Chandrika who never studied at Sorbonne
Chandrika Kumaratunga in her student day in
Paris, Mahinda Wijesekera and Prof. G. L. Peiris
Chandrika Kumaratunga at a public rally to celebrate 10
years in office cast serious doubts on the educational
qualifications of Professor G.L. Peiris last week.
on the contempt of court judgement on UNP MP, S.B.
Dissanayake, the President said she has asked the CID to
investigate whether the educational certificates of
Professor Peiris were forgeries.
we are checking whether he has a professorship. I told
the CID to check whether he has a certificate to prove
his legal qualifications or whether this is a
forgery," the President said at the rally.
the President has now by her
own admission thought it important enough to
direct the CID to investigate the qualifications of
Professor Peiris, it should necessarily follow that
verification should also be made of President Chandrika
Kumaratunga's own educational qualifications.
From Sorbonne stating Chandrika was not a student in
that university, The letter from the institute in
Aix-En-Provence stating Chandrika was there for one year
and The letter from University Pantheon, Assas Paris II
stating Chandrika was not a student there
bio-data of Chandrika stating she has a Political
Science Degree from the University of Paris and Letter
from the Old Students Association of 'Sciences Po'
stating Chandrika did a course in International
also cast doubts on the attorney-at-law qualification of UNP
MP Mahinda Wijesekera and said Ranil Wickremesinghe barely
scraped through his law exam.
President in her official bio data released to the media has
claimed she has a Political Science Degree from the University
of Paris. The claim is she was a graduate from the highly
Sunday Leader in
2000 exposed Kumaratunga for her big lie and stated
categorically that she never attended Sorbonne or graduated
from the university of Paris. That it was yet another
barefaced lie by the President.
made other grandiose claims of educational attainment as well,
most of which were figments of her very fertile imagination.
Sunday Leader also investigated Kumaratunga's allegations on
the educational qualifications of both Professor Peiris and
Wijesekera and found them to be yet more lies.
we found has qualified as an attorney-at-law from the Sri
Lanka Law College.
for Professor Peiris, who has even taught the present Acting
Chief Justice, Shiranee Bandaranayake, was also Vice
Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Dean of the Law
Faculty and a Rhodes Scholar. And yes, a fully-fledged
Sunday Leader had the opportunity of examining all those
it is the President's certificates that are elusive with not
even an advanced level certificate to be found leave alone a
Political Science Degree from the University of Paris.
reproduce once again, our investigation on Kumaratunga's
educational qualifications for the benefit of the people of
Sri Lanka and the diplomatic community given her own public
pronouncements and leave it to them to judge whether or not
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is a liar and a fraud who
should be investigated by the CID.
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is facing the prospect of
being branded a great pretender.
from the serious legal consequences that follow for holding
out as genuine that which is false, it is a reflection on the
very character of an individual to pretend to be a great
academic achiever, when the reality is otherwise.
person could mislead the public as to the actual educational
attainments not only by the subtle use of language but
allowing to pass as correct, attribution of factually
incorrect qualifications in various publications, especially
when such publications are brought to the notice of the
a person can be a pretender to great academic achievements not
only by acts of commission such as the preparation of the
bio-data with false data, but also by acts of omission such as
a non denial when the publication of a false qualification is
notified, especially in publications well within the control
of the individual concerned.
the public at large, the purpose of a politician holding out
his or her academic achievements is to impress upon them that
the politician in question is a person of great intellect
worthy of election to high public office through the people's
it is with the similar intention of impressing a prospective
employer that any individual applying for a job includes all
of his/her achievements in the bio-data.
is for the same purpose, an individual highlights the colleges
of education and universities attended, for the very names of
prestigious universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne.
Yale, Stanford and Harvard add weight to a person's academic
you, this government knows the importance of this principle
only too well and Edmond Jayasinghe is living testimony to
was forced to resign as Chairman, Lake House, Secretary, Media
Ministry and Director, AirLanka for falsifying his dates of
repercussions in the case of false qualifications, naturally
would be far greater than the use of a false date of birth.
is in that context, The Sunday Leader wrote to President
Chandrika Kumaratunga on March 14 and inquired after her
educational qualifications in view of the President's official
bio data being at variance with the information in the
possession of this newspaper.
the Presidential Secretariat taking up the position it does
not forward correspondence from "Worms" to the
President, The Sunday Leader last week published a full page
article drawing the attention of Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga to her official bio data as released by the
Government Information Department as well as published reports
in other media including the state press.
such publication, The Sunday Leader requested the President to
inform this newspaper whether she had inadvertently included
in her official bio data qualifications she was not entitled
to. The same question was posed with regards to the media
reports on her academic achievements.
newspaper said it will lay the issue to rest if the President
shows that the information in our possession was inaccurate.
The Sunday Leader even offered to present the information in
its possession for the President's perusal. And be rest
assured, the only reason The Sunday Leader has taken this
issue up is because it strives to establish standards for Sri
Lanka which democracies such as the U.S.A. and U.K. expect
from their leaders.
President however has not responded to our repeated queries
and we presume thereby that her official bio data and the
published reports are correct.
recap briefly, the educational qualifications of President
Kumaratunga as released by the Government Information
Department and published in the book, Tenth Parliament states
Degree in Political Science (University of Paris)
PhD studies in Development Economics (University of Paris)
Diploma in Group Leadership EPHE (University of Paris)
Studies in LLB Law Degree
Training in political journalism with the Le-Monde in Paris.
Schooling (Sic) at St. Bridget's Convent, Colombo.
the state controlled Daily News of November 11, 1994 in an
article titled "Chandrika groomed for greatness"
states interalia - "After her successful French language
and culture course, Chandrika just 22 was admitted to the
Sorbonne University in Paris - one of the oldest seats of
learning in France."
Sorbonne, she read for her degree in politics, economics and
philosophy," the report adds.
the state controlled Silumina of November 13, 1994 in another
special full page article with photographs from Chandrika's
family album, states Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
received a political science degree from Sorbonne University
in France, an economics degree from the Oxford University in
England in addition to receiving a diploma for group
to Kumaratunga holding a PhD were made in an article in the
Femina magazine of December 15, 1999 where journalist Sathya
Saran had interviewed the President. A similar reference to a
PhD was made in the Commonwealth Heads Of State Magazine in
for the reality.
start with, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has
no PhD from anywhere. The Peradeniya University, not long
after Kumaratunga assumed the presidency, received a proposal
to grant her an honorary doctorate but it was soon decided to
drop the matter.
course though the various publications cited have referred to
Kumaratunga having a PhD, reports which have not been denied,
the official bio data of Kumaratunga released by her speaks
only of "PhD Studies in Development Economics at the
University of Paris."
is important to note here that Kumaratunga speaks of "PhD
studies," giving the impression she had studied
extensively for a PhD, but there is no time frame given.
as for the undenied economics degree from Oxford University in
England, that is another figment of a very fertile
imagination. Kumaratunga has as much claim to an economics
degree from Oxford as A. J. Ranasinghe has to a law degree
more important is Kumaratunga's claim in the official bio data
that she has a Political Science Degree from the University of
is important to note here that 'Sorbonne' forms part of the
'University of Paris,' and Kumaratunga has also not denied
reports in the state media that she is a graduate from
'Sorbonne.' And it is also the popular perception in the
country that Chandrika is a 'Sorbonne' graduate.
this backdrop, research into Kumaratunga's education in France
Chandrika Bandaranaike received a scholarship from the
Institute of French Studies and left for France in 1967.
was a student in France until 1971 since she also states in
her bio data that she was the "Additional Principal
Director, Land Reforms Commission," from 1972-1976. That
is to say she was a student in France for four years.
France, the academic year is from September to June.
that as it may, upon arriving in France, Chandrika travelled
to the south and enrolled as a student in the Institute
D'Etudes Politiques, at 25, rue Gaston de Saporta 13625
Aix-ex-Provence cedex 1. This institute answers to the
telephone number 0442170198 and has 0442170196 as its fax
it is to this institute, Kumaratunga paid a much publicised
visit as Head of State in November 1996 where she received a
honorary medal from the university's president.
by a Sri Lanka press contingent, Kumaratunga was also to meet
with an old music teacher, Pierre Dupin at Air-En-Provence,
South of France.
however, despite the media presence, Kumaratunga did not
during that visit to France pay a visit to the 'Sorbonne' in
the University of Paris.
Chandrika did at the Institute D'Etudes Politiques in Aix-En-Provence
was follow a nine month course in the French language and
Sunday Leader is in possession of a letter written by the
institute confirming the fact, Kumaratunga was there for just
English translation of the letter written in French is given
reply to your request, I confirm that Mrs. Chandrika
Bandaranaike was a student at our Institute during the
University year 1967/68. At the end of her first year she left
us to continue her studies in Paris.
question arises where in Paris Kumaratunga proceeded to study.
the popular public perception and undenied published reports,
the obvious answer is 'Sorbonne.' In any event the 'University
of Paris' as per the official bio data.
in fact, Kumaratunga was neither a student at Sorbonne nor did
she obtain a political science degree from that university.
prove this fact, The Sunday Leader has yet another letter from
the 'University' Paris 1 Pantheon - Sorbonne, Department de
Science Politque. 1 rue Victor Cousin,. 75005, Paris.
is to be noted here that in researching Kumaratunga's
education record, queries were made based both on her maiden
name as well as her married name.
letter written by Sorbonne in French was signed by J. Matiesco
and an English translation is given below.
your fax of 22/11/1999 and having researched our archives, I
can state exactly to you that the name of Miss Chandrika
BANDARANAIKE Kumaratunga does not feature amongst our old
1970-1977 the political science degree did not exist at the
in political science is also offered by the Institute of
Political Studies, 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume 75007 Paris, Tel
0145495050 and also in the Provincial IEP (IEP) Aix-Marseille
25 rue Gaston de Saporta 13625 Aixen Provence Cedex 01).
The secretary of the Second Year,
Sorbonne was referred to as Universite' Paris I Pantheon, to
be doubly sure, a query was also made from the Universite
Pantheon ASSAS Paris II.
is an English translation of what that university had to say
under the signature of Ms. Nadine Billion from the
regards to your letter dated January 20, 2000 concerning Ms.
Chandrika Bandaranaike, I have the pleasure of informing you
that after going through the records of the university
Pantheon-Assas Paris II, no file under that name was found.
would like to take this opportunity to convey to you my
research showed that where Chandrika did study in Paris after
her one year stint at Aix-En-Provence, was at the Institute
D'Etudes Politiques de Paris and not at the 'University of
Paris,' which includes Sorbonne.
Institute of Political Studies is also popularly known as
'Sciences Po' and in a booklet of the institute, under the
heading "Some well known alumni of Sciences Po"
gives the name "Chandrika Kumaratunga - President of Sri
this institute, the available evidence shows Chandrika as
having studied for a course in international relations. Her
reference number was 50259.
period for which Chandrika did this course was two years and
was titled "Relations internationales." She
successfully completed this course of study and received a
diploma in 1970.
Sunday Leader is in possession of a letter written by MME A.
Chantelauze from the Association of Former Students of
Sciences Po, testifying to this fact. The address of the
Association is 224 Souievard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris. The
telephone number is 0145486162 and answers to the fax
that letter in French written on an official letterhead, it is
Chandrika Bandaranaike, born June 1945, Course on
International Relations at Sciences Po 1970- (Institute of
Political Science, Paris)
do not have any more information or any other Diplomas: Sorry,
we cannot be of any more help."
it is patently obvious Chandrika has no Political Science
Degree from the University of Paris, as claimed, or from
Sorbonne. The question is whether she has a degree at all. The
evidence unearthed seems to have proved otherwise.
to the Old Students Association of 'Science Po,' what
Chandrika did obtain was a Diploma in International Relations.
French of course, different terminology is used to define
educational qualifications and queries were made by an old
student of 'Sciences Po' itself on this terminology.
former student, Jerome Tolot did a three year diploma (in
French Diplome) at Sciences Po. He said a 'licence' is the
equivalent to an English degree obtained at a university after
law graduate from Paris University who spent six years
studying there had stated that the two year course at Sciences
Po was not a full degree in the English sense even if the
course at Aix-En-Provence was added.
other words, the diploma for international relations received
by Chandrika is not a 'Licence.' Possibly the President may
have a different interpretation, which we are ready to
bottom line is Chandrika Bandaranaike did not receive a degree
from the University of Paris as claimed in her official bio
data nor was she a student at Sorbonne. The Institute,
Chandrika attended falls under the category of "Grandes
Ecoles" (Higher School) as opposed to a state university.
fact, according to Chandrika, in a period of three student
years in Paris she had obtained a Political Science Degree
from the University of Paris, obtained a diploma in group
leadership and done her PhD studies in development economics,
all from the same university. Now we know otherwise.
returned to the country and look up a posting in 1972 as
admitted by her in the Land Reforms Commission. Since this was
a government appointment, of which government Chandrika's
mother was prime minister, she did not have to go through the
motions of interviews where one is called upon to produce
certificates to substantiate one's academic qualifications.
Incidentally Presidential Secretary, K. Balapatabendi was also
attached to the LRC during this period.
Kumaratunga in her bio data also states she did "studies
in LLB Law Degree." That statement too appears to be
clearly designed to mislead the public by giving the
impression she had done LLB studies to a great extent.
LLB course was initially for three years with examinations
divided into the first in laws and the final.
Chandrika did was attend some law classes at Aquinas College
but did not pass the examination.
for a Head of State to say in her official bio data that she
did LLB studies without having passed a single examination in
that course is to say the least, misleading. That is similar
to a student who attends O Level classes for a few months,
drops out and writes in his bio data that he did "O'level
that is Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga for you, the great
achiever. According to her that is.
await budget implementation
Carter, Peter Harrold, Alessandro Pio and Akio Suda
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
the budget heat subsiding, all eyes are now on the
all-important part of building the country's economy - the
implementation of the policies highlighted in the UPFA
government's maiden budget.
2005 budget as pointed out by economic analysts was better
than expected and exhibited a lot of growth potential for the
country's economy, but the real test as they said was in the
sentiment was also shared by the donor agencies - "looks
good in print, but if implemented and sustained would help
uplift the skewed economy."
months after assuming office, the government has now shown
interest in resuming discussions to get the US$ 81 million
tranche of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF)
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), held back
Resident Representative, IMF, Jeremy Carter observed that the
IMF is expecting a government mission to discuss the PRGF in
PRGF has been on hold since 2003 and according to Carter, Sri
Lanka is four disbursements behind.
pointed out that discussions to resume the tranche would be
based on three areas - how the government plans to implement
its budget proposals, how the government plans to manage its
strategic enterprises and its strategy for poverty reduction.
government has indicated its interest to begin
negotiations," he said.
amount that would be disbursed in case negotiations prove
successful, is yet to be decided.
noted that apart from the PRGF, which is the IMF's exclusive
concessionary facility, there is no other form of assistance
in the pipeline.
the same sentiments as analysts, Carter also asserted that
they like the targets outlined in the 2005 budget, but added
success would depend on implementation.
is also important that revenue targets are met," he said.
executive board of the IMF approved in 2003 a three-year
arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility
and Extended Fund Facility amounting to SDR 413.4 million
(about US$567 million) for Sri Lanka, which will support the
government's economic programme for 2003-06. Of this amount,
SDR 269 million (about US$369 million) is available under the
PRGF, and SDR 144.4 million (about US$198 million) is
available under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The decision
will enable Sri Lanka to draw SDR 59.06 million (about US$81
million) from the IMF every six months.
second disbursement was due to be released in October 2003 and
the third in April this year.
aid on hold
support from the World Bank too is yet on hold.
to World Bank officials, budgetary support, which has been
provided under the Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC),
requires a sound macroeconomic framework. The officials added
they rely on the IMF to provide an assessment of this.
PRSC is a new lending instrument of the World Bank's
International Development Association (IDA). It is designed to
assist with the policy and institutional reforms countries
have formulated to implement their own Poverty Reduction
Bank is currently awaiting a revision of the PRS by the UPFA
to provide continued budgetary support. The credit is in the
order of US$125 million. However, the exact amount will depend
on the strength of the reform programme and progress in the
the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and the
government of Japan have signed agreements to lend their
support to the government's poverty alleviation and education
ADB and the government recently signed the second part of an
US$ 80 million loan package to address the immediate
rehabilitation needs of almost two million conflict-affected
people in the north and east of the country. The first part of
the loan, US$ 50 million was signed on January 14, in Colombo.
package provides funding for the ongoing Conflict Affected
Areas Rehabilitation Project, ADB's first response to the
needs assessment of conflict-affected areas it carried out
with the government's development partners early in 2003.
project is expected to focus most of its activities on the
most-severely conflict-affected districts. In these areas it
will rehabilitate essential infrastructure, including 200 km
of national highways and rehabilitate rural power supply to
over 25 villages.
Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government
Ministry will have overall responsibility for the project. The
North-East Provincial Council will coordinate the project on a
day-to-day basis. Within this structure the Road Development
Authority will manage the road rehabilitation component, and
the Ceylon Electricity Board, the rural electrification
project will help a large number of rural communities restore
viable living conditions, especially for those who are
returning to their homes following displacement by the
conflict," Country Head, ADB, Alessandro Pio said.
loan package consists of $50 million from its concessional
Asian Development Fund (ADF) and $30 million from its ordinary
capital resources (OCR).
OCR loan has a 32-year term, including a grace period of eight
years. Interest is determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR-based
has also approved a US$ 35 million loan to further improve
quality and relevance of the secondary education system in Sri
Lanka. The new project will upgrade around 1,100 1AB and 1C
schools not supported under ADB's ongoing Secondary Education
Modernisation Project (SEMP 1) and other earlier ADB funded
projects. The two main objectives of the project are: 1)
support the government's strategy to improve the quality,
equity, and management efficiency of secondary education and
make it more responsive to labour market requirements and 2)
increase equity of access to quality education and promote
education for social cohesion.
ADB pointed out that despite positive achievements in basic
education, low investment in education results in disparities
in educational quality. The pass rates at GCE (OL) and (AL)
examinations have been low. Only 40% of ordinary level
students qualify for advanced level, 50% fail in mathematics
and 70% fail in English subject. Regional disparities in the
pass rates are also evident.
bank's analysis of
the education sector shows that about 140, 000 school
leavers enter the labour market every year and a large number
are unemployed, indicating the need to improve the role of
secondary schools in preparing students for work. In fact, 18%
of those with GCE advanced level qualifications are unemployed
because of the mismatch between the conventional education
system and labour market requirements.
project will upgrade target schools that do not meet an
acceptable standard in terms of physical facilities, teaching
and learning resources, teachers' skills and school
management. This will reduce disparities across regions,
gender, and ethnicity and work towards the goal of ensuring
that every school is capable of successfully teaching the
required subjects, increasing the percentage of students that
pass GCE (OL) and GCE (AL) examinations in future," Pio
total project cost is estimated at $47 million, of which $
10.3 million will come from the government and $1.7 million
from the beneficiaries. The
ADB loan which will meet 74.4% of the total cost, comes from
its concessionary Asian Development Fund and carries a 32-year
term, including a grace period of eight years.
Ministry of Education will be the executing agency for the
project, which is due for completion in December 2009.
World Bank last week approved a credit facility of US$ 75
million for a housing reconstruction programme, which is
expected to benefit conflict affected families of all ethnic
programme is also expected to be a significant economic boost
for the north-east through the generation of employment
opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour.
Ambassador to Sri Lanka Akio Suda signed an agreement to
provide a sum of US$ 66,233 (approximately Rs. 6.9 million)
towards a project for sustainable human development and
poverty alleviation through agriculture in the Puttalam
government, which has shown much interest in developing the
small and medium scale enterprise sector as part of its
pro-poor economy policy, seem to be receiving the support of
the donor agencies.
that as it may, it is now up to the government to put the
grants received to good use and reduce the income disparity
prevalent in the country.
to discuss loan facilities - Amunugama
Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama observed that there was no
question about approaching the donors as the government
meets with them on a regular basis.
have quarterly meetings with the donors and we have a
special group to hold these meetings," he said.
IMF and the World Bank, according to Dr. Amunugama have
received the Budget 2005 and made their own analysis.
Amunugama explained that the government till its maiden
budget, did not discuss any loan facilities with the
that the government has presented its maiden budget and
passed it in parliament, Dr. Amunugama said that the
discussions on the IMF's PRGF and the World Bank's RPSC
loan facilities would be discussed in the early part of
2005 when the government and donors meet.
up and up
to the December Monetary Policy Review, inflation
continues to be on an upward trend as reflected in the
increases in all consumer price indices.
The annual average change in the Colombo
Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) rose from 6.1 per cent in
October 2004 to 6.8 per cent in November, while on a
point-to-point basis the CCPI rose from 12.1 per cent in
October to 13.1 per cent in November.
A similar trend was seen in the Sri Lanka
Consumers' Price Index (SLCPI) with the annual average
change rising from 4.1 per cent in September to 5.4 per
cent in October and the point-to-point change increasing
from 14.4 per cent to 15.2 per cent.
The pressure on prices from supply side factors
such as the drought, which adversely affected domestic
food production and high import prices, particularly of
petroleum imports is expected to ease with the
improvement in weather conditions and the decline in
international oil prices.