Sept 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka's striking university teachers' union, Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) is to hold another discussion with the Commissioner of Labor to find a settlement to their over two-month long work strike.
The Commissioner of Labor has sent a letter to the FUTA asking them to come for a voluntary mediation.
The FUTA is engaged in a strike since July 04, demanding the government, among others, to grant a pay raise and allocate 6 percent of the country's GDP for education.
Accordingly, the FUTA is to participate in the discussion tomorrow (September 24) at the Labor Department, says the secretary of the FUTA Terrence Madujith.
However, he said that the FUTA would not appoint a representative to take forward the moves for a voluntary settlement without specific solutions to their demands.
FUTA has planned to start two protest marches from Galle and Kandy to Colombo tomorrow. The lecturers of the medical faculty of Peradeniya University have also decided to join the strike from tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the government media reported that nearly 200 of the 580 lecturers of the Kelaniya University have given up the trade union action and informed the Vice Chancellor that they will return to work.
Academics from several other universities have also expressed willingness to return to work, the media reports said.
Sri Lanka provides free education from the kindergarten through the universities. However, the spending for the education has been constantly declining and currently the government spends 1.9 percent of the GDP for education.
As a result of neglecting the education sector the facilities at government schools and universities are measly and in a poor state and the academics fear that if remedies are not made soon Sri Lanka's state as a country with the highest literacy rate in South Asia will soon be lost and a brain drain would be inevitable.