The Universities in Sri Lanka came to a standstill on Wednesday the 28th as a result of a continuous strike by the non-academic staff. The non academic staff unions have decided to take trade union action following a discussion with the minister of education and higher education.

The unions are demanding the implementation of a pension scheme, rectification of anomalies in their salary scales and an effective and common administration for the universities among others..The ministry of education in a statement issued said that most of the demands have been met and the strike by the unions is unfair.

In the mean time to make matters worse the government has introduced a bill to amend the university act. The new bill if it becomes law will give additional powers to the minister in appointing and removing vice chancellors and the university councils will have a few members of parliament among its members.

Sri Lanka has not been able to evolve an indigenous university system and the universities have tried to follow the British and the American systems without much success.The academics have failed in their duties to give leadership in research and scholarship and many have become indifferent to the politicians playing a bigger and bigger role in the universities.