Corruption

US Authority Must Response to Pfizer Fraud

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An undercover video featuring an allegedly Pfizer executive bragging about how his company was exploring intentionally mutating COVID strains to profit from future mRNA vaccines has exploded across social media recently.

In the video, Jordon Trishton Walker, described as Pfizer Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning, claims that his company is exploring a way to “mutate” COVID via “Directed Evolution” to preempt the development of future vaccines. The man told a Project Veritas journalist about Pfizer’s plan for COVID vaccines, while acknowledging that people would not like this information if it went public.

Pfizer on Friday issued a statement in response saying “in the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research,” but it added “In a limited number of cases when a full virus does not contain any known gain of function mutations, such virus may be engineered to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells.”

The video has sparked wide public concern with over 41.2 million views on Twitter alone.

Walker also bluntly said in the video that COVID is going to be a “cash cow” for Pfizer for a while going forward. Is Pfizer really manipulating COVID-19 for profits and does it in secret? How far has the research gone? What risks will it bring? The public naturally has many questions and demands answers. However, most of the US and Western mainstream media outlets and US politicians have collectively kept mum on the issue revealed in the video. This is quite abnormal in the American public opinion field known for its diversity.
The authenticity of this video has yet to be confirmed. In the face of public doubts, shouldn’t the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lawmakers and the media conduct further investigations and give the public an explanation?

Till now, the vast majority of US media outlets and politicians are ignoring it. This is in stark contrast to their keenness to hype the odds of new COVID mutations after China optimized its COVID policies. On the issue concerning a big US pharmaceutical company, it seems American media outlets are all much more “professional and rational.” They are quite prudent to make any conclusion.

If an undercover video of similar kind was exposed in China, there is no doubt that the Chinese public and officials would take it very seriously. Not only the company involved must give a detailed explanation, relevant authorities will quickly conduct an investigation to find the truth.

Tucker Carlson, host of Fox News, was a rarity among US media persons on this issue as he touched upon the topic. “In this country, drug companies spend more on lobbying the Congress than any other industry, a lot more than any other industry and they don’t do it by accident. They do it because it pays off,” Tucker said.

According to data from Pfizer, more than 4.3 billion Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines were shipped to 181 countries across the world by the late of 2022. Not long ago, Albert Bourla, Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, encountered a series of tough questions from a journalist about the efficacy of its COVID vaccine on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting.

“Western media doesn’t speak for truth, but is profits-oriented,” a Chinese expert who requires anonymity told a Beijing based daily Global Times. “Everyone knows that major American pharmaceutical companies and capital-controlled mainstream media are inextricably linked by interests. The silence of many media outlets in face of the video once again reflects the hypocrisy of US media.”

Source: Global Times

India’s Adani: Beginning of the End?

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Shares of India’s Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) sank 20% on Friday as a scathing report by a U.S. short seller triggered a rout in the conglomerate’s listed firms, casting doubts on how investors will respond to the company’s record $2.45 billion secondary offer.

Seven listed companies of the Adani conglomerate – controlled by one of the world’s richest men Gautam Adani – have lost a combined $48 billion in market capitalisation since Wednesday, with U.S. bonds of Adani firms also falling after Hindenburg Research flagged concerns in a Jan. 24 report about debt levels and the use of tax havens.

The rout took shares of Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship company, well below the offer price of its secondary sale, which had initially been offered at a discount.

The Adani Group is concerned about the fall in share prices but continues to be in wait and see mode as the share sale continues until Jan. 31, said two people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

India’s capital markets regulator is studying the Hindenburg report and may use it to aid its own ongoing probe into offshore fund holdings of Adani Group, two other sources said. Spokepersons for the regulator and Adani had no immediate comment.

Adani Group has dismissed the Hindenburg report as baseless and said it is considering whether to take legal action against the New York-based firm. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the regulator’s move.

With a net worth of $97.6 billion, billionaire Gautam Adani is now the world’s seventh richest man, according to Forbes, slipping from the third position he held before the Hindenburg report.

Adani met the county’s power minister R.K. Singh on Friday in New Delhi, according to a source familiar with the matter. The agenda of the meeting was not immediately known.

The billionaire hails from the western state of Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India’s main opposition Congress party has often accused Adani and other billionaires of getting favourable policy treatment from Modi’s federal administration, allegations the billionaire denies.

The stunning market selloff has cast a shadow over Adani Enterprises’ secondary share sale that started on Friday. The anchor portion of the sale saw participation from investors including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on Wednesday.

“The sell-off is seriously extreme … it has clearly dented the overall investor sentiment in the market,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of research at SMC Global Securities.

Market worries extended to Indian banks with exposure to Adani Group’s debt. The Nifty Bank index (.NSEBANK) fell over 3%, while the broader 50-share Nifty index (.NSEI) was down 1.5%.

CLSA estimates that Indian banks were exposed to about 40% of the 2 trillion rupees ($24.53 billion) of Adani Group debt in the fiscal year to March 2022.

Source: The Reuters. Click here to read the complete report

Rogue Academics in Sri Lanka: Time to Clean the South Eastern Uni

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10 mins read

by a Special Correspondent

Sri Lanka Guardian has received a copy of A. Rameez’s (Vice-Chancellor, SEUSL) professorship application (Dated and signed on 04th September 2019). A. Rameez is serving as a professor in Sociology at South Eastern University of Sri Lanka since 05th September 2019.

The readers might be aware that Sri Lanka Guardian published two articles in November 2022 (http://slguardian.org/inside-story-rogue-academics-in-sri-lanka, and http://slguardian.org/inside-story-rogue-academics-in-sri-lanka-part-2) regarding major research fraudulence committed by A. Rameez. Both articles made shocking revelations about Poor Academic Ethics & Integrity by A. Rameez and the Teacher’s Association of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (TASEU) urged the current Vice-Chancellor A. Rameez to step down following the allegations made in Sri Lanka Guardian. But A. Rameez is still holding on to the VC’s chair despite his Academic Integrity being in the graves.

While there is a huge argument regarding A. Rameez still being the Vice Chancellor at SEUSL, the new shocking evidence in his professorship application brings serious questions on his eligibility to be a professor at the institute and to continue to serve as an academic staff member.

A thorough and detailed investigation of his professorship application was carried out. This revealed evidence, showing that a significant number of research publications with various types of research fraudulence authored by A. Rameez have been included in his claim for the professorship.

A critical analysis of the findings from his professorship application is summarized below;

  1.  “Ageing and Health Seeking Behaviour: A Medical Sociological Approach to Nintavur Divisional Secretariat, Sri Lanka”. Professor A. Rameez, being the primary and corresponding author has published this abstract in the South Eastern University Arts Research Session 2015 (http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/handle/123456789/1532). This abstract has been written by A. Rameez and his co-authors by stealing nearly 80% of an abstract of another published journal article related to actual research conducted in Nigeria. (The original article has been published in Vol. 7, No. 1 (2014), pp. 201-210 of International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSN 2248-9010 (Online), ISSN 2250-0715 (Print)). The abstract “Ageing and Health Seeking Behaviour: A Medical Sociological Approach to Nintavur Divisional Secretariat, Sri Lanka” co-authored by Rameez .A, Riswan.M and Lumna.N (http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/handle/123456789/1532) was published in the South Eastern University Arts Research Session 2015.
  1. A. Rameez has claimed points for the above fraudulent abstract as Rameez, A. (2015). Aging and Health Seeking Behaviour: Medical Sociological Approach to Ninthavur Divisional Secretariat, Sri Lanka, Proceedings of Fourth International Conference on Emerging Trends in Multidisciplinary Research and Practice, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil, ,(22nd December, 2015)”.

He has claimed points for this plagiarized abstract as if it was a work of his individual authorship and presentation while concealing the contribution of the other co-authors in his application to become a professor. The sole purpose of this act of malice is to claim the complete marks possible for this publication in his professorship application. This act raises question whether Riswan. M and Lumna. N were really involved in the above mentioned plagiarism or it was Rameez.A alone!

  1. “Rameez, A. (2019). Disasters and Social Capital in Sri Lanka: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis, Classical Thamizh, Vol.07(01): 319-330, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.”

This article has been published in a print only journal by A. Rameez in 2019 and he has committed plagiarism by copying the genuine work of Vincent Hazleton and William Kennan (Social capital: reconceptualizing the bottom line; Corporate Communications: An International Journal Volume 5 . Number 2 . 2000. pp. 81-86)

 “Disasters and Social Capital in Sri Lanka: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis, Classical Thamizh, Vol.07(01): 319-330, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.” is a 100% self-plagiarism by A. Rameez. He had already published the same article in year 2016 in KALAM -International Research Journal, Faculty of Arts and Culture, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Volume X Issue 1, 2016. The print version of Kalam Journal issue is still carrying the same article from page numbers 01-13.

  1. A. Rameez has published “Rameez, A. (2019). Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka: Factors and Impacts, Classical Thamizh, Vol.07(01): 331-337, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.”. More than 70% of this article has been copied from “Sameera Senanayake, Chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka: a glimpse into lives of the affected, Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka 2018, 24 (2) DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v24i2.8158”.

A.Rameez has directly translated the contents of “Sameera Senanayake, Chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka: a glimpse into lives of the affected, Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka 2018, 24 (2) DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v24i2.8158” from English to Tamil and he has published this as his own scientific work.

  1. A. Rameez has published “Rameez, A. (2019). A Sociological Analysis on Current Economic Dynamics in Postwar Eastern Sri Lanka, Modern Thamizh Research, Vol.07(01): 349-356, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.”

More than 70% of this article has been stolen from the 4th chapter of a book, Shadows of Conflict in Northern & Eastern Sri Lanka: Challenges & Way Forward written by Anna O’Donnell, Mohamed Ghani Razaak, Markus Kostner, Jeeva Perumpillai-Essex in 2018. The 4th chapter of this book is “Current Economic Dynamics in Postwar Sri Lanka”. A. Rameez has filtered the contents relevant to the Eastern Province carefully from this book chapter and composed his article. But the particular book chapter describes the economy of Northern and Eastern Provinces. Several other errors that may amount to data fabrication have also been observed in the version by A. Rameez.

  1. A. Rameez has completed his M.Phil studies at University of Peradeniya to attain his promotion and confirmation. The title of the thesis is “The role of social capital in Disaster Management: A study of a Tsunami affected coastal village in Eastern Sri Lanka”. A preliminary check-up of his thesis has revealed word to word plagiarism from page number 32 to 39 appearing as continuous flow of text throughout pages, having been stolen from another journal article by V. Hazleton and W. Kennan.  

A.Rameez has several other articles listed in his professorship application to have been published in print-only Journals from Tamil Nadu, India – all by the same publishing company, whose official address is the same as the residential address of one Dr. M. Sadik Batcha, an associate professor of Tamil Studies at Jamal Mohamed College based in Tamil Nadu, India (https://www.jmc.edu/include/department/tamil/staff/profile/Dr.SADIK-10-08-2021.pdf). The Journal of Classical Thamizh and Modern Thamizh published by Raja Publishers from Tamil Nadu, India has published 08 articles authored by A. Rameez during the period of 2018 & 2019. One of the main editorial board members of the Modern Thamizh Research journals is a chair professor of Tamil Studies at the same faculty at SEUSL where A. Rameez is also an academic member. Among these 08 publications, 03 of them had major research fraudulences as described above. The rest of the publications in these journals by A. Rameez has revealed poor standard of academic publications and evidence of fraudulency.

  1. Rameez, A. (2019). Islamophobia and Increasing Trend of Extremism in Muslim Countries, Classical Thamizh, Vol.07(01): 464- 471, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. Rameez, A. (2019). Economic Initiatives in Post War Sri Lanka: A Perspective of Northern and Eastern Province, Classical Thamizh, Vol.07(02): 186-193, May-June 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.
  3. Rameez, A. (2019). Conflict Theory of Gumblowics and Sri Lankan Society, Modern Thamizh Research, Vol.07(02): 357-366, May-June 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.
  4. Rameez, A. (2019). Social Media and Ethnic Violence: A Sociological Perspective of Ampara and Digana Riots, Modern Thamizh Research, Vol.07(01): 357-366, January-March 2019, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.
  5. Rameez, A. (2019). Cultural Dimension of Eastern Muslims of Sri Lanka: A Sociological Perspective, Modern Thamizh Research, Vol.06(04): 276-294, October, Decemebr 2018, Raja Publications, Tamil Nadu, India.

Sri Lanka Guardian still wonders about the review processes followed by these local and international journals, where A. Rameez was able to publish his fraudulent articles. In an era with sophisticated tools to identify plagiarism, the above-mentioned journals have missed smelling this significant fraudulence. Do these journals have the policy to retract all publications from a fraudulent author and declare the action of retraction in public?! This may help to regulate the publication mafia and to establish standards in academic publishing in these peripheries of Sri Lankan academia.

Quite interestingly, A. Rameez has also listed the publications below in his professorship application:

  • “Rameez, A. (2018). Sociology of Sri Lankan Muslims: Dealing with different dimensions of Muslim Society, Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 13(07): 1782-1793 (Indexed in Scopus)”. This publication has been listed among one of the five outstanding research papers/ publications in the professorship application by A. Rameez.
  • “Rameez, A. (2019). Second Minority in Sri Lanka: Genesis and Current Crisis, International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences Vol. 6(4): 53-58 (Indexed in Emerging Sources of Citation Index (Clarivate Analytics)).”

One may wonder what’s the relevance between the journal names and the titles of the published articles. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences is a publication from Medwell Publications. Sources such as Beall’s List have named this publisher as a Predatory publisher! Similarly, the International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences is listed as a Predatory publisher in Beall’s List. Further analysis is required to confirm the claims of indexing and the truth behind these journal metrics having been claimed.

A professorship application with a composition of fraudulent and predatory publications has been reviewed and evaluated at various levels by many salaried academics in the Sri Lankan state university system. Though this application passed all the checkpoints, many questions now originate regarding the Review and Evaluation processes. Another interesting fact in the application noted was that, Professor M.M.M. Najim serving as the Vice Chancellor of SEUSL in 2019 has recommended the Application and the List of Publications, while the Curriculum Vitae attached by A. Rameez with the professorship application mentions Prof. M.M.M. Najim as one of his Non-Related Referees.

An academic, who has been clever enough to escape various steps of scrutiny is the current vice chancellor of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. The damage to the academic standard which can be caused by this vice chancellor can become irreparable at any cost and can affect the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate education. The Senate and Council of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka have a responsibility in these matters. Allowing these substandard applications for further processing and approval is drastic damage to the overall academic standard in the whole university system in Sri Lanka. The focus on increasing the number of professors should be aimed out on bringing about well-qualified professors at this institute.  It is a million-dollar question from Sri Lanka Guardian, how did A. Rameez escape all the steps in the evaluation of becoming a professor? Or else, was it a well-orchestrated coercion by an academic underworld to make this man of near zero quality and no integrity a professor in order to make him stand out as a justifiable candidate for the contest for the position of vice chancellor in the very following year?!

Who is responsible to repair these damages already done?! The Registrar or the Senate or the Council of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka have the authority to carry out complete and thorough investigations on A. Rameez and to revoke the professorship gained through fraudulent publications and false claims. A Vice Chancellor, who should be an exemplary academic member at various calibres, cannot be a role model for fraudulency.

The consequences of the negligence of signalling by academic members of the institution of systematic fraudulence are apparent now. Research fraud is a Professor and Vice-Chancellor. He is being paid many millions of Rupees from the Taxpayers’ money per annum. Imagine the number of millions he can earn through these fraudulent till his retirement! Isn’t A. Rameez accountable for the taxpayers’ money?! A bankrupt country can only become even more bankrupt by producing academically bankrupt outputs by academically and ethically bankrupt academics.

Sri Lanka Guardian is curious to raise these questions at His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Hon. Minister of Education and the respected Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka:

  1. Is A. Rameez still eligible to hold the position of Vice-Chancellor?
  2. Is A. Rameez still eligible to serve as a professor?
  3. Is A. Rameez still eligible to hold a teaching and academic supervisory position at a government university?

Sri Lanka Guardian has received further evidence regarding another professorship application from the same institution. An academic in the field of Information and Communication Technology has published more than 20 indexed publications in a particular year right before he applies for the professorship. The Scopus ID of the particular academic doesn’t show any of those publications to have been listed as indexed publications under his name! It was further brought to the notice of Sri Lanka Guardian that, the promotion interview of this particular applicant was postponed at the last moment due to the withdrawal of the evaluators, who were supposed to have functioned as the field-related experts, just a few days before the evaluation interview! Notably, this candidate has not completed his Doctoral degree and the provision for this in UGC circulars is being exploited by a few corrupted academics to become professors. Currently, there are a number of professors in this institution who have attained professorships with their Master’s Degrees alone by publishing more than 20 (indexed?) research papers in a year just before they apply for professorship! A prominent example of this nature of professorship can be seen at the Department of Management & Information Technology at SEUSL. This academic member has published more than 20 (? Indexed) publications in a year before his application to become a professor. These few of the corrupted academic individuals at SEUSL can be used as samples for case studies to show; how they are academically corrupted, how they have mishandled the publication ethics, how they have exploited the UGC circulars and how they have mishandled the public fund. Imagine the volume of public funds mishandled by these academics from this institution if there are 11 such professors in this category, for example!

The South Eastern University of Sri Lanka is a national asset. It is run with Taxpayers’ money. The country is currently in an economic downfall. Production of High-Quality Graduates is necessary for the recovery of this country. From a spoiled Chief Executive Officer and from a few corrupted fake professors and unqualified academics, the production of High-Quality Graduates will be a Nightmare! Imagine the damage this does to the perceived quality of the random Sri Lankan graduate in any field of study that’s also available at SEUSL! Imagine the challenges that are to be faced by the graduates of the rest of the universities while abroad when the overall assessment of the quality of Sri Lankan graduates are negatively affected by the products of the academic underworld made of the underqualified professors of SEUSL! Imagine the unfair disadvantage that the poor quality products graduated by the academic underworld comprising the likes of A. Rameez of SEUSL will be putting the graduates of the rest of the Sri Lankan university system, who go through scrutiny and rigour, at when competing in the job market in Sri Lanka, especially in the Sri Lankan public sector, especially in academia! According to the assessment schemes for recruitment to university academic positions, a first-class is a first-class regardless of whether it was conferred by ordinary academics of Sri Lanka or by the academic underworld at SEUSL – you are ahead with 5% additional marks in comparison to a graduate with a second-class-upper-honours.

A rapid rectification with state intervention is the need of the hour within this institution to preserve the Academic Standards of all the graduates being produced from the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. The autonomy provided to universities has been exploited at the best in this institution by the current and previous vice-chancellors in producing substandard professors. If no immediate intervention is done to regulate this Higher Education Authority by the Government of Sri Lanka, it will make the Billions of money allocated for the functioning of SEUSL meaningless and it may be equivalent to throwing all of that money into the river flowing adjacent to this university.

The Need for an International Anti Corruption Court

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4 mins read

“You know the old Russian proverb.  What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.” ― Daniel Silva, The Cellist

In a recent interview on BBC’s HARDtalk, the interviewee was Judge Mark L. Wolf – a Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Chair of the NGO Integrity Initiative International – who had initiated a proposal for the establishment of an International Anti Corruption Court (IACC)  at various fora such as the 2012 St. Petersburg International Legal Forum; the 2014 World Forum on Global Governance, and in platforms such as the Brookings Institution and The Washington Post with articles in 2014. At the interview, Judge Wolf clarified that the proposed IACC would not only target corrupt leaders of countries but also any individual or entity that is allegedly guilty of kleptocracy.

In March 2019 at a discussion convened and hosted by The American Academy of Arts and Sciences and  participated by a distinguished array of judges, attorneys, human rights specialists, and academics, discussions ranged from the meaning and purpose of an IACC – as to whether such a body would be able to contribute to global peace and security- to the methodology to establish an IACC.  Judge Wolf was an active participant in this event as well as  Robert, President Emeritus of the World Peace Foundation, Founding Director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Justice Richard Goldstone, formerly of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Chief Prosecutor at the initial United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The IACC is suggested as a punitive judicial tool to counter kleptocracy which is defined as a society or system ruled by people who use their power to steal their country’s resources. The initial problem with bringing those guilty of kleptocracy is that often they act with impunity as the institutions that are charged with countering this egregious activity are controlled by them and are therefore destitute of effectively carrying out their duties.  

It is distressing that kleptocrats are everywhere in various forms of human embodiment and form a systemic threat.  At the forefront are corrupt politicians who, in Justice Goldstone’s words “are abetting other compromised institutions, such as the judiciary, police, and prosecutorial offices, thereby making domestic prosecution ineffective”. The learned judge went on to opine that a  supranational, neutral institution would be the last resort to hold officials accountable for their corruption and theft of resources belonging to a State in these countries to account by enforcing  internationally recognized protocols against corruption.

In manner and form the proposed IACC would derive inspiration from the currently existing International Criminal Court (ICC) and have  the authority to prosecute instances of grand corruption by high-level political leaders. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its 2019 Bulletin says: ” Just as nations that are signatories to the ICC are subject to its jurisdiction, so too would signatories to the IACC allow the Court to serve as a venue of last resort for violations of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The Court would be empowered only to bring charges when a signatory to the UNCAC did not make a good faith effort to bring charges”.

It is encouraging that there is already in effect a multilateral treaty against corruption.  The UNCAC is the only legally binding international anti-corruption multilateral treaty. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in October 2003 and entered into force in December 2005.  However, treaties can only be enforced on States Parties who ratify them.  Even if an IACC is established through a treaty, such a court would be ineffective against a non-party to the treaty establishing the court.  Nonetheless, its importance cannot be understated.  One alternative would be to bring the treaty into the domestic jurisdiction of a court through  the Global Administrative Law (GAL) theory which posits that the administrative law type of mechanisms allow individual and national courts to be part of a checks and balances system of global governance in anti corruption. Here,  global governance does not mean world governance but instead  a global approach to the governance of anti corruption that requires each component system, including international, domestic and global institutions to collaborate with each other.

GAL came into existence as a theory in the first decade of the 21st Century.  The importance of GAL is apparent in the current context  where the world is dominated by such forces as social media through which many practice post truth, cancel culture, and fake news that can enable spin doctors and ideologues to deflect the truth about their own corruption.  The GAL Project is focused on an emerging field of research and practice where administrative law-type mechanisms that address issues of  transparency, participation, accountability, and review operate within the parameters of global governance.

The GAL theory posits that administrative law and its principles must be applied not as a mutually exclusive realm but in conjunction with the principles of international law and other related disciplines. Like domestic administrative law, GAL could be an amalgam of a scholarly approach or methodology and a set of actual norms, ‘practices’, or activities or mechanisms.  In other words GAL would be a combination of the legal rules, principles, and institutional norms that apply to administration from a global perspective rather than a structure that demonstrate and exhibits a mere intrastate legal and political realm of authority.

GAL would be a necessary adjunct to the web of treaties that are adopted by the United Nations but unfortunately is riddled with the discretionary option that States have in being the ultimate arbiter of being bound by such agreements.  Of course, the United Nations is neither the world’s judge nor its police, as Dag Hammarskjold, a Secretary General of the United Nations said: ”  The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell”.  There is something in what Judge Wolf said at the BBC interview – that an IACC would be outside the jurisdiction of the United Nations – an individual and independent body that is not established by a treaty of the UN. This principle, coupled with the infusion of GAL, could well be the basis of an IACC.

Exclusive: The Booker laureate admits he keeps Rajpal’s manuscript

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1 min read
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Sri Lanka Guardian has sent a media query to Shehan Karunathilake but he is yet to respond. However, on behalf of the Sri Lankan origins booker prize winner, someone named “SK” has shared a message on social media stating that, “a claim has been made by a journalist in Colombo that the plot of my novel, ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’ was ‘stolen’ from a 56-page untitled ‘novella’ that he sent to me in 2011 seeking an author’s endorsement. His claim is both baseless and insulting.” This statement clearly accepted that the accused has received a manuscript from the author, Rajpal Abeynayake, and he has kept it for years.

“I have shared his email and the ‘novella’ manuscript with my lawyers who confirm that the claim of plagiarism is entirely unfounded and that the allegations made are libellous. I have also shared the ‘novella’ with my publishers – who confirm the texts bear no comparison whatsoever with my novel – there are no shared plots, characters nor text – and with the Booker Prize Foundation, so that they may be assured the claims are unfounded,” SK defended the case against Booker Prize Winner.

“We are glad to know that SK still keeps the original manuscript safe and he has given copies of the manuscript not only to his lawyers and publisher but also to Booker Prize Foundation,” said one of the senior lawyers in Colombo. Thus, Sri Lanka Guardian‘s inquiry to the Booker Prize Foundation a few days ago has yet to receive a response.  

“It is sad and disappointing that this statement has to be made. This should be a celebratory moment for Sri Lanka and its writers,” SK in his post attempted to earn sympathy.

Meanwhile, responding to the SK’s reaction, Rajpal Abeynayake says that personal insults unfounded in reality are ‘beneath this process’ and that he will not stoop so low as to respond to vicious and obnoxious third parties forwarding statements for some sort of vicarious titillation.

About the statement issued by SK so-called, presumably Shehan Karunatilaka, he says ‘let’s wait and see about the veracity of that, now that he has admitted receiving my manuscript’. Not only does he have my manuscript, but he also has it close at hand and handy to send to others too, says Rajpal.

Inside Story: Rogue Academics in Sri Lanka

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8 mins read

This investigative report is open for response as the accused have been named by the reporter-editors

As funny, stupid and pseudo-intellectual as it may sound, the above title of this article is not what I initially intended to give it. The originally intended title is along the lines of “A Case of Serial Plagiarism…” or something like When the Vice Chancellor is a Plagiarist – more on this in the later parts. Now welcome to some enlightenment.

Presented below is a summary of findings we had the misfortune to make after having a compelling urge to study the academic profile of this intellectual from South Eastern Sri Lanka: Professor Aboobacker Rameez. A. Rameez is currently the Vice Chancellor of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka since 2021 and a professor in sociology at this higher education institution since 2019. Some readers would also be familiar with the name from many op-ed articles he has authored for Colombo Telegraph, references to which can also be found at his Google Scholar profile page and Research Gate profile – maintained for a delicate balance between keeping it clean and being still stocked with stuff, reportedly due to Webometrics ranking requirements. Some of his newspaper-published scholarly works being listed in these research database profile pages were published by the online Tamil news website jaffnamuslim.com.      

While lacking the necessary tools and this being a pastime activity triggered initially by personal pursuits, and despite the attempts of the university administration headed by A. Rameez himself to repeatedly deny information on his publications he used for his promotion as a professor by merit in response to right-to-information requests, we were still able to find to our own shock and surprise the fact that serious acts of plagiarism and academic-mafia-like practices had been freely allowed in the most carefree ways.

Evidence in summary:

  • A. Rameez stole nearly 80% of the abstract of a published journal article covering actual research conducted in Nigeria and he published it as an abstract of his own work carried out in Sri Lanka
  • A. Rameez stole written content from another published, properly peer-reviewed Scopus-indexed journal article and composed about 3-pages long content, without a single modification, for his own article submitted to the journal run by his own faculty

A formal complaint regarding this matter has been made to the Council of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka via the Registrar of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. All the council members of SEUSL have been presented with evidences of these offenses, which are termed Research Fraud in the language employed by UGC for describing offenses of this nature.

An extended summary of our findings is presented below for the amusement of the general public who are contributing financially and in various other ways directly or indirectly for the proliferation of activities of the sort that is being reported here.

  1. A. Rameez plagiarized nearly 80% of the abstract of O. Odaman et al. (2014)

A. Rameez, being the primary and corresponding author has published an abstract in the South Eastern University Arts Research Session 2015. The title of the Abstract is “Ageing and Health Seeking Behaviour: A Medical Sociological Approach to Nintavur Divisional Secretariat, Sri Lanka”. The following table shows a side-by side comparison of passages extracted from the abstract submitted by A. Rameez for publication against the abstract of a research article that had already been published.

Rameez et al. (2015)Odaman et al. (2014)
It focused on the most common health related problems of elderly: revealed where the elderly goes to seek medical care when sick, and those financially responsible for his/her medical needs.It focused on the most common health related problems of the elderly; revealed where the elderly goes to seek medical care when sick; and those financially responsible for his/her medical needs.
The findings show that, the majority of the elderly persons had age associated physical illnesses such as blood pressure, cardiac problems, diabetes, joint pains, kidney infections, cancer and tuberculosis that take a long time to heal.Majority of the elderly persons (62.7%) had age associated illnesses such as blood pressure, cardiac problems, diabetes, joint pains, kidney infections, cancer and tuberculosis that take a long time to heal.
More elderly males than female counterparts were found to have patronized traditional healers, resorted to self medication using local herbs or visit chemists’ shops whenever they were sick.More elderly males than their female counterparts were found to have patronized traditional healers, resorted to self medication using local herbs or visited chemists’ shops whenever they were sick.
This research suggested that, the government should puts in place programmes that would ensure good health behaviour and elderly people should be provided free, accessible and comprehensive health care in hospitals and other health care centres.It is recommended that elderly people should be provided free, accessible and comprehensive health care in hospitals and health centers because they would utilize the health services when available, accessible and affordable.

Notice that the work allowed to be published by the editorial committee of the Book of Abstracts of South Eastern University Arts Research Session (2015) makes the suggestion, as an outcome of the supposed research findings, that the elderly people should be provided free healthcare in Sri Lanka! We believe that it’s needless to say that unlike in the case of Nigeria, the Governments of Sri Lanka have been providing free healthcare for all of its citizens in all of Sri Lanka not only at the time this abstract was being presented and was being issued in print, possibly out of public funds, but since long before that until now and far into the future for sure.

If word counts are to be used as a crude estimate to indicate the severity of the rogue academic conduct with such a shallow level of sophistication in carefree plagiarism, we observe that of the 185 words that have been originally used for composing the abstract of Odaman et al., the abstract of Rameez et al. employs more than 80 percent of the words (149 out of 185) to compose itself.

The abstract published by Rameez et al. can be found in the Book of Abstracts published by SEUSL on 22nd December 2015.

This abstract can also be found at http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/handle/123456789/1532

The figure below portrays A. Rameez in the act, with hijacked text highlighted in yellow:

The work published by Odaman et al. can be found here. The article has been published in Vol. 7, No. 1 (2014), pp. 201-210 of International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities (ISSN 2248-9010 (Online), ISSN 2250-0715 (Print)).

The figure below shows how A. Rameez et al. did a stealth-mode robbery of the intellectual effort of Odaman et al., with the stolen text highlighted in yellow:

Anyone serious enough to access and look at the actual content of Odaman et al. would appreciate the true effort the original authors have put into their work despite what the title and abstract look like. And those familiar with social sciences will admit that often text itself is the very embodiment of ideas.

  1. A. Rameez published a journal article with 3 pages long content stolen straight from a journal article by Hazleton & Kennan (2000)

A. Rameez, being the sole author has published an article in KALAM -International Research Journal, Faculty of Arts and Culture, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Volume X Issue 1, 2016. The title of the Article is “Disasters and Social Capital in Sri Lanka: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis”.

A. Rameez’s Publication is available at http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/handle/123456789/5251  (available at SEUSL e-repository).

The figure below of the article by A. Rameez, with the stolen content highlighted in yellow, should indicate the proportionality of the content discovered to have been stolen word-for-word from just one single source (other stolen content not indicated):

A. Rameez has plagiarized for his publication from here (Scopus entry: Here )

A. Rameez’s publication (Page numbers 05 to 08 highlighted in Yellow) has copied the above mentioned publication by Vincent Hazleton and William Kennan (Social capital: reconceptualizing the bottom line; Corporate Communications: An International Journal Volume 5 . Number 2 . 2000. pp. 81-86) word for word from page numbers 82-84.

The figure below shows the proportionality of the content stolen word-for-word from the work of Hazleton & Kennan, with the portions in yellow being the stolen content.

Of about nine pages of writing contributed by A. Rameez for this journal issue, about three pages come straight from the composition of Hazleton and Kennan verbatim, even with citations as they appear in the work of the original authors, but without being listed in the list of references of the publication by A. Rameez! For example, we see the original article of Hazleton from year 2000 referring to articles by themselves from 1993, 1998 and 1999; but the article by A. Rameez only has the one by Hazleton from 2000 in his list of references, meaning that the readers (and obviously the reviewers of this SEUSL journal) would have no idea what those articles of Hazleton from 1993, 1998 and 1999 actually were/ are. Other examples include such questions of curious readership of Rameez on where they can actually locate the original works referred to as Monge (1987), Garfinkel (1967) etc., all of which, interestingly are properly listed at the end of the original, genuine work of Hazleton and Kennan (2000). Apart from this 3 pages long direct stealing of written scholarly work by Hazleton and Kennan that I have brought to light here, there are various other curiosity-provoking pointers to other possibly interesting findings that are possible from a thorough investigation on the rest of the 6 pages of this publication by A. Rameez; one such pointer for example is the curious question of what exactly Portes published along with Landolt in year 1996.

These two items above bring to light the evident lack of academic honesty & integrity on the part of Prof. A. Rameez and the evident lack of scrutiny and review practices of any level of rigor concerning the two publications above. It is interesting to note that we don’t see A. Rameez having published any work on healthcare seeking behaviour of the elderly other than the single abstract above plagiarizing the work of Odaman et al. It is also interesting to note that A. Rameez obtained his M.Phil. degree in 2010 by writing a dissertation titled “The Role of Social Capital in Disaster Management: A Study of a Tsunami Affected Coastal Village in Eastern Sri Lanka”, a work possibly very similar in theme to his publication in item 2 above (Disasters and Social Capital in Sri Lanka: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis); yet we find him after five years with the necessity to plagiarize to produce 3-pages long content for a journal article on a related topic.

Under these circumstances, it is evident that the intellectual con artist who produced the two fraudulent publications above is guilty of one of the gravest academic offenses: Plagiarism. Being non-hesitant, uninhibited and not-insightful about copying the published, reviewed works of other academics and scholars is a major evidence of academic bankruptcy of the person in concern. With such a history of Research Fraudulence, Professor A. Rameez being a Vice Chancellor of a Higher Education Institution, and thereby being the head/ chairperson/ overseeing authority/ supervising authority on almost all of its academic, academic-administrative and academic-disciplinary matters, can severely affect the academic and administrative integrity of the institution in question. This can lead to demolition of high standard academic culture, accountability and transparency in research and dissemination and the quality of the academic programs offered at the University.

Questions for the readers are below:

  1. What are the roles played by editors and reviewers (if any) of books of abstracts and journals published by the Faculty of Arts and Culture of SEUSL?
  2. What are the impacts on the undergraduate education and examination processes in this Sri Lankan state university
  3. When the Vice Chancellor is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  4. When a professor in a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  5. When an academic in general belonging a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  6. What are the impacts on the postgraduate education, postgraduate research programmes and examination processes in this Sri Lankan state university
  7. When the Vice Chancellor is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  8. When a professor in a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  9. When an academic in general belonging a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  10. What are the impacts on the academic administration processes including recruitment of BEST OF THE BEST academic staff and appointment of directors & heads of various divisions & departments at this Sri Lankan state university
  11. When the Vice Chancellor is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  12. When a professor in a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  13. What are the impacts on the disciplinary processes in academic matters at this Sri Lankan state university
  14. When the Vice Chancellor is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?
  15. When a professor in a certain discipline is a demonstrated plagiarist and a research fraud?

Exclusive:  Booker Prize Winner Robs My Manuscript – Rajpal

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“The recent Booker prize-winning book Seven Moons of Mali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilleke of Sri Lanka was blatantly plagiarized from a manuscript I sent the author in 2009. I sent it for review purposes only and I have the necessary documentation in this regard,” Rajpal Abeynayake, Attorney at Law, former Editor in Chief of Daily News and former Deputy Editor of Sunday Times, both are national newspapers in Colombo, told the Sri Lanka Guardian.

This is a very serious matter,” he pointed out. “Copyright law is in existence for a reason. Nobody can profit off the labours or the creativity of another person,” a lawyer by profession who is one of the most senior journalists in Sri Lanka, Mr Abeynayake added.

“In the West institutions such as the Booker Prize Committee would understand that rectitude and propriety in these matters are vital. Imagine if writers and other persons in the arts are given the lisence to crib from anyone as they please,” he observed.

“About this specific matter, yes, Shehan Karunatillaka stole my manuscript and based his novel on my work making cosmetic changes. It’s unconscionable. He should be held to account,” he demanded.

Crisis in Sri Lanka: The Root Cause

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in her report on Sri Lanka recognized that for Sri Lanka “the promotion of human rights and the prevention and fight against corruption are mutually reinforcing, that corruption can have serious negative impacts on human rights and the poor and those in marginalized situations, including women and girls.” She demanded the prosecution of the corrupt. The Sri Lankan delegate dismissed this statement as exceeding the mandate of the Human Rights High Commissioner.

The Sri Lankan Ambassador, Mr Chandraprema, suggested presumptuousness of the High Commissioner. The Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ali Sabry, the lawyer who defended former President Gothabaya Rajapakse against the charges of corruption made against him, stated: “It is observed that the High Commissioner’s report makes extensive reference to “economic crimes”. Apart from the ambiguity of the term, it is a matter of concern that such reference exceeds the mandate of the OHCHR”.The Minister of Justice was pictured sitting by Sabry’s side as Sabry was giving the Council the benefit of his wisdom.

The link between corruption and human rights was not made exclusively in the context of the report on Sri Lanka. Concern over corruption and its impact on human rights had been expressed within the Human Rights Council from 2005. A document of the Human Rights Council in that year stated that the Council was “deeply concerned that the enjoyment of human rights, be they economic, social and cultural or civil and political, is seriously undermined by the phenomenon of corruption”. Since then several documents of the Human Rights Council as well as other UN documents have drawn the link between corruption and human rights. The use of the more embracing term, “economic crimes” includes corruption but also draws in other offences committed by those with public and private power abusing such power in a manner that offends the criminal law.

The concern in the area was with countries like Syria, Somalia and Sudan which had high levels of corruption along with massive violations of human rights. Now, Sri Lanka has joined these ranks. Events in Sri Lanka constitute a microcosm within which the linkage can be easily demonstrated. Successive Presidents from President Kumaranatunge, President Rajapaksa, President Sirisena and President Wickremesinghe (as Prime Minister during the Central Bank scam) have demonstrated the linkage between corruption and the violation of human rights. Their cronies and associates profited from the climate of corruption that these Presidents had created. These persons unfairly enriched themselves by stealing the wealth of the public and creating an unequal society in which many were driven into dire levels of poverty. The resulting inequality in itself is emblematic of the linkage between corruption and human rights violations.

Each of the Presidents demonstrated the need for the linkage to be made. I merely state the cases that constitute the tip of the iceberg of corruption in each Presidential regime and their links with human rights. The corruption became deep-seated after President Kumaranatunge. She was found guilty of corruption in the Water’s Edge Case which involved the eviction of several poor families from an area on which a golf course was to be built.

Corruption became a storm under President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His style of ruling was through patronage and reward, ensuring that his cronies amassed wealth while a part of it reached his family coffers. Mahinda Rajapaksa was alleged to have channelled the tsunami funds collected through charity into private accounts. The defalcation led to several victims of the tsunami being deprived of their right to housing and livelihood. The former Chief Justice, Sarath Silva, apologized for exonerating Rajapaksa from corruption charges, in the Helping Hambantota Case (Mahinda Rajapaksa v Chandra Fernando).

President Kumaranatunge had appointed her one-time crony, Sarath Silva, as Chief Justice by passing Justice Mark Fernando, a legendary judge noted for scholarship and independence- an instance of the subversion of the judiciary in Sri Lanka. An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Kumaranatunge committed a corrupt act that more than establishes the linkage between human rights and corruption by compromising the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka. Sarath Silva delivered the judgement in the Sinharasa Case condemning a man to imprisonment without justification and earning international opprobrium. Naked interferences in judicial appointments during later Presidents are well known including the ousting of a Chief Justice who did not comply with the dictates of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Interference with the judiciary had commenced earlier with Felix Dias Bandaranaike and JR Jayewardene.)

The two Rajapaksa Presidents have been accused of large-scale nepotism and corruption. Their family was responsible for the expenditure of large chunks of the budget as ministers of the government. The opportunity for corruption was immense. They created opportunities not for themselves alone but for their business cronies of the Viyathmaga. Many of the cronies found their way into Parliament and were rewarded with ministries with attendant perks. They profited from scams like the sugar scam.

As public service employment and transfers became a privilege conferred by members of parliament, each member of parliament had great opportunities for accepting bribes. Corruption became endemic in the culture of Sri Lanka. Public appointments influenced by bribery denied people with merit access to employment. They were denied equal treatment under the law. The link between corruption and violation of human rights in such situations was clear.

In the interim, we had that yahapalana circus of Sirisena and Wickremesinghe. The former used his presidential power to release a convict found guilty of murder. He appointed his relatives to high positions. His son and daughter became prominent in government circles. Wickremasinghe was accused of the Central Bank scam. The man who was the alleged central figure in its sojourns in Singapore. The people were deprived of the public money that was involved in the scam. No one has been held accountable for this crime.

Despite all this chain of corruption, the men sent to Geneva by the Government of Sri Lanka blame the UN Human Rights Commissioner for linking corruption with human rights, when one of the best examples of such a linkage happens to be their country. The UNHRC is not motivated by any malice toward Sri Lanka in seeking to link corruption and human rights. They prescribe what would be welcomed by the people of Sri Lanka – the prosecution of the corrupt and the prevention of the corruption that has continuously afflicted the public life of Sri Lanka. The people of the country face starvation as a result of the economic crimes committed by their politicians.

As an academic who has taught international law all my life, I know that there is a minority of academics who contest the linkage of corruption with human rights on theoretical grounds. The delegation of Sri Lanka was not animated by these theoretical niceties. They were more intent on protecting the corruption of their organ grinders. Every Sri Lankan woman with little money in her bag, searching for cheap food for her starving children, every man who goes to every chemist in the vain search for medicines for his sick mother, every farmer who looks with sadness at his crops wilting without fertiliser knows that the root cause of his or her misery is the corruption initiated and continued by successive presidents. The delegation sent to Geneva was not sent there to defend the corrupt but accept the reasons given by the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the suffering of the people they were to speak for. Instead, they are defending the indefensible, corrupt politicians of Sri Lanka. The public is entitled to ask whether these men are themselves corrupt, obtaining a trip to Geneva and its attendant perks in exchange for defending the corruption of their masters.

Bankrupt Sri Lanka: Newly Chosen State Ministers Demand More Perks  

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Thirty-seven newly installed state ministers to run bankrupt Sri Lanka have urged to allocate 296 government vehicles, fuel and drivers to serve the vehicles, according to highly placed government sources.

Sources confirmed that arrangements are currently being made to allocate 8 vehicles to each state minister from their respective ministries.

“Several state ministers who were appointed yesterday have already requested vehicles from their respective ministries and they have emphasized to the authorities about their vehicle rights and their need by showing the circulars that have been issued so far,” reliable sources say.

Accordingly, they have said to provide two vehicles to the Minister of State, one vehicle to the Private Secretary, personal coordination secretaries, personal assistants and media secretary to be given respective vehicles and prescribed fuel allowances.