Saturday 28 August 2021

 Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

28 August   2021


National Status for Tamil in Sri Lanka

Tamil Equality in Sri Lanka, in the language of  Saint Yoga Swamy is ‘Eppavoh Mudintha Kaariyam’ / ‘Matter Completed long ago’. It was achieved through the intervention of India at the request of then President – J R Jayawardene. Yet not many of us appreciate its significance – probably due to wanting some kind of separate identity instead of the Higher Common status.  The Senior member of Australian Tamil community who forwarded the above message from the Royal College Alumni, sent also the following about which I had very little knowledge:

[Politicians are politicians. One must not forget when Sinhala Only Bill was presented in Parliament, Dr N M Perera and the 14 members of the LSSP opposed the bill, walked out of Parliament in protest , during the debate  commenced his speech by saying we are first all Ceylonese before we are Sinhalese or Tamil, Dr Colvin said two languages one Nation , one language Two Nations. ]

Last year KKS Perera wrote as follows in his Daily News article ‘Colvin the fighter’

[During the debate on Official Language (Sinhala only) Bill in Parliament in 1956, he stated, “… Do we want an independent Ceylon or two bleeding halves of Ceylon which can be gobbled up by every ravaging imperialist monster that may happen to range the Indian Ocean? These are issues that in fact we have been discussing under the form and appearance of the language issue… One language, two nations; Two languages, one Nation…”]

They are all our Common ancestors. When they were invoked their positive karma also went towards Tamil being elevated to National language status. Today, Rupa Siva forwarded the link  - which is a sharing by Tamil Language - Havard Tamil Chair – Professor Jonathan Ripley. Professor Ripley highlights that Tamil was the national language of State of Tamil Nadu, as well as in Sri Lanka and Singapore. I then felt deep within me that it was the culmination of all our fights to keep Sri Lanka common to all. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution confirms this effect of our struggles.

Sri Lankan leaders such as the Hon Mangala Samaraweera is an heir of this achievement of Commonness 

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