Teachers fury over discrimination

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 July 1999, 19:27 GMT]
The Governor of the North East Province (NEPC), Major General (retd) Asoka Jayawardana, today prevented provincial officials from banking a treasury cheque for 150 million rupees, when several teacher-trade unions protested to decision of Education Ministry to first pay risk allowance and arrears in full to Sinhala teachers in the Amparai area and then share the remainder amongst Tamil and Muslim teachers in other districts, NEPC sources said.

The North East province consists of 24 education zones, including Ampara.

The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union today informed the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge by telegram that the Minister's decision to pay Sinhala teachers in full while sharing what was left amongst Tamil and Muslim teachers, is a case of outright discrimination.

Mr.Mahasivam, the CTTU's General Secretary appealed to the President to treat people from all communities alike.

Mr.Mahasivam appealed to the Minister of Education and Higher Education to reconsider his decision of paying allowance and arrears to Sinhala teachers in full and to Tamils and Muslims in instalments.

He further informed the President and Minister that CTTU would boycott G.C.E. A/L/ examination duties if equality was not observed in the matter.

Following a spate of protests from all parts of the NEP, the Governor instructed his officials to withdraw the cheque for 150 million rupees from education authorities and instructed that it be kept uncashed in the provincial treasury until dispute is sorted out, NEPC sources said.

The Deputy Minister told delegation of CTTU last Wednesday that the Treasury had released 150 million rupees to be paid as risk allowance and arrears to teachers and principals in the north east province.

But on Thursday, Minister of Education told a deputation of teacher unions from Ampara education zone that they would be paid in full from the allocated Rs 150 million and the Tamil and Muslim teachers in the zones in north east province would be paid from the balance in instalments.


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