Sinhala-only for SriLanka President

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Dec 7 14:30:00 UTC 2005

Forwarded from  TamilNet, December 06, 2005 22:22 GMT

President Mahinda Rajapakse declared last week that as a matter of policy
he will address all important events in Sinhala, the Sunday Times reported
this week. He pointed out that Sinhala was his Mother tongue the paper
said. Last week the President invited all Colombo based diplomats for a
briefing on his approach towards the peace process.

 At the meeting, he made an important ground-breaking announcement.
Something even the former populist peoples President Ranasinghe Premadasa
did not do. He said that in the future, when he speaks at such occasions,
he would speak in the Sinhala language, the Times political column
reported. He said that Sinhala was his Mother tongue. There would,
however, be a translator, he said, who would translate what he says into
the English language. He said that he would do this on all important
functions, and that he would be doing it as a matter of policy.

The 1956 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike 'Sinhala Only' policy, it seems, has now
borne fruit, the Times political column also observed. President
Rajapakse, elected with the overwhelming backing of the Sinhala people,
particularly the nationalist voters, has long nurtured an image as a man
of the people as had President Premadasa who governed in the late


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