CTTU holds strike, demonstrations in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 March 2003, 18:03 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Union Teachers’ Union Tuesday held a one-day token strike in the North-East and claimed that their strike was a success as almost all Tamil medium schools in the North-East province did not function as teachers struck work and students did not attend classes.

The CTTU also held demonstrations in the North-East. Though demonstrations were allowed in Jaffna and Batticaloa, the Police in Trincomalee did not allow a request by the General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union, Mr.T.Mahasivam, to hold a demonstration in front of the office of the North-East Provincial Council to hand over a memorandum to the Chief Secretary at the end of the one-day token strike by Tamil medium teachers, sources said

However, Mr. Mahasivam, accompanied by the President of the CTTU, Mr.S.Thandauthapani, handed over the memorandum to the Chief Secretary, Mr.S.Rangarajah, at the latter's office at about 5 pm, sources said.

All Tamil medium schools in the Jaffna district also did not function Tuesday, education sources said. About three thousand teachers participated at a protest march, which commenced from Vembadi Girls College and arrived at the Jaffna district secretariat by noon Tuesday. A meeting was held later in front of the district secretariat and thereafter, Mr.T.Panchalingam, Secretary of the CTTU, Jaffna district branch, handed memoranda to the Additional Government Agent, Ms. Pathiniammal Thilanayagam Paul, addressed to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education. Unemployed graduates and volunteer teachers alsoparticipated in the demonstration, sources in Jaffna said.

The CTTU called the strike in support of several demands put forward to the Minister of Human Development, Education and Cultural Affairs. The demands included that one thousand volunteer teachers selected after interview should be given permanent appointment, the State armed forces camped near schools in the North-East should be removed in order to bring normalcy in the lives of students and teachers and enable them to attend schools without fear, and to establish a Tamil medium unit of the National Institute of Education in the North-East, CTTU sources said.

 

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