Council staff strike over office language

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 November 2001, 12:14 GMT]
At least four hundred employees of the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) in Trincomalee went on a strike Monday morning demanding that the administrative language of the Council should be Tamil, as specified by the 16th amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, a statement issued by the North East Provincial Government Employees Union (NEPGEU) said.

Mr.E.Thayalan, President of the Union said that at present the administration of the NEPC is being done in English and Sinhala languages. Instructions have been issued to do administration in these two languages and not in Tamil.

Section 22/1 of the 16th Amendment of the Constitution states: "Sinhala and Tamil languages of the administration throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be the language of administration and be used for the maintenance of public records and the transaction of all business by public institutions of all the provinces of Sri Lanka other than the North East Province where Tamil shall be the administrative language."

Strikers, including women employees, were seen in front of the office of the Chief Secretary of the NEPC holding placards. Due to the strike, normal activity in provincial ministries and departments in Trincomalee have been disrupted, officials said.


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