Female teachers in Jaffna forced to pay for and wear Rajapaksa’s party colours

images (6)Female teachers in Jaffna are being forced to pay for and wear blue sarees, to represent the colours of the President’s political party, during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Jaffna visit.

The teachers are having the cost deducted from their salaries, without any prior consultation.

Uthayan reports teachers as saying that at 2500 Rupees, the sarees cost far more than what they would usually pay for their work clothes and that the cost was too steep for something worn for one day.

Foreigners banned from travelling to North ahead of Rajapaksa visit

The Sri Lankan military was instructed by the government to ban all foreign citizens from travelling to the North, ahead of the President Rajapaksa’s visit to Jaffna.

“The restrictions had been imposed in view of threats posed by some foreign passport holders who were acting in a manner detrimental to national security,” the Sri Lankan army’s media director told the Sunday Times.

The ban, which came in force on Saturday, left foreigners stranded at Omanthai, as soldiers stationed at the check point turned them away.

According to the Sunday Times, foreigners, mainly Tamil diaspora visiting loved ones in the North, were not told about the travel restrictions in advance, leaving them unable to attend funerals, weddings, and other life events.

Many foreigners were seen disputing the travel ban with soldiers, the paper added.

NPC rejects Rajapaksa invite as Tamils ‘continuing to be marginalised’

The Northern Provincial Council rejected an invitiation to attend a Special District Development meeting, to be chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday, stating that it would be “inappropriate for us to attend the 13th October meeting as well as other politically motivated meetings in the Northern Province, particularly when in reality the NPC and the Tamil speaking peoples are continuing to be marginalised”.

“The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) was neither consulted nor informed of the necessity or agenda of this curious meeting that purports to deal with issues addressed in 2012 after a lapse of two years,” the Chief Minister of the NPC, C. W. Wigneswaran wrote in a letter, addressed to the President.

“The NPC, which was constituted after the Provincial Council elections in 2013, where the People of the Northern Province overwhelmingly rejected the existing policy of the Government of the Northern Province and granted an unprecedented 30 out of 38 seats to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), is puzzled and perturbed as to why Your Excellency is picking up the strings left in 2012 suddenly in October 2014, overlooking the matters discussed at the DCC meetings that had the participation of the People’s direct representatives.”

 

“On the contrary, the will of an authoritarian regime is foisted on the NPC in opposition to the democratic will of the people,” the NPC chief minister added, before outlining the discrepancies between what was agreed previously and what he said Rajapaksa was speaking of now.

Stating that the meeting and invitation was a political stunt ahead of the election, the Chief Minister added: “The People of the Northern Province have not mandated their elected representatives to lend their support, however tacit it may be to election gimmicks.”

“It is established beyond any reasonable doubt that the Provincial Council system in the Northern Province and even in the Eastern Province within the current unitary constitutional architecture, especially in the post war context, in the absence of a sustainable political settlement are mere hollow structures devoid of authority to serve the needs and priorities of the war affected communities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.”

See full letter below: