The Ceylon Teachers’ Union vehemently condemned the use of force against university students who participated in the anti-SAITM protest near the Health Ministry last Wednesday (21).
The Ceylon Teachers’ Union issued a special announcement confirming their stance against said use of force yesterday (22).
The Secretary-General of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin stated that the ‘Yahapalanaya’ regime’s anti-democratic policies were clearly showcased by the continuous use of force against students who were taking a stand against the functioning of SAITM.
He also stated that the Government was not taking into consideration the opposition posed by the public towards the legalization of SAITM using public funds.
He proceeded to remind that the Ministry of Health was not a private estate owned by the Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, but rather an institution run by the tax money of the people.
Accordingly, he added that the public had the right to oppose the course of action taken by such institutions.
The Secretary-General continued to state that the inhumane way the Police used force to strike the heads of students using batons was made evident very clearly, which he said proved that the Government would stop at nothing to legalize SAITM, even at the cost of students’ lives.
He proceeded to state that such inhumane, violent actions brought back to mind gruesome events of the past, such as the terrors of the late 80s under the United National Party’s (UNP’s) regime, the murder of Roshane Chanaka during the recently elapsed Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, the Rathupaswala massacre, and genocide of the North.
The Ceylon Teachers’ Union accordingly affirmed their condemnation of the “anti-democratic acts of violence conducted by the current Government that came into power with the contradictory promise of establishing democracy and protecting free education.”
On a final note, the Secretary-General, on behalf of the Association, urged the Government to immediately close down the “degree market” that is SAITM and reinstate the rights of the medical students enrolled at government universities and uphold free education.