Kshanika Hirimburegama Resigns

February 11, 2015

University Grants Commission Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama tendered her resignation, State Minister of Higher Education Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe told media.

Meanwhile, the Federation of University Teachers' Assosiation (FUTA) shelved the plans for a token strike to demand her resignation. FUTA said that its pressure was a vital factor in the resignation of Prof. Hirimburegama.

FUTA had launched a campaign to have Prof. Hirimburegama removed as UGC Chairman two weeks after the Presidential Election. FUTA leveled several charges against her including the enrolment of a female student to the University of Ruhuna on a letter of recommendation of MP Namal Rajapaksa and using UGC's money to publish newspaper advertisements supporting the presidential campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hirimburegama was a staunch ally of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Kshanika Hirimburegama became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo in 2008 upon the retirement of Prof. T. Hettiarachchi. It was said that Hirimburegama's appointment was politically motivated and that she was appointed over other senior academics in the university.

In January 2013, when she became the Chairperson of UGC, her husband succeeded her as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, a move that was widely criticized.

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