Sri Lanka continues to disrupt education in Tamil areas

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 June 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government's embargo on the Tamil homelands has starved Tamil schools of books and equipment for many years. Recently UNICEF attempted to alleviate the situation by supplying 3,000 floor mats for the Tamil school children to sit on during lessons. According to reports from Vavuniya, the Sri Lankan government has also stopped these from being delivered, continuing the systematic disruption of Tamil youngsters' education.

The halting of UNICEF's gift to the Tamil schools is another aspect of the Sri Lankan government's blatant racial discrimination. The government has not only disrupted the education system in the Tamil areas, it is not willing to let independent aid agencies assist the schools either. UNICEF has also allocated funds to build temporary school buildings for Tamil school children in the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, but the Sri Lankan government has blocked the work since last year.

Education is cherished in Tamil culture. Tamil parents will bear exceptional hardship to ensure their children are educated to the highest standard possible. This traditional aspect of Tamil culture enabled Tamils to do well under British colonial rule, and successive post-independence Sinhalese governments have deliberately disrupted the education mechanisms in the Tamil homelands.

Tamil schools in the Vanni are suffering heavily under the Sri Lankan government's economic embargo. Tamil schools in the east of the island, whilst not under the same absolute ban on supplies, have been deliberately starved of funds, with many schools running out of equipment, books and even chalk.

Before the Jaffna peninsula was captured by Sri Lankan troops, the peninsula's schools ran out of supplies, and the LTTE civil administration organised the local manufacture of basic stationary, and supplied some equipment, including a small computers purchased abroad or donated by the expatriate Tamil community.

In addition to starving them of equipment, Tamil schools have been bombed and shelled. In some cases, artillery bombardments have been directed at school premises as classes were being conducted. Typically, after a brief pause, in which time anxious parents would have rushed to the area, a few more salvos are fired to inflict more Tamil civilian casualties.

On 22 of September 1995, a Sri Lankan aircraft flew over a Tamil school at Nagerkoil in the Jaffna peninsula. As the Tamil children in their clearly identifiable white uniforms scattered in panic, the aircraft dropped a series of anti -personnel bombs, killing 45 and seriously injuring others.

Doctors from Medecins Sans Frontiers helped to treat the wounded. According to local aid workers, many children died in agony as the Sri Lankan government's embargo had prevented the supply of medicine, including pain killers.

Countless other Tamil schools have been destroyed by Sri Lankan shelling and bombing and in many parts of the Vanni, the classes are being held in the shade of large trees.

When Tamil areas are captured by the Sri Lankan army, new military bases are built in and around the schools thereby cutting of the education of the local Tamil population at a stroke. Many Jaffna schools have been converted into Sri Lankan army barracks.

The foreign media has been banned from the Tamil homelands for nearly two years, and even from Tamil areas the Sri Lankan government claims to have 'liberated'.

Despite the hardships, Tamil school children typically go to extra-ordinary lengths to continue their studies. Private tuition has been a thriving industry for decades in the Tamil areas. Tamil children have continued to sit and do well in the Sri Lankan government administered GCE 'O' and 'A' level examinations.

The LTTE civil administration encourages and assists the education process as much as it can. In addition to winning hearts and minds amongst the Tamil populace, the educated Tamil youth will prove a potent recruitment source in the future.

As in many other countries where racial discrimination has been the fuel for an armed struggle, the most talented Tamil youngsters will find their sole route to success blocked by the Sri Lankan government's discrimination and will turn to the LTTE.

In the 1977 elections, the Tamil people of the island voted overwhelmingly for parties supporting independence from Sri Lanka.


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: