More than 11% of the schools in the Northern Province remain closed due to Sri Lanka military occupation, say teachers in Jaffna citing statistics from the Northern provincial ministry of education. Colombo has been systematically depriving the Eezham Tamil educational institutions in North and East from receiving external aid, both from foreign NGOs and the Tamil diaspora. In addition, the SL military-run civil administration has been diverting the funds already allocated in the provincial budget for the education sector. As a result, the Northern Province has ranked last in the latest GCE A/L examinations, the teachers said adding that such decline was not reported before, even during the height of the war.
Three years have elapsed after the end of war. However, 109 of 1033 schools remain closed in the Northern province.
Many of the schools that remain closed, lie inside the so-called High Security Zone of the SL military or in the areas where Forward Defence Lines were located earlier.
Further, the SL military has recently begun appropriating more lands, seriously affecting all walks of civilian life in the country of Eezham Tamils.
67 of 491 schools in Jaffna district, 14 of 107 schools in Vavuniyaa district, 18 of 112 in Ki’linochchi district, 7 of 126 in Mullaiththeevu district and 3 of 197 schools in Mannaar district remain closed, the sources said.
The Sri Lankan State has also been blocking outside aid from reaching the schools in the country of Eezham Tamils. The SL Presidential Task Force and the SL Defence Ministry were institutionally managing the discrimination.
In the meantime, many alumni organisations, especially in the diapora, were providing assistance to rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure and to construct new buildings for several schools.
However, a recent instruction from the colonial military governor of North, Maj Gen (retd) GA Chandrasiri, has restricted independent alumni run projects.
According to the latest instructions, the school administrations should seek permission from the SL governor in advance to carry out such projects.
This move has also enabled the SL governor to project the construction of new buildings as government-run ‘development’ projects and to divert the funds away from the budget allocation.
As earlier reported, 5 million rupees of funds allocated to repair the school buildings in Vanni this year was diverted to complete the swimming pool which was begun by Namal Rajapaksa, the son of SL president, at the premises of Jaffna Central College.
In the meantime, the SL military is also alleged of scheming psyop programmes that divert the focus of Tamil youth away from education, the sources further say, pointing at the activities that have mushroomed in the environs of the educational institutions of Eezham Tamils including the introduction of narcotics from South.