Bishop raises concern over education in East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 September 2006, 20:53 GMT]
Rt.Rev.Dr.Kingsley Swampillai, the Bishop of Trincomalee-Batticaloa diocese, and Thurairatnasingham, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parlimentarian for Trincomalee, brought to the urgent attention of Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Minister for Diaster Management and Human Rights, the dire state of education of children in several villages in the East, and the difficulties faced by people relocated by war.

The Minister was told that 59 schools located in LTTE-controlled Mutur East, Verugal, Eechilampattu, Vakarai and Kathiraveli have not been functioning for the past two months and have opened for third term. The Bishop further told the Minister that 32 schools have been completely destroyed during the military action to capture Sampoor and urged him to take immediate steps to allow normal functioning of the affected schools.

The Bishop told the Minister that the SriLankan Army (SLA) was attempting to force the people displaced from army-controlled Muttur South to return to their homes. "Displaced people are undergoing acute mental trauma. Those who are not ready to move back to their homes should not be forced to do so," the Bishop told Mr Samarasinghe.

Talking to Tamilnet, Thurairatnasingham M.P said: “In Mutur East area the schools in Sampoor and Eechliampattu have not been functioning since last April. This was due to the displacement of people due to aerial bombardments and shelling. Further, the schools in the border areas in Tricomalee and Batticaloa district have also not been functioning for more than two months. 23 schools in Mutur East, 20 in Kathiraveli and 16 in Verugal, Eeechilampattu areas have not been functioning.

"The education of children had been badly affected, and most of the students have been displaced and are livng in welfare centers and jungles.

"I have complained about this situation to minister Samarasinghe. I have also expressed my concern and condemnation regarding the attempts by the army trying to force the civilians to return to Mutur South," the parliamentarian said.

 

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