May 1 was proclaimed as “Workers’ Day” back in 1886 to recognize the hardworking labour and organize is it as a powerful movement. This year theCOVID-19 pandemic has necessitated cancellation of large gatherings. Under the cover of COVID-19 crisis, Sri Lanka is quietly tightening its stranglehold of the oppressed Tamil population reeling under a heavy military presence.
The military has taken over 50 schools in densely populated areas under the pretext of setting up quarantine centres in an area where the number of reported cases have steadily declined. This regionalready has a dismal educational record due to several decades long con2ict.When people from the south are transferred to these quarantine centres, thedanger of infecting the local Tamil population in this area increases.
The students and teachers also su3er without access to these schools.While the Sri Lanka Education Ministry has not allowed schools to be used as quarantine centres in Sinhala areas in the south of the island, the take over schools in Tamil areas aided by the heavy military presence to transfer suspected Sinhala cases from the south raises many questions about the motive of the a Government of Sri Lanka. Is this another form of “biological warfare” to destroy the Tamils? Is this transfer of population under the cover of COVID-19 pandemic new form of genocide?
The occupying army has been encouraging the distribution of narcotics among School children in Tamil areas to destroy their education. The take over of schools is seen as an extension of this plan to keep Tamils subjugated forever.In this age of accelerated globalization, destroying the education of a people is a way to create an uneducated underclass providing cheap labour. On this May Day workers must unite to stop the exploitation of people under occupation by a foreign army. The use of COVID-19 crisis to further oppress people must stop.