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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2789

Nationalists and Anti- Nationals – A voice to reckon from Canada

By Ira de Silva

The National Peace Council claims that the singing of the national anthem in Tamil is a strong gesture of reconciliation by the government. It claims that the government had the courage and wisdom to have the national anthem sung in both Sinhala and Tamil overcoming the objections of "nationalists".

These opinions indicate that according to the NPC, those who object to the national anthem being sung at official functions in Tamil are "nationalists". Does it mean that those who do not object, such as the government and the NPC, are anti-national or does it indicate that the "nationalists" are aware of what is in the constitution and the others are not?

There seems to be a general lack of information regarding the constitution of Sri Lanka. Anyone, including the Government, the opposition and the NPC who would care to check the sections of the constitution dealing with the national anthem would learn that it is clearly stated in Article 7 that the national anthem is in Sinhala and is Sri Lanka Matha.

" 7. The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be “Sri Lanka Matha”, the words and music of which are set out in the Third Schedule.".

To claim otherwise shows ignorance of the constitution and actions to the contrary are unconstitutional. It is a sad commentary on those who claim to be the champions of good governance and organizations such as the NPC, whose main schedule during the period of LTTE terrorism was to get foreign funding to conduct workshops in the south on how to help the furtherance of caving in to terrorists, that they are unaware of the laws of this country.

As for the anthem being sung in Tamil, that it is being done in the name of reconciliation, should not the programme for reconciliation be in accordance with the constitution and involve all groups who suffered from terrorism, not just the Tamils in the north and east? Only when are the needs of the others who were equally affected, displaced, driven from their homes and lost their livelihoods are addressed equally can there be and will there be reconciliation.

Yours truly,

Ira de Silva

Ira de Silva
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