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Education Ministry ordered to fill Grade 3 Principal vacancies

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The Supreme Court ordered the Education Ministry yesterday (27) to take steps to fill 4,718 vacancies in Grade 3 of the Principals’ Service of Sri Lanka.

It was also ordered that the appointments be made according to an agreement reached before the Supreme Court, to appoint those who had passed the examination held in 2019, the positions.

This order was issued when several fundamental rights petitions filed regarding the new appointments in the third grade of the Principal Service of Sri Lanka were taken up for hearing.

The motion and related petitions were taken up for hearing before the Supreme Court Bench of Judges, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Janak De Silva and Shiran Gunaratne.

Deputy Solicitor General Nirmalan Wigneswaran, who represented the Attorney General said that a settlement could be reached regarding this petition.

He also mentioned that the Public Service Commission has informed the Attorney General that the Principal ranks should be filled.

Accordingly, the Deputy Solicitor General stated that 7,319 candidates passed the examination held on February 19, 2019 for the appointment of the Principals in Grade 3.

He said that 4,718 were not granted appointments in that group.

He mentioned that an agreement had been reached before the Supreme Court on June 20, 2021 to give related appointments to those candidates. He also pointed out that relevant appointments can be made accordingly. The attorneys who appeared for the petitioners agreed on these points.

Accordingly, the Bench that considered the facts ordered the Education Ministry to take necessary steps to make the relevant appointments and the relevant petition hearing was ordered to be closed.

The Ceylon Teachers Union had earlier filed a Fundamental Rights Petition to the Supreme Court regarding the filling of vacancies in the posts of Principals.

According to the agreement reached when the petition was previously heard before a Supreme Court bench led by the Chief Justice, it had been agreed to make the appointments for the third grade of the Sri Lanka Principals Service based on the results of the examination held in 2019.

Accordingly, when it was decided to make those appointments, Venerable Buddhang Kotte Sumanachandra Thera, a teacher belonging to the Sri Lanka Teaching Service, opposed it and a fundamental rights petition had been filed.

The petition had been previously taken up for hearing before the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Preethi Padman Surasena and Gamini Amarasekara.

An interim injunction was granted suspending the new appointments.

This petition was called up, according to a motion presented by the Ceylon Teachers Service Union and the Attorney General, presenting facts regarding the issuance of an interim restraining order by another bench despite an agreement reached before the Supreme Court.

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