The University Grants Commission (UGC) and vice-chancellors of all universities in the island have been informed by the Ministry of Higher Education to hand over security affairs of all universities to Ratna Lanka Ltd that belongs to Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and L.R.D.C. Pvt. Ltd that is also connected to him. The order has been sent in a letter dated 29th August and signed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Sunil Jayanthe Nawaratne. The letter states that as discussed by the Minister of Higher Education with the executive officers of the relevant companies’ a policy decision had been taken to hand over security affairs of all universities and related institutions to the two companies from 01.10.2011 until further notice.
However, security in universities for this year had been handed over to various companies and the letter of the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education states the additional money that have to be paid for these companies for the months of October and December should be reimbursed by the UGC. The letter also instructs the vote for security in universities and related institutions should be obtained by including it in yearly expenditure estimates from 2012.
The normal procedure followed up to now has been to call for tenders by news paper advertisement, scrutinize the tender applications by a valuation board and forward them to a tender board which decides. Also, the approval of the university administration council was essential to hand over the tender. However, the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education by his written order has violated the procedure followed until now point out vice-chancellors.
The Chairman of UGC Prof. Gamini Samaranayake too has sent a letter to all vice-chancellors regarding extra funds needed to hand over security affairs as ordered by the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education.
Several vice-chancellors pointed out that universities will have to release more than four times of funds they spent earlier if they are to employ the security services of the Defense Secretary.
The letters of this deal are reproduced here: