Controversial promotions: Teachers threaten boycott of examination duties

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration had distributed sil redi (white cloth) to win votes and the present administration was creating jobs in the education sector to win the next election, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin said, yesterday, commenting on a move to promote over 1,000 UNP supporters who claimed to have been politically victimised.

"Most of them have not been victimized in anyway. About 138 persons to be promoted under this scheme have been found guilty of breach of discipline. Moreover, a number of secretaries and other minor officials of the Prime Minister’s Office have also been categorised as political victims," Stalin said.

The Public Services Commission (PSC), which had approved the decision to promote them, had stated that it had not looked at the personal files of those recommended for promotions. The PSC had only looked at the appeals of those individuals and other such documents, Stalin added.

"Even the initial proposal by the Prime Minister to promote those individuals has stated that the PSC must look at the personal files of those persons.

Later Cabinet paper also recommends the same. So, why the PSC has not done so is puzzling. The fact remains that the UNPers are getting promotions, the CTU chief said.

Stalin said that the CTU was against promoting those individuals, and if they had been victimised they should be compensated in some other manner. To get promotions or to enter the education administrative service one had to pass examinations and just because a teacher was transferred due to political reasons, the government could not promote him or her as a principal.

"We initially said that if the government did not rescind its unfair decision we would boycott exam duties. If the government tries to bulldoze its way through, ignoring our protests, we will be compelled to resort to tougher action without any warning."

Minister of Education, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that over 12,000 UNPers had been politically victimised by the previous administration and he would ensure that justice was done.

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