Written by Zulfick Farzan
05 Aug, 2021 | 7:51 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Fort Magistrate’s Court on Thursday (05) granted bail to 44 teachers and principals who were arrested after a protest on Wednesday (05).
The teachers and principals were produced to Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage by the Colombo Harbour Police.
Following their release several teachers comments on their arrest to the media.
“We inquired as to where they were taking us. The driver said he doesn’t know that. They took us to the Harbour Police Station which had fewer people,” said one teacher.
“They tried to re-introduce the white van culture to the country. We wish to tell the government that they shouldn’t do it. They are dealing with 260,000 teachers and principals,” said a trade union leader.
Attorney-at-Law Gunaratne Wanninayake appearing for the teachers and principals said there was an attempt to remand the teachers under charges of violating quarantine regulations.
However, the magistrate rejected the request made by the Attorney General on the matter and the court determined that there was no basis for the facts presented by the police, said the counsel.
The court ordered that a person’s freedom cannot be restricted by remanding them, and rejected the request to conduct PCR tests, he added.
Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union stressed that the teachers and principals will continue with their struggle.
44 teachers and principals were arrested following a protest opposite the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (04).
22 male teachers and 16 female teachers were detained by police in addition to 06 other people.
The Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Unions reached Colombo in motorcades from Kadawatha, Pannipitiya, Welisara, Kandy, and Moratuwa demanding solutions to their perennial issues including salary anomalies.
They are charged with unlawful assembly, obstruction of vehicular movement and main roads, as well violating the Quarantine Rules and Regulations, said the Police Spokesperson.
The protest opposite the Presidential Secretariat eventually ended with no final decision being reached.
Teachers and Principals have been protesting for almost 24 days all around the country, in an unprecedented show of force.
On the 12th of July, Fourteen trade unions representing teachers and principals went on strike despite calls from the government to give up their trade union action and continue with teaching activities.
The Trade Unions representing Teachers and Principals are making the following key demands :
01. Permanent solution to the perennial salary anomaly issue.
02. Immediate withdrawal of the Kotelawala Defense University Bill
03. Allocation of 6% of GDP for education
04. Permanent solutions to service issues faced by Principals and Teachers.
05. System for Extra-Curricular Activities attended by Teachers and Principals
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