Vision & Mission

Vision: A peaceful and just country in which freedom, human and democratic rights of all people are assured.

Mission:To work in partnership with different target groups to educate, mobilize and advocate to build a society of rights conscious citizens and a political culture that enables a political solution to the ethnic conflict and equal opportunities to all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

International Peace Day 2011 celebrations

Youth United for Peace and Reconciliation

Mihasa Foundation: Youth for Peace, a group of undergraduates from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka organizes lectures on current trends on peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, launch of the Mihasa website, launching of the Mihasa website and the newspaper and a documentary screening.  125 undergraduates and secondary school students will be participating in order to build a culture of peace by taking it to a new generation of global citizens in Sri Lanka. National Peace Council supports this event by providing its financial and intellectual resources.  This will be held at National Library auditorium from 8.30 a.m to 1.00 p.m.

Exchange visit of religious and civil society leaders from South to North
Religious and civil society leaders representing 8 District Inter religious Councils established by NPC with EU support will visit and IDP camp, donate school books, donate school books to war-affected children, discuss and share experiences with the war -affected people, visit historically important places. 400 war affected children from Mannar, Jaffna and Vavuniya and 30 religious leaders and 70 civil society leaders from 8 DIRCs including North and South are expected to participate for the International Peace day celebrations. This will be held at the Tharanikulam ganesh College in Vavuniya from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and is organized by Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Jaffna.

Monday, September 12, 2011


The government media gave headline prominence to the fact that Sri Lanka has made an impressive jump of 10 places to 52nd from 62nd in the rankings of the latest Global Competitiveness Report (2011-2012) issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).  This is a further improvement from the 2009-2010 report which ranked the country at 79th position while last year’s report placed Sri Lanka in the 62nd spot.   Sri Lanka shows improvements on 80% of indicators - 80-90 of the 110 indicators - both in terms of scores as well as rank.  Sri Lanka made the greatest improvements in scores, year-on-year, in the pillars of macroeconomic stability, infrastructure and security, which the WEF noted was remarkable, and attributed it to the improved climate following the end of the war.

On the other hand, one of the major disappointments of Sri Lanka’s post-war progress is that these impressive economic achievements have not been accompanied by similar success in achieving reconciliation.  Ethnic polarization and hard feelings across the party political divide continue to take centre stage, and put the brakes on what could be outstanding success.  The government’s position is that a united and prosperous Sri Lankan nation can be built through the inspired leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close associates whose abundant talent no one can deny.  One manifestation of this position was the 18th Amendment passed earlier this year which centralized power further in the already too powerful presidency.

In conformity with its centralizing of power, powerful government decision makers have declared that no further constitutional change is necessary to increase the devolution of power.  This has been a cause of controversy and polarization.  There has been an equivalent reaction from the opposition Tamil political parties, and also sections of the international community, that the government’s war time promise of further devolution of power needs to be delivered.  During the height of the war, President Rajapaksa made numerous promises regarding the government’s post-war intentions with regard to the devolution of power.  The most famous of these was his declaration that he would implement a political solution that would be the 13th Amendment plus one.

This enigmatic statement of the President was taken to mean that he would ensure the full implementation of the 13th Amendment that had led to the establishment of the system of devolution based on the provincial councils.  At the least it was taken to mean the devolution of powers that are contained in the 13th Amendment, but which had never been devolved, specifically land and police powers.  A more hopeful reading included the apportioning of subjects in the concurrent list entirely to the provinces, rather than continuing to share them between both the centre and provinces with the central government monopolizing them.  This would have gone at least part of the way to meeting the TNA’s demands regarding the enhanced devolution of power as a solution to the ethnic conflict.


While the government is now saying that no land or police powers can be granted, the TNA is demanding them and also calling for the re-merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces.  The gulf that exists between the positions of the government and TNA can become paralyzing, which is what appears to be the current situation.  There is no movement forward that is bringing the parties together.  On repeated occasions the government has shown its political strength with the ethnic majority by winning elections in a convincing manner in most parts of the country.  But it has been failing to do that in the Tamil-majority parts of the Northern and Eastern provinces where the TNA has won. 

There can be no forward movement in terms of ethnic reconciliation without these two parties reaching agreement.  The government’s latest proposal for forward movement is to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee that would enable all parties in Parliament to discuss the issue of a political solution that would strengthen the unity of the country.  However, the TNA sees in this an insincere effort of the government to delay negotiations with it regarding a political solution, even though the government has agreed to a time frame of six months.  It has so far not agreed to join in the deliberation of the Parliamentary Select Committee.

There are some confidence building actions that the two sides can be urged to take on by those with an intention of fostering a meeting of minds.  The government has recently demonstrated its willingness to engage in confidence building by lifting the State of Emergency.  The fact that the government ended rule by emergency regulations in the run-up to the meetings of the Human Rights Council in Geneva suggests that the government is sensitive to the demands emanating from a section of the international community with regard to normalization after the end of the war. Most of the countries that are putting pressure on Sri Lanka had a tacit understanding with the Sri Lankan government that the war’s end would bring normalization and a political solution.

A confidence building measure that the government could take with respect to moving forward in the political process would be to announce the date for the conduct of provincial council elections for the Northern Province.  So far it is only the people of the Northern Province who have been deprived of the benefits of provincial level devolution.  They need to enjoy the same rights and privileges in respect of devolution of power that the people in the rest of the country enjoy.  The establishment of a Northern Provincial Council would also enable the people there to experience the workings of the devolved system and clarify their priorities.  It would permit the future Chief Minister of the Northern Province to sit with colleagues from the other provinces in the Chief Ministers Conference and provide them with partnership, insight and leadership.


There will be a very important and unique contribution that a future Northern Provincial Council can make to the entire scheme of devolution of power in Sri Lanka.  At the present time all the provincial councils are controlled by the government.  This includes the Eastern Provincial Council which is headed by the TMVP, which is a coalition ally of the government.  There is hardly any impetus for reform coming from the present leadership of the provincial councils as none of them would wish to displease the government.  However, in the event of a Northern Provincial Council being established, it will most likely be headed by the TNA.  This would give the TNA an opportunity to provide leadership in regard to improving the system of devolution of powers for all provinces.

A key area of devolution of power where a future Northern Provincial Council could give leadership would be fiscal devolution.  At the present time, the proportion of the national budget that goes towards the functioning of the provincial councils is too small to enable them to do anything much more than pay salaries and maintain the infrastructure they already have.  This is why teachers and parents of schools that are on the provincial list are glad when the central government takes them over as national schools.  They believe that they will get more resources through the central government than through the provincial council.  This imbalance needs to be changed for the devolution of power to become effective.

Unfortunately, instead of empowering the provincial councils by providing them with more resources, the government has been debilitating them. The last budget saw the internal fund-raising capacity of the provincial councils further weakened when the Business Turnover Tax was removed from their purview.  This taxing power was transferred to the central government. There is a need for leadership from within the provincial councils themselves to demand more fiscal devolution. This can be the confidence building task of a future Northern Provincial Council, if and when it is established. There is the possibility of getting across-the-board support from all provincial councils for fiscal devolution which will be good for national unity and for the effective functioning of devolved government.

Dispossessing And Disempowering The People By Tisaranee Gunasekara

make us development orphans”. A slogan at the September 6th protest against Rajapaksa land-grabbing
The Rajapaksa plan to evict almost 70,000 poor families from Colombo and sell/lease their lands to favoured bidders has been put on the backburner – until the Colombo Municipal Council election is over. A protest which took place last week demonstrated that land-grabbing is not the exclusive problem of Colombo’s poor. With actual and potential victims belonging to all ethnic and religious groups, from both urban and rural areas, land-grabbing by the state in the name of national security and development has become a truly Sri Lankan malaise.
The demonstrators, farmers and fishermen, clergy and environmentalists, highlighted a plethora of issues: Kalpitiya islets leased to tourism-promoters, endangering the livelihoods of traditional fishing-communities; large-scale land expropriation in the East to build hotels, a navy camp and a power station; a sea-plane project involving 20 inland reservoirs which can devastate fishing and farming communities and the environment; maize and sugar cane cultivation in Uva Wellassa; banana cultivation in Somawathiya; threats to Sinharaja and the Knuckles Range…  Story after story of dispossession, deprivation and displacement; every one of them resulting from a politico-economic strategy which regards ordinary Lankans, the people, as insignificant, unimportant and expendable.
The initial manifestations of this dismissive attitude towards ordinary Lankans happened in the context of the Fourth Eelam War. The myth of a humanitarian operation was premised on denying and belittling the very heavy price ordinary people in the war-zone were compelled to pay. The war was waged, by both the LTTE and the regime, nominally for and on behalf of the Tamil people but in actuality as if they were a negligible quantity, a bagatelle deserving no consideration.
The latest batch of Wikileaks cables details the briefing given by the UN Secretary General to the Co-Chair Ambassadors in Colombo, subsequent to his May 2009 visit to Sri Lanka. In response to a question about conditions in the Menik Farm, Mr. Ban stated that “his visit there had been ‘very sobering and very sad’. He said the conditions were worse than those at any other camps, including in Dafur and Goma that he had visited, and noted that he had seen signs of malnutrition. Asked about his flyover over the No Fire Zone, Ban described seeing ‘complete devastation’…” (Colombo 000567). The fact that Mr. Ban decided not to make his explosive observations public proves that he has no axe to grind. His obvious intent was to work with rather than against the Rajapaksas. Thus his understatedly anguished remarks about the human costs of the war carry weight and conviction.
The indifference to human cost, the lack of transparency, the no-holds-barred maximalism which characterised the Rajapaksa war-effort are percolating into the South and becoming key features of the regime’s economic strategy. This transposition is evident in the way the regime is expropriating land, secretively, often using extra-legal means and with no consideration towards local communities. The manner in which hundreds of acres were reportedly given to the American company Dole for banana cultivation is an excellent case in point. The state entities which legally own the land were not informed; approval of the Central Environment Authority was not obtained; environmental laws were violated; the entire exercise carried out in secrecy, using the army.
The past of the Tamils is the future of the Sinhalese and Muslims.
Arbitrary Rule
The regime’s unwillingness to acknowledge, let alone deal with, the politico-psychological and security concerns of the minorities has rendered a consensual peace impossible. By ruling out political reforms (including devolution) the regime has opted for a compulsive peace, imposed on a discontented citizenry at gun point. A key adverse consequence of this path is the impossibility of reducing defence costs, despite the victorious ending of the war. Keeping people quiescent through fear requires large armies, more camps and more weapons, all of which cost money which should have been spent on development.
The high defence costs coupled with the Rajapaksa penchant for extravagant mega-projects (the bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games) have created a financial bind. Selling/leasing lands is an easy way of bridging the growing gap between income and expenditure, at least until the lands run out.
The sustainability of a politico-economic strategy which ignores popular concerns and harms popular interests requires repressive laws. A regime which is wedded to a strategy of dispossessing and burdening people will need force for survival, sooner or later. The Rajapaksas, despite their current undoubted popularity, know this. Thus after ending the Emergency (to pacify the international community), they moved seamlessly to introduce new repressive laws in its place. A proclamation, issued last week by the President under the Public Security Ordinance, enables the deployment of the armed forces to maintain law and order in the entire country. Parliamentary approval has been sought to extend a Bill which allows a suspect to be detained for 48 hours without being produced before a magistrate.
In an even more ominous move, the defence authorities have decided to criminalise public protests against police or the armed forces, ipso facto. According to the military spokesman, “It is wrong for civilians to attack an army camp or police station. Those who do that are terrorists. We will take action against them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act… It doesn’t have to be Tamil Tigers. But anybody who attacks the military is a terrorist”  (BBC – 4.9.2011).
When the villagers surrounded the Angulana police station demanding justice for two local lads murdered in police custody, the authorities had the suspects arrested and indicted for murder. This August, the court returned a guilty verdict. Had the new ‘regulation’ been in place in August 2009, the protesting villagers could have been labelled and condemned as terrorists while the uniformed murderers escaped scot-free. In Panama, in the Eastern province, Sinhala and Muslim villagers are being dispossessed of their traditional lands to build a new navy camp. The army is reportedly providing security to Dole in Somawathiya. The new regulation would enable the authorities to stifle future dissent against these and other unjust and injurious deeds by imposing the terrorist label on them. Even non-political civic dissent is anathematic to the Rajapaksas.
Recently the weeping-willow trees down one side of Independence Avenue were felled, reportedly because they are a foreign-species! This deed, done in the name of beautifying Colombo and patriotism, indicates that nothing abusive, irrational or excessive is alien to the Ruling-Siblings. That is why the final round of LG polls should be used to install some checks on Rajapaksa-power, by denying the UPFA the control of as many councils as possible, especially Colombo.
The Rajapaksas want to impose their writ and will on Colombo, unhampered by popular opinion and unimpeded by elected local authorities, via a puppet-mayor. It is a role handmade for Milinda Moragoda, who transited smoothly from an arch-supporter of the Tiger-appeasement process (hailed by LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham in his book ‘War and Peace’ as ‘congenial’ and demonstrably willing to ‘find creative solutions’) into a Rajapaksa-acolyte. With such a congenial and willing mayor, the Rajapaksa-juggernaut can resume, flattening Colombo’s poor and even the middle classes in its path.

Article was taken from www.Sunday

Friday, September 9, 2011

Internship Experience at the National Peace Council

It was only recently that I concluded a two month long internship at the National Peace Council. Despite having interned in several other organizations before, I can safely say that this was the most productive interning experience that I hitherto ever had. This was a result of two reasons. The first reason was that I found myself starting to become passionate about matters pertaining to peace and conflict as I started learning more and more about the field. The Second was that the staff at NPC instilled confidence in me, by assigning me serious responsibilities which if not carried accordingly would have had unfavorable implications. One of these was being nominated to be an election monitor with the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections organization for the local council elections held in the Northern Province after a period of thirty years. I really appreciated the sense of self ownership that I was provided with over the work that I completed during my time at NPC.

What really prompted me to join the National Peace Council instead of other notable Civil Society organizations was the credible reputation that the institution had built up since 1996. The NPC has witnessed both the high and lows of the violent military conflict in Sri Lanka establishing its presence nationally through its peace work all around the country. I also felt that it was reasonably successful at evading any nomenclature that is usually tossed around at times of war for political expediency. Unlike the traditional perception of NGO’s in Sri Lanka; of them being proxies of Western nations, NPC strives to walk on a thin line by taking into consideration both the concerns of the international community as well as ruling governments when conceptualizing the nature of its work. This enhances their credibility and makes it all the more likely that they are able to constructively engage with ruling governments to usher in change.

One reason why it has been able to achieve this is because of its staff that hails from different backgrounds - whether it be professors, retired local council statesmen or youth leaders. Each staff member has his/her area of expertise. While there are those who are able to write grant proposals to please the most prestigious of donors like the European Union, NPC also possess a strong team that is capable of mobilizing the masses into community action. This is largely due to their years of work at the grass roots level in various communities across the country. It also has a vibrant media wing which publishes its own news paper by the name of “Thulawa.” The NPC is a highly networked civil society organization that has working relationships with Government Ministries to more localized religious leaders - an organization free of a partisan agenda.

I strongly advise any prospective students looking to intern during vacations to strongly consider NPC as a potential internship location. I ended up learning so much, thanks largely to their willingness to send me on field trips, willingness to assign me tasks that tested my research skills and my ability to engage with a diverse staff that shared differing viewpoints. In addition to that, any intern is likely to benefit from the copious amounts of knowledge and experience of the renown Harvard educated Dr. Jehan Perera who has become a must have interview for any student studying the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. NPC’s large national presence from Jaffna to Galla means that it is more than likely that you would be dispatched to remote areas of the country, making an internship experience at NPC also a great way to travel across the country.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thulawa Newspaper

Education reform with a vision - by Sumudu W. Watugala

(September 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) As Sri Lankan society emerges from decades of violence and mismanaged government, our first priority must be in ensuring that the foundation we lay to rebuild the country is as strong as possible. With this in mind, our foremost focus should be on strengthening and reforming our education system because in the long-run, whatever strides we make in terms of sustainable development and true political stability will follow from policies set today in this regard. Our education system is based on the principle of creating equal opportunity for all Sri Lankans, regardless of socio-economic background. This is the cornerstone for progress and stability within an open, free and democratic society. To maintain this philosophy, we need to strive towards expanding access to the best possible education for all Sri Lankans, while maintaining high standards and meritocratic principles within our schools and universities.

With the government’s stated resolve of making Sri Lanka the knowledge hub of Asia, we all expect that it will bring farsighted reforms to our education system in the best manner possible. However, we still need to analyze closely some of the views expressed by the current administration and those who support its policy vision for the future. Any reform should not focus solely on the economic productivity of graduates, but also consider the need in a balanced society for clear-thinking individuals with intellectual depth. Urgent action is required to address the fact that currently less than 5% of school graduates can be accommodated in the public university system each year, and Sri Lanka experiences continual major shortages of qualified professionals in areas such as medicine. Most Sri Lankans who closely observe the education system understand that we are in a state of disequilibrium: many graduates are produced in certain disciplines who find it difficult to find suitable employment, while certain sectors of our economy experience severe shortages of graduate candidates with the right set of qualifications and skills.

The recent university trade union action put our academics in a difficult position. Perhaps the government was counting on a prolonged action serving to turn popular support against even their legitimate concerns. It certainly seemed that way as the government prevaricated and made no sincere concessions in order to resolve issues before the impasse could affect G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination marking. Many academics recognized an extended hiatus would only serve to further erode the already diminished confidence Sri Lankans have in our public education system as a viable means to prepare future generations to succeed.

Several university academics I have spoken to point out that the government appears to have ample funds for discretionary spending as displayed by the government’s extravagant bid for the Commonwealth Games, where if the bid were to succeed, billions more will have to be spent. There are numerous examples of such vanity projects and misplaced priorities when allocating our limited resources. This is doubly disappointing to see in this administration, which was elected with unprecedented popular support and high expectations in order to govern in an environment with more stability than we have experienced for generations. Is the current administration wasting the small window of opportunity we have to set the path Sri Lanka will travel for decades to come?

Importance of public education in Sri Lanka

Since independence, public education has served as the great social equalizer in Sri Lanka, and remains our main mechanism for social mobility. In a country whose socialist and closed economic policies have never been particularly pro-business, we don’t have many stories of self-made millionaires who rose from impoverished backgrounds and rose as leaders of business through sheer hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit. What we do have in abundance are stories of thousands of talented and hardworking Sri Lankans rising from abject poverty or harsh family environments to become pillars of our communities with the help of our public education. How many such teachers, doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, judges, academics, policy-makers, and other professionals do you know who overcame impoverished backgrounds, and possibly even ethnic and gender discrimination extant in other areas of our society? We know of so many such embodiments of the Sri Lankan Dream, who have reached a level of personal and professional excellence, together with financial independence that enabled them to support their extended families and contribute positively to Sri Lanka’s society as a whole. Hence anyone who, without differentiation, calls everyone produced by our education system "kaala-kanni" (as a cabinet minister did recently) is deluding himself.

We should not lose sight of how truly amazing it is that this system survived in a developing country that was mired in civil unrest for decades. Such universal access to education is not available in India, Pakistan, or even China. Our current system of drawing the "best" students through scholarships and competitive exams into "good" national schools is admirable in its conception, even if arguably still somewhat flawed in its execution. For instance, there are differing views on the validity of how the merit of students is determined and what benefits, if any, they end up receiving after leaving their local schools and gaining entry to the best national schools. These flaws are no reason to abandon free education. They could and should be resolved expeditiously, by introducing well-planned, intelligent reforms to the existing system.

The access every Sri Lankan child has to a good education, potentially the best available in the island, is something that should be protected and further expanded; indeed, it is something that should be fought for vigorously. The ancient Kingdoms of Sri Lanka may have had 2500 years of wondrous and enigmatic history, but post-Independence, I do not exaggerate if I say our young Republic created one wonder we could consistently be proud of, all through the unspeakable violence and despair of the past decades. This one constant beacon of hope has remained the possibility that any young Sri Lankan, through his hard work and developed ability could change his circumstances. This is one way in which we surpassed even our ancient history. Admittedly, there have been severe disparities in the hardships faced by different Sri Lankans depending on socio-economic status and geographic location, and we should continually attempt to mitigate these. But at least for the most talented or the most focused and hardworking young Sri Lankans, there has always been a potential pathway to succeed.

Urgent need for intelligent reforms

For this pathway to remain viable there is urgent need for reform, and not just academic salary reform. We know that the quality of public education has declined so much that the current system is not comparable to how well-placed Sri Lankan education was in the 1950’s and 1960’s relative to the rest of the world. The reasons for this are varied and the blame lies in decades of shortsightedness by both politicians and academics in this country. Will we ever be able to look forward and plan for the best outcome decades in advance?

What we have seen is that the intransigence of successive Sri Lankan governments makes even the most straightforward reform a political, long drawn-out battle with uncertain and unwelcome outcomes. It is unclear when we shall have the will and vision to discuss and implement deep reforms without resorting to self-serving opportunism, hyperbole, and even violence.However, without waiting for the politicians to come around, there are many areas in which our academics themselves can take immediate steps to improve and modernize university education in Sri Lanka. It is great to fight for autonomy and independence, but will our academics use this autonomy to once again promote the dogmatic political agendas of certain elements, to the detriment of the entire country, or will they organize to fight for the freedom for honest intellectual endeavor? Academics already have the power to implement many essential changes to the current university system, without any political intervention. Indeed, it will be better in the long-run if there is no governmental influence in implementing most of these reforms. The more our academic institutions are decoupled from the vagaries of the prevailing political regime, the more likely our public universities will survive in the future as respected and stable institutions of learning.

Care needs to be taken to ensure that we do not sacrifice quality for quantity. There is urgent need for the creation of an apolitical consortium of academics and professionals who have the credibility to set national guidelines for academic standards and ethics, and assess the quality of degree programs, published works, and journals produced by Sri Lankan universities. Most of these are currently dependent entirely on the intellectual honesty and personal integrity of individual academics, and receive little or no independent oversight.

Students will benefit greatly if different departments and degree programs are ranked by the quality of its research and student placement in industry or graduate study, and if this information is publicly available (as is the case in other countries with successful higher education systems). Universities need to foster transparency and promote public understanding, something that could be easily accomplished in this age through a stronger online presence. As publicly-funded institutions, universities, faculties, departments, and degree programs need to maintain updated, professional websites with open access. Many of the best universities in the world make their course material available freely online, to contribute to the advancement of human knowledge.

More needs to be done to foster high-level academic publication in Sri Lanka, especially if we wish to become an international hub of learning. We urgently need an organization that will promote and set the standard for peer-reviewed academic publication in Sri Lanka. For this, our academics could organize to create an independent Sri Lanka University Press. We can look to respected organizations such as Harvard University Press, MIT Press, or Oxford/Cambridge University Press as models of how advanced academic publication should be supported. A major part of the work of such an institution would be to rapidly update academic literature available in national languages in Sri Lanka, and making translated works available to faculty and students at cost.

There is a clear need to modernize core curriculums. On this front, there needs to be emphasis on internships for students in research and industry, expanded access to computers to students of all faculties, and exposure to multidisciplinary research projects. Universities urgently need to do more to develop and offer students core courses in scientific writing and communication, which is a key factor in the development of a student’s analytical thinking and research success.

There is little basis for our academics to oppose the creation of private universities (the arguments related to the loss of foreign exchange and the loss of future graduates alone convince most people of this). Instead, our academics would better serve education in Sri Lanka by taking the initiative to assess and set the standards for all academic institutions in the country, both public and private. We need more intelligent debate on how public and private universities can co-exist to the benefit of all Sri Lankans.

None of these ideas are particularly controversial; nor can there be any political will that opposes academics organizing in this manner. What will require objectivity and foresight from our politicians are in the essential reforms urgently required to restructure current university administrative and funding structures.

In all this, we must understand Sri Lanka and the world are much altered since the decades immediately following Independence. The lines of inequality that need to be addressed by the government have changed dimensions, the options open to the average Sri Lankan have expanded, and what is required from our public education system is different. What we hope for and should work towards is the right balance between what is popular, what is ideal, and what is ultimately possible.

There is nothing wrong with looking at the world and learning from what has worked well and what has failed for the best institutions of higher learning in history. We can learn from what happened in ancient Nalanda, as well as from the evolution of the best universities existing in the world today. There is simply no excuse for repeating the mistakes of the past