For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
I am deeply perturbed with the regrettable Cabinet decision to deprive our Tamil speaking citizens of the right to sing the National Anthem in their mother tongue. The decision amounts to an insensitive shift and conveys a message of exclusion to the Tamil speaking minorities. It will undoubtedly isolate the minorities even further at a time when policy decisions that strengthen National integration should receive priority.
The singing of the National Anthem is every citizen’s right and privilege. It is, like praying; done most meaningfully in one’s mother tongue. Regardless of what other countries do or do not do, our own progressive bi-lingual National Anthem enabled us to demonstrate our loyalty to our Nation together and in our respective mother tongues.
It was a pragmatic and unifying model that Sri Lanka was proud of and should not have been tampered with.
Consequently the Cabinet has no option but to rectify this very serious mistake. I call upon the President, who values the use of the Tamil language, to ensure that this is done without delay and before it creates another minority grievance.
With Peace and Blessings.
Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera