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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2620

All Sinhala students in Sri Lanka must learn Thamil language in future and vice versa

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Colombo, 31 May, (Asiantribune.com): "According to Sri Lanka President’s program 'Mahinda Chinthanaya' short term, midterm and long term projects are already being implemented to teach the Sinhala language to Thamil students and the Thamil language to Sinhala students.

The language proficiency program being implemented in the school curricula will continue up to University level", Minister of National Integration, Dew Gunasekera said.

The Thamil language is enshrined as one of the two official languages in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

The population of Sri Lanka is nearly 19 million. There are more or less 4.2 million children enrolled in over 9,790 public schools around the country. All public schools follow the National Curriculum, which now compulsorily requires the Sinhala students to learn the Thamil language and for Thamil students to learn the Sinhala language.

Political observers are of the opinion that knowledge of parallel languages by people of different nationalities will promote better understanding, cultural integration and usher in greater peace and harmony among Tamils and Sinhalese in the Sri Lankan nation.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently said that there are no minority communities and majority communities in Sri Lanka. There are only two communities, namely those patriotic citizens who love Sri Lanka and those unpatriotic citizens who do not love Sri Lanka.

The idea of a minority community was envisaged by the British colonialists who drafted the Soulbury Commission Report, prior to Sri Lanka gaining independence from the British yoke of colonialism.

"The Public Service Commission of Sri Lanka has implemented an extensive program to enhance language proficiency among public servants and proficiency in the Thamil language will be a necessity for all employees who join the Public Service in the future", added Minister of National Integration, Dew Gunasekera.

- Asian Tribune -

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