Teachers urge action on Tamil text books

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 20000119

The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) has requested the Minister of Education and Higher Education to take stern disciplinary action against the Department of Educational Publications for failing to print and distribute text books to Tamil medium schools in the northern province in time.

Mr T. Mahasivam, General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union, has asked the Minister to provide an assurance that textbooks to Tamil medium students would be distributed without further delay.

The letter, sent to the Minister of education and Higher Education by the CTTU today, says that, to date, not a single textbook has been supplied to Tamil medium students in the education zones of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya north.

"We fear that the free textbook distribution will not be completed before the end of January unless some drastic steps are taken against the irresponsible officials attached to the Department of Educational Publications," said Mr T. Mahasivam in his letter.

Endless Negligence in preparing tamil text books - Editorial

Though the govt speaks of an ambitious educational reform program to meet the needs of the new millennium the events taking place actually indicate a reversal.

Several fatalistic errors are found in Tamil text books for grades 6 and 7, that is actually killing the essential goodness of the language. Since independence several Text books in Tamil have been printed but none of them had so much errors. Therefore the back ground of the preparation process of these text books must be properly examined, since these text books are nothing more than a fine example of how text books should not be.

    Is this the maximum capabilities of Tamil educationists who prepared these books?
At the same time these
    Text books are also violating the basic principles of education.

Instead of reflecting the identity of a given nation, these text books published now are written on a Sinhala Buddhist back ground.

Therefore the writers, artists and translators who prepare these rights, must be selected from all communities. As it is, most of education committees other than those on Tamil Language and Muslims are Sinhala only.

In short the recommendations made by the World Bank in this regard have not been strictly observed. The govt must take appropriate action immediately on this matter, especially about the Tamil text books.

Courtesy : Virakeasari - Wednesday Feb:2nd, 2000

All tamils coming from Vavuniya from Wanni, forced to register
[DIVAINA - Wednesday Feb:2nd, 2000]

Vavuniya Defence sections have launched a new scheme to register all Tamil people coming down to Vavuniya from Tiger controlled areas in Wanni, as they have been able to learn that Tigers are coming in disguised as civilians in order to get to Colombo to set off bombs.

New ACTC leader says no compromise on Tamil issue
[By : Roshan Peiris]

Shaken but unmoved by the assassination of their outspoken leader Kumar Ponnambalam, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress has not swerved much from his controversial style politics though its new leader may lack his vigour.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, N. Kumaraguruparan, the new general secretary of the ACTC, said the party would never compromise on the issue of Tamil national aspirations.

    "We believe that the present merged North-East Province comprises the traditional homeland of the Tamils. This is the focal point of our policy. The Tamils are a proud people comprising a nation with distinctive language, culture and hallowed traditions.

Thus they enjoy the right to self determination.

    "As Kumar often pointed out, we believe the Thimpu principles are the only alternative for separation. Therefore, the government should clearly state the nature of the unit of devolution and on the status of the Northern and Eastern Provinces,"
Mr. Kumaraguruparan said.

He said his party called for equality of all citizens.

    "Tamis must be treated as absolute equals with all other national and ethnic entities of the countries."

Like Mr. Ponnambalam, Mr. Kumaraguruparan also emphasised the importance of talks with the LTTE for any solution to the 17-year-old ethnic conflict.

Asked whether the ACTC would initiate a dialogue with the LTTE, Mr. Kumaraguruparan said,

    "the only person who could have spoken and negotiated for us with the LTTE was Kumar and he is nor more".

Voicing concern about large-scale arrests of Tamils, especially during cordon-and-search operations, Mr. Mr. Kumaraguruparan charged that even women with infants were arrested and their whereabouts were not known. He said his party would take the matter up with foreign missions here to put pressure on the government in disciplining the armed forces.

"Party President A. Vinayagamoorthy has faxed the diplomats, giving details of the unjust arrests of Tamil peoples. We are awaiting their response. We hope the international community will do something to stop harassing the Tamil people. After all harassing the Tamil people will only aggravate the crisis."

Mr. Kumaraguruparan was proposed by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the only son of the late ACTC leader, for the post of general secretary at the recent party convention. He was quite emphatic when he said that no Tamil group or persons were responsible for Mr. Ponnambalam's death.

    "Our suspicions are on Shantha who spoke in very high flown Sinhala," he said.

"Kumar's memory and life is a great inspiration to us and so the ACTC will forge ahead safeguarding the rights of the Tamil nation and work hard and devotedly to solve the ethnic problem."