Tamil schools receive circulars, official communications in Sinhala

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed May 24 13:04:54 UTC 2006

Forwarded from edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu

>>From TamilNet


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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