Abaya-wearing women staff not allowed to work in Kandy girls’ school

Teachers and parents of a leading girls’ school in Kandy are not allowing staff wearing Abayas to enter the premises after the Easter Sunday attacks.

As a result, seven staff have now been transferred to another school.

Some parents and past pupils deployed to ensure security at St Anthony’s Girls College, obstructed Muslim teachers who were wearing Abayas and Hijabs entering the premises when they re-opened for the second term.

An Abaya is a long Black gown and a Hijab is a headscarf. According to government regulations, this attire is permitted in state offices.

Renuka Maliyagoda, a retired teacher of the school has lodged a complaint on behalf of the Muslim workers before the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL).

She toldRepublicNext that the authorities are doing what she called ‘passing the buck to the others’.

“There were ten teachers who were wearing the Hijab along with the saree and they were allowed to enter the school but another seven including one who belonged to the administrative staff were wearing Abayas and Hijabs. The parents and past pupils didn’t let those ladies enter the school.  Those teachers have been working in the school for 15 years and no such problem arose before the attacks”, she said.

Maliyagoda further said that following the complaint to the HRCSL, and the intervention of the Central Province Governor, the teachers have been temporarily transferred to three Muslim schools.

“According to the constitution, every person is entitled to freedom of religion. This problem is not fully solved. Therefore I request the authorities to give a proper solution to the problem,” she added.





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