SLMM guarantee needed to re-open Muttur east schools-Principals

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 12:24 GMT]
Around eight thousand students are not attending classes since the closure of eighteen government schools in the Liberation Tigers held Muttur east in the Trincomalee district since the three pronged attack launched by the Sri Lankan government forces in the last week of April following the suicide bomb attack on the army commander in Colombo. The artillery fire continued during the second week of June following Kebbitigollawa blast has forced them to continue the closure of schools, said Principals of Muttur east schools in a memorandum sent to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Tuesday.

All schools in the island reopened Monday for the second academic term but not the schools in the Muttur east due to fear of air strike and artillery fire from the Sri Lankan troops, sources said.

"Hence we need guarantee from the SLMM to reopen schools that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) will not order air strikes and artillery fire on Muttur east villages in future in any event," said the memorandum sent to the SLMM based in Trincomalee district, sources said.

Two schools were destroyed and fifteen Tamil civilians including children and elders were killed in the air strike launched by the Sri Lankan troops on April 25 and 26 following Colombo suicide bomb attack. Since then large number of families with their children have sought refuge elsewhere and have not returned to their villages due to fear that the government forces launch air strike and artillery fire at any time. Their fear has been proved correct when the Sri Lankan troops launched artillery fire soon after the Kebbitigollawa blast last week.

"We are not in a position to reopen schools for the second academic term as parents fear to send their children to schools anymore until a firm assurance are given by the Government of Sri Lanka through the SLMM that no aerial strike and artillery fire attack would be launched on Muttur east villages in future. Hence we appeal to the SLMM to contact the GOSL and provide an assurance to us to reopen schools," said School Principals in the joint memorandum to the SLMM.


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