Teachers plan further protests
[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 July 1999, 10:39 GMT]
Northeast province teachers and principals continued their action against what they as a discriminatory pay award for the third day running today.
Seven teaching unions are protesting against a decision make by the authorities to use part of a special treasury grant of Rs.150 million to pay the risk allowance and salary arrears of Sinhala teachers in the Amparai zone in full. The remainder of the grant was to be shared amongst the Muslim and Tamil teachers in the rest of the province, who would also be paid in instalments rather than receive a lump sum payment as the Amparai zone teachers did.
The participants from all the Northeast educational zones, excluding the Amparai zone, surrounded the provincial education ministry in Trincomalee.
The secretary of the Tamil Teachers Union, Mr. T. Mahasivam, said that the unions planned to close all schools in the Northeast and protest in front of the 23 regional education offices on Thursday and Friday.
Mr. Mahasivam said that the Examination Director has been in telephone contact with him today urging the union not to boycott the G.C.E. A.L examinations due to commence on the 2. of August.
The director is also believed to have assured Mr. Mahasivam that he would provide assistance to resolve the salary dispute.
Mr. Mahasivam in return told the director that if the examination authorities attempted to hold G.C.E. A.L. examinations in all other areas excluding the Northeast, the union would file a court case to get a stay order.