SLA, police expel picketing unemployed graduates in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 July 2008, 13:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and police in Jaffna expelled Tuesday around 10:00 a.m. the unemployed graduates picketing at the front entrance of Jaffna Main Educational complex at Nalloor in a token protest for the second day, demanding immediate employment. The SLA and the police told the picketers that they will not permit the picketing and directed them to approach Douglas Devananda, the Sri Lankan Minister and the leader of the paramilitary-cum-political party, Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), if they had any grievances.
More than 300 unemployed graduates had launched a token protest Monday around 7:00 a.m in front of Jaffna Main Educational complex in Nalloor preventing the officials entering the Education Offices, in a demand for immediate employment.
Though the protesting unemployed graduates told the armed personnel that they had informed the relevant authorities of their peaceful protest beforehand, the SLA troops and policemen intimidated them saying that any activity of this kind cannot be allowed, the sources added.
As soon as the picketers were expelled around 10:00 a.m. the officials of the Jaffna Zonal Director’s office and Additional Provincial Director for Northern Province were able to enter their offices.
The interview that was to be held from Monday to select a certain number of unemployed graduates for teaching posts was held Tuesday by the officials of the Northern Province Education Ministry who had come to Jaffna to conduct the interview.
The picketers had launched the token protest Monday demanding all unemployed graduates in Jaffna district to be employed by the government in its various departments.
The graduates had said that they were prepared to launch a continuous fast protest from Tuesday if the authorities were not ready to meet their demands.
The Main Educational Complex in Jaffna consists of Jaffna Zonal Director’s Office and the Additional Provincial Director for Northern Province Office and is located at Muththirai Chanththi, Nalloor in Jaffna.