Professor Shyama Bannahaka, President of the University Teachers’ Union, claims that if any change in their decisions happens, it will be because of the students and that the university staff will not be swayed by the tyrannical threats by the president. He further commented that the Trade Union’s actions were halted based on the decision taken as discussed during the executive council meeting and not because of the intimidation of the president.
The professor stated that the University Teachers’ Union asked to meet with the president to discuss the issue and that the public is aware that the president chose to participate in various shows across the nation instead of arranging a meeting time.
He continued by saying that no teacher would be willing to serve in such a condition if the president decided to coerce the staff by naming the service of university teachers as an essential service.
Professor Arjuna Parakrama, President of the University Teachers’ Union, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, said that he challenge the president to try and seize the property of university professors if possible.
The professor also added the following remarks:
“As university lecturers, the demands we have asked for are very reasonable. Instead of paying heed to it, if they come to arbitrarily oppress us, we will strongly protest against it. We are even prepared to start paper marking tomorrow if the government is willing to pay attention to our demands. We charge only a meagre fee as we consider this a courtesy. You can’t make the university professors do as you want by making threats to keep us controlled. We request the government to pay attention to our fair demands. At present, many teachers do not even receive 20,000 rupees as a salary. The salary I receive is not even enough for my medical treatment.”
Dr. Anura Karunathileka, a committee member of the University Teachers’ Union, voiced his opinion stating that he does not accept threatening university teachers while the president has the ability to put an end to this problem. He further said that, though different henchmen of the government posing as parents of the children made various statements to the media, the public is aware of the actual situation.