Tamil schools receive circulars, official communications in Sinhala

Francis M. Hult fmhult at dolphin.upenn.edu
Wed May 24 00:53:56 UTC 2006



Tamil schools receive circulars, official communications in Sinhala

[TamilNet, May 23, 2006 14:08 GMT] 
Tamil medium schools in Sri Lanka have been receiving circulars and other 
official documents from the Central Ministry of Education in Colombo in 
Sinhalese language only. No translation is provided because 99% of clerks in 
all eighteen branches of the Ministry of Education are Sinhalese, a senior 
ministry official said.

During the tenure of President Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga who also acted as the 
Minister of Education, her secretary Dr.Ms.Tara de Mel agreed to set up a 
separate unit in the ministry to look into the needs of Tamil medium schools 
in the country but it did not materialize despite repeated requests by the 
Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union and other teacher trade unions. However circulars 
to all Tamil medium schools were sent in Tamil language, sources said.

Since the government headed by President Mahinda Rajapakse assumed last 
November, circulars are sent to Tamil medium schools in Sinhala only violating 
the general rule that such circulars should be sent in Tamil language. Hence 
heads of Tamil medium schools are spending money to get these circulars 
translated in Tamil, education sources said.

National level seminars and workshops organized by the Colombo Ministry of 
Education to teachers and heads of schools are held only in Sinhala and seldom 
is a translation of such proceedings given in Tamil language, an education 
official said. 

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