Jaffna Civil group appeals for conducive educational climate

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 October 2006, 00:04 GMT]
Prominent civil society members led by Jaffna Bishop, Rev. Fr. Thomas Saundaranayagam, at a press meet held Saturday at 10.30 a.m at the Bishop's House, appealed to the President of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka security forces to consider favorably demands of the Jaffna District Student Federation (JDSF), and to create conditions conducive for education in Jaffna, civil society sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna students are to return attending schools after the Civil group convinced the JDSF to call off the 3-week long boycott in a conference held Wednesday.

Bishop Saundaranayagam said his group has sent a memorandum to the President pointing to the fairness of students' demands and that his office should impress on the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna Commanding Officer to implement them.

The demands put forward by the students are:
  • Intimidation and harassment by Sri Lanka security forces towards the students in the Peninsula must be stopped,
  • To create a situation conducive for the students to learn peacefully, the curfew should be lifted immediately and artillery bases and military points located near the schools should be removed,
  • Interference of the Forces in the school administration should be stopped, patrol and positioning of the Forces in proximity of schools should be avoided, cordon and search operations and imposing sudden curfews in the school hours also should be avoided,
  • Sri Lanka security forces and paramilitaries should stop killings and kidnappings, and
  • All the roads that are closed for the public but used by the Sri Lanka security forces should be opened for public use.
Members of the Peoples Committee for Peace and Goodwill in Jaffna, Former Vice Chancellor Prof. P Balasundarampillai, Ref. Fr, Selvarajah, Mr. S. Paramanathan and Rev. Fr. Selvarasa participated in the press meet.

The issues of allowing Tellipallai Union College which had fallen under the newly extended SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) to function in its original place, and relocating the Internally Displace People (IDPs) presently occupying school buildings were also examined in the meeting.


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