2ND LEAD (ADDITION)

SL Army appropriates heritage institution in Jaffna for ‘cadet’ training

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 March 2011, 09:13 GMT]
The building of Arya-Dravida Bhasha Abhivrtti Sangam, a heritage institution that was started in Jaffna in the early 20th century was appropriated a few days ago by the occupying SL military to conduct ‘cadet’ training for school students of Jaffna. T. Sadasiva Aiyar, an education officer of the colonial times, started this heritage institution that was conducting Pandit and Bala Pandit courses and examinations. The institution later became a constituent body of the Ceylon government’s education office in the north and thus was inherited by colonial Sri Lanka occupying the country of Eezham Tamils. The occupying SL military now pressed the SL education officials in Jaffna to hand over the building located at Koddadi in the heart of Jaffna city to the military.

The Director of Education for Jaffna, Mrs. Aruleswary Velayutham handed over the building to the SL military on March 8.

During early 20th century the institution was a centre for Sanskrit learning in Jaffna. Scholars of this institution brought out a number of publications including the translations of Kalidasa’s great epics into poetic Tamil.

The Ceylon government recognized the Pandit and Bala Pandit examinations and awards of this institution for the appointment of teachers. The degrees were recognized even in India.

According to a feedback from Kanapathipillai Sachithananthan in Chennai, the Madurai Tamil Sangam simply duplicated the courses and adopted the syllabuses of Arya Dravida Bhasha Viruthi Sangam (ADBVS) and invited scholars from Jaffna to be teachers and examiners. Paandithurai Theavar, the Raja of Ramnad, had close contacts with ADBVS in reviving Tamil Language and Literature education in Pandya region.

The occupying SL military now plans to use the building for a programme called ‘Northern Battalion’ to conscript school students for its ‘cadet’ training, informed sources in Jaffna said.

The SL military is keen in this programme to project to the outside world that it is taking steps to recruit Tamils for the military, the sources further said.

25 students from 25 schools in Jaffna were now recruited.

Military-trained teachers will be functioning in the schools to train the students and later they will be given training at a place Rathkampa in the south.

Obviously, soon there are going to be Sinhala military ‘teachers’ appointed by the occupying military in the leading schools of Jaffna, ‘supervising’ the students and the school administration, said an education official in Jaffna.


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