Shifting of May Day is fundamental rights violation - CTU

[TamilNet, Monday, 30 April 2018, 22:40 GMT]
The vice president of Ceylon Teachers Union Mr Theepan Thileeshan Arokianathan said the Sri Lankan State shifting the May Day from May 1st to May 7th this year was a fundamental rights violation. The CTU is joining hands with the Jaffna University Union of Non-Academic Staff, and other grassroots organisations, is marking May Day at the University of Jaffna on May 01st, he said adding that the union has flagged it as a rights violation with the Geneva office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. The Buddhist Vesak day was on April 29th. The following day on Monday was also a public holiday. Denying the right to mark May Day on May 01st, just because it is the third day after the Buddhist Vesak Day, cannot be justified, he said.

Theepan Thileeshan Arokiyanathan
Vice President of CTU Theepan Thileeshan Arokiyanathan
The trend in which Buddhist chief prelates and the Colombo government, which always succumbs to their designs, has only exposed who is in control of the State apparatus. Tamils have witnessed the workings of the ‘foremost place to Buddhism’ clause is in the recent discourse of constitutional proposals, he said.

The concept behind according foremost place to one religion constitutes the institutional bedrock for the Sinhala Buddhist supremacism in the island. It is opposed to the idea of solidarity or coming together of ethnic ideologies based on free will as it imposing and instructing how other communities should conduct their affairs, Mr Arokianathan told TamilNet.

The move is not only discriminative of other communities and identities, but the workers belonging to all cultures, he continued.

Arokianathan condemned the move by the Sinhala Buddhist Establishment to construct Buddhist viharas in an enforcing manner in the North-East.

“This has aggravated the fear of Sinhala Buddhist supremacism among the other ethnicities in the island.”

“The Government, instead of conceiving ways of eradicating the fears prevailing among the Tamil-speaking people and bringing a conducive environment in which the Tamil-speaking people would also be welcoming the peaceful co-existence of Buddhist temples in the North-East, the government is again toeing the line of suppressing others through imposing ethnic and religious supremacism of Sinhala Buddhism,” the vice president of the CTU said.

Tamil people had a clear expectation when the universities in the North and East came into being, and they wanted these institutions to preserve and foster the Tamil language and culture.

These universities have a unique identity and that identity should be determined by the Tamil people in the region.

But, we are witnessing a negative trend today at these universities, which is opposed to these expectations. The act of imposing Sinhala and Buddhist identity in these educational institutions of Tamils has raised alarms to a severe level as never before, he said.

The education curriculum in the island was also reflecting the same trend, he said.

The Northern Provincial Education Ministry has also failed in challenging the paradigm through whatever means and power it has, he said adding that self-criticism was essential for advancement.

May Day notice in Jaffna


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