisation is contemplated, we express our strong protest.
`We hope that you will take steps to rectify the advertisements published by PERC.` the letter stated.