Unemployed graduates fast outside Batticaloa Education Office

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 June 2008, 12:05 GMT]
A one day token fasting campaign by hundreds of unemployed graduates organized by the Association of Graduates of Eastern province Tuesday outside the Zonal education office of Batticaloa district effectively stopped functioning of the office from 7:00 till 11.00a.m, sources in Batticaloa said.

The token fasting campaign was organized to protest against an examination being held to select those who score the highest marks among the graduate applicants who had already completed either a 3 -year General Degree program or a 4-year Special Degree program, and also to emphasize that all the graduates should be provided employment.

“Of the 1500 graduated between 2004 and 2007, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) said that only some of them could be provided with employment due to financial constraints. The Education office recently conducted competitive examinations to select the candidates for employment.

Since 22 May interviews were held for 1200 applicants who scored more than eighty marks and they are to be employed in the near future, a spokesman for the Eastern province Graduates Associations told TamilNet.

The spokesman added that “The Association requested the Mayor of Batticaloa and Eastern Province Council (EPC) two week ago regarding providing employment for our members at the earliest possible date. The Mayor and the EPC councilors responded that the graduate appointments will be made after the first sittings of EPC, but though the second sittings of the council are about to take place no constructive action has been taken regarding this.

“As a result of this inaction, we were compelled to resort to this action and more than one hundreds graduates from Ampaa’rai, Trincomalee and Batticaloa took part in this campaign to voice protest.

“We spent three to four years in the University to obtain our Degree and to conduct a selective examination for us even after five years after graduation is an act of challenging the Universities. This situation should change and each and every graduate in the East should be employed.

“Meanwhile, Pillaiyan, Chief Minister of EPC, intervened and promised us over the phone that he has taken the necessary action to provide appointments for our members and requested us to suspend the protest to enable the activities of the Zonal Educational office to be continued without interruption.

“However , our association had responded that we are no longer prepared to accept such promises and told the CM that we will drop our protest only if a written guarantee is provided and he agreed to our request," the spokes person added.

A large number of police personnel were deployed as a security measure.


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