SL military seizes up to fifty schools in North for quarantine purposes amidst public objections

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 April 2020, 20:05 GMT]
The occupying SL military has seized around fifty schools in the Northern Province in recent days intending to convert these as Quarantine Centres (QCs) sparking protests from the public and educational organisations. People were protesting at Araali in Vadduk-koaddai in Jaffna. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin has condemned the move. However, the SL military continues to relocate the furniture away from the schools and bring people to the seized schools. While there was no identified pattern of COVID-19 spread in Mullaith-theevu, Ki'linochcih and Mannaar districts of the Northern Province as well as the islets off Jaffna, the militarised QCs in large numbers in the midst of densely populated areas have caused fear among the public.

Sinhala soldiers are deployed around the seized facilities making it impossible to find out what was going on inside the taken schools, journalists in Jaffna complained.

While the SL Ministry of Education in Colombo maintains a policy that schools should not be converted as QCs or isolation facilities at the current stage of COVID-19 spread, the military stationed in the North seems to have adopted a different approach, the secretary of Ceylon Teachers’ Union observed.

At Araali, people witnessed that the military had brought in two-busloads into their school. They staged a protest against the move on Tuesday.

When questioned, the local military officers told the people that they were only moving in their soldiers. However, protesting people said the number of persons brought into the school was more than the number of SL Army personnel stationed in their village, located close to Jaffna lagoon facing the islets.

SL Navy has seized the local school at Kazhuthaip-piddi in the island of Pungkudu-theevu and the hostel of the Central College at Veala'nai.

The SL military is selecting the schools located near its camps and cantonments.


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