Volunteer teachers hold protest march in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Friday, 25 August 2006, 22:39 GMT]
Batticaloa district volunteer teachers who have been on a hunger strike and picketing in front of the zonal education office on rotation basis for the last three weeks demanding permanent appointment held a protest procession Friday to draw the attention of religious leaders of all faiths, politicians, government officers in support of their demands. The agitation campaign, which was earlier called off following the announcement by Colombo, with the promise that interviews would take place between August 1 and August 8, resumed, as there was no interview letter issued by the Sri Lankan Education Ministry.
"The volunteer teachers have again started their protest hunger strike as the Education Ministry failed to send interview letters all volunteer teachers according to regulations," said S.Nanthakumar, President of Batticaloa District Volunteer Teachers Association.
Protestors carried placards appealing to the government not to deceive volunteer teachers and to expedite granting permanent status to all volunteer teachers. Protestors later handed over memoranda to Batticaloa District Government Agent Mr.C.Punnyamoorthy, Manmunai Divisional Secretary, 233 Brigade Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Trincomalee-Batticaloa Bishop Rt.Rev. Dr.Kingsely Swampillai, Batticaloa education zonal Director and Tamil politicians.
Protest march concluded at the Zonal Education Office via Munai Street, Govinthan Street and Hospital Road. Organizers said their struggle would continue till permanent status is granted to all volunteer teachers.
Zonal Education offices in Kalkudah and Batticaloa did not function since July 12 due to a sit-in-protest held by volunteer teachers.
Mr.Nanthakumar, Association President, said that the protest campaign would continue until education ministry sends interview letters to all volunteer teachers.