Volunteer teachers picket demanding permanent appointment
[TamilNet, Monday, 03 March 2003, 19:02 GMT]
More than two hundred volunteer teachers from Batticaloa and Amparai
districts Monday launched a picketing campaign in front of the office of
the North East Provincial Ministry of Education in Trincomalee demanding
that they should be made permanent immediately as given assurance earlier, sources
The Peoples Alliance (PA) government in 2000 agreed to give permanent appointments to one
thousand volunteer teachers to ease the shortage of teachers in the
northeast. Volunteer teacher sources said that the new government is now
dragging its feet without fulfilling the promise, sources said.
The picketers blocked the main entrance of the
offices of the provincial education ministry and the Provincial Director of
Education.T he police rushed to the scene as the employees of the ministry
could not enter the ministry office. Police
immediately ordered the picketers to leave the area. As the response from
picketers was negative, the Headquarters Police Inspector ordered his men
to forcibly remove the picketers from the place, sources said.
The police took one volunteer teacher for questioning when they refused to
remove the blockade in front of the education ministry office, sources
said. Later volunteer teachers dispersed from the main entrance of the
ministry office and started their picketing on the other side of the road,
Around noon Monday a delegation of the Ampara-Batticaloa Volunteer Teachers
Union met the provincial secretary for NE Ministry of Education
Mr.R.Thiagalingam and placed their demand. Provincial Secretary told the
delegation that he had briefed his counterpart in Colombo about the plight
of volunteer teachers in northeast.
A representative of the volunteer teachers told media persons later that
their agitation would continue till they received permanent appointment.
In the evening Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan and
National List parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham visited the scene
where volunteer teachers picket. Later Mr.Sampanthan said he would take up
this matter with the Prime Minister shortly to find a solution, sources said.