Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, who was present when the President met the Editors, made a faux pas when he addressed President Mahinda Rajapaksa ‘Janadhipathiniyani’ (Madam President) when explaining the status of the strikes by university staff.
President Rajapaksa in a lighter vein bantered that the tenure of Madam President was long over and the Higher Education Minister turned crimson having figured the blunder.
Speaking on the demands by the university lecturers, Minister Dissanayake said no country in the world has rewarded university dons the way Sri Lanka has done when it came to salaries and allowances.
He said during the past seven years under President Rajapaksa, the annual intake of students had been increased by 300 per cent - from 7000 to 22,000. “However the acts of sabotage by university staff had prevented the student population from reaping the benefit of this generous move,’ lamented Minister Dissanayake.