One of Sri Lanka’s foremost teachers’ unions has warned that the Western Province Governor, who is also a former Air Force Commander, interfering to overturn the transfer of a girls’ college principal, who is currently facing a disciplinary inquiry, would negatively impact the effective conduct of the school’s activities.

Western Province Education authorities had directed Sri Jayawardenapura Zonal Education Director to immediately transfer Nugegoda Mahamaya Girls’ College Principal to the post of President’s College Vice Principal.

Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) points out that the directive was sent out on a letter dated 25 March,  based on complaints about the principal’s conduct by multiple parties including the school’s teaching staff

The letter by Western Province Education and Sports Ministry Secretary Sirisena Lokuwithana to Sri Jayawardenapura Zonal Education Director, says that complaints have bee lodged continuously despite  the Mahamaya Girls’ College Principal Anula Suraweera Morawaliyadda was repeatedly advised to rectify the issues.

When taking the complaints into account, it appears that this situation has a direct impact on students’ education, adds the secretary.

“Accordingly, taking into account the recommendations as per section 9.2 of your investigation report dated 15.11.2023 and also the complaints that have been received, the principal will be transferred with immediate effect to the Western Province/Sri Jayawardenapura President’s College vice principal post,” the letter further read.

CTU leader Joseph Stalin points out that despite the abovementioned instructions, Western Province Governor Air Vice Marshal Roshan Goonetileke has taken steps to revoke the transfer. In addition, Stalin emphasizes that the problematic situation in the Mahamaya college will exacerbate due to the Governor’s action, as the principal enters into conflicts with the college staff and is facing multiple allegations and probes.

On 1 April, Ceylon Teachers’ Union communicated its concerns to the Governor in this regard, and a press release issued by the Union on 2 April says that a request was made to implement with immediate effect the transfer which has been rescinded by the Governor.

Veteran union leader Stalin warned that the failure to take such steps would compel them to take protest action in collaboration with teachers and the school community.

WhatsApp Image 2023 08 02 at 15.09.47

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