Failure to honour talk commitments prompts CTTU action

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 July 1999, 19:50 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has now renewed its call for trade union action, claiming that the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has failed to honour his assurances given during the talks he had with the deputation of the CTTU on June 30.

Following the assurances by the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the CTTU postponed its one day token strike scheduled to be held on July 2 by teachers, principals and non-academic staff serving in schools in the north east province, for two weeks.

Now the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union has decided to stage the one-day token strike on July 19 if the Minister of Education and Higher Education or his deputy failed to meet its deputation for talks in regard to its nine demands, on or before July 14 (Wednesday). A decision to this effect was taken on yesterday at an emergency meeting of the working committee of the CTTU held in Colombo.

The CTTU's general secretary Mr.T.Mahasivam told TamilNet that teachers, principals and non-academic staff in schools in the north east province would stay in their homes on July 19 after sending sick notes. This would be the first step in their trade union action, they propose to launch to win their nine demands.

If the authorities failed to take appropriate steps to fulfil their demands even after the proposed one day token strike on July 19, the CTTU high command is seriously considering of boycotting the forthcoming G.C.E.A/L examination scheduled to commence on August 2nd, as second stage of their trade union action, Mr.Mahasivam added.

The Commissioner of Examinations deploy teachers, principals and non-academic staff working in schools to conduct G.C.E. O/L and A/L exams throughout the island.

The working committee of the CTTU has asked its high command not to go for talks with the Minister of Education and Higher Education after the expiry of the deadline-July 14th, under any circumstances, Mr.Mahasivam said.

Some of the demands of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union are given below:-

The ban imposed on transporting computers, chemicals and other equipment needed for teaching and learning in schools in the Tiger-controlled areas in the norh-east province should be lifted immediately.

Two Tamil text books prepared by the National Institute of Education and published by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education should be withdrawn immediately as these books contain several factual errors and distorted version of the country's history.

Action should be taken to stop appointing principals of other communities to Tamil schools in the country.

All correspondence with Tamil teachers and principals in the seven provinces, excluding the north east, should be conducted in their mother tongue.

Separate teacher-resource centres should be established to train about 15,000 Tamil medium teachers serving outside the north east province.

Action should be taken to fill all vacancies for Tamil medium teachers in schools in the north east province, without delay.

The general secretary of the CTTU has informed the President, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the north-east governor and the Commissioner of Examinations about the ultimatum given to the authorities in regard to the proposed one-day strike on July 19.

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