Teachers protest "systematic racism"

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 October 1999, 18:49 GMT]
The 20,000 member-strong Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union has announced today that a nation-wide trade union action would be launched in November this year, against the actions of "Sinhala chauvinist elements" in the National Institute of Education and the Educational Publication Department.

Sinhala racists are systematically undermining the education of the Tamil medium students in the island, says the CTTU.

In a statement issued by the General Secretary of the CTTU Mr.T.Mahasivam, coinciding with the World Teachers' Day, the above announcement has been made.

The CTTU has alleged that the National Institute of Education and the Educational Publication Department are acting against the decisions of the Minister and Deputy Minister who are in charge of the education of the country.

Both these institutions function under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Mr.Mahasivam has stated that in July the CTTU launched a trade union, putting forward nine demands including the payment of risk allowance and arrears of salaries to teachers and principals serving in the north- east province.

The government acceded to only one demand, by paying risk allowance and salary arrears.

But the government had not taken any steps fulfil the other demands pertaining to the education of the Tamil medium students not only in the north-east province, but also in the other provinces in the country, the CTTU says.

If the government failed to take steps to implement the others demands before the end of October, the CTTU has proposed to launch a trade union action during the first week of November.

As a first step, a one-day token strike would be organised. Thereafter, teachers would boycott the promotion examinations in schools and the 1999 G.C.E. Ordinary Level exam. conducted by the Department of Examinations, Mr.Mahasivam has said.


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