Teachers call for Uva CM’s scalp


By Saman Indrajith

The Ceylon Teacher Service Union demands that Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, who is accused of having forced a female principal to kneel before him, be sacked immediately.

Addressing a press conference at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo yesterday, General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe said: "Not only the Chief Minister but also the Provincial Education Secretary, Provincial Education Director and Zonal Education Director unashamedly sided with the Chief Minister to cover up this ugly incident too should be sacked. The President who boasts of having in his possession a magic sword, now has a chance to put it to good use. The Chief Minister only has stepped down as the Provincial Education Minister. He should resign from the Chief Minister post too. If not, the President should set an example by sacking him."

Jayasinghe said his union had written two letters to the President, one on Jan 11 and the other yesterday, demanding the removal of the Chief Minister who humiliated the entire teaching profession by forcing the principal of a Tamil medium school Badulla to kneel before him because she had refused to comply with his request for a student to be admitted to her school. The CTSU had also written two letters to the Secretary to the Public Service Commission one on Jan 12 and another yesterday demanding that the Uva Chief Minister be removed from his position.

"According to the Principal, the Chief Minister has done everything possible to cover up this abhorrent incident. But, he and his cronies failed in their endeavour because the Principal revealed everything at a media briefing. The government can no longer hide this. The President as the person who appointed Dassanayake to that post now should sack him. It is his duty. If the President fails to take action against Dassanayake we would resort to trade union action. We would also seek the support of other unions including those in estate sector. We call upon the President to remove Dassanayake before the situation take a turn for the worse."

President of the CTSU Dhammika Alahapperuma and Organisational Secretary of CTSU Lal Kumara also addressed the media.

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