No Comstitutional Provision to sing National Anthem in Tamil – Part II
Posted on February 2nd, 2020

By A.A.M.NIZAM Matara

During the reign of President R.Premadasa in accordance with a directive of the Minister of Communications the broadcast of National Anthem in Tamil in the Tamil channels of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation was banned and instead onlythe musical notes were broadcast. When this directive was issued by Premadasa none  of the so-called Although the hypocrite Chandrika nowspeaks veery much about and for the Tamils, when she came to power in 1994 even the broadcast of that musical notes were suspended and only the Sinhala version was broadcast. Then so-called Tamil separatists, and NGO cultures did noy utter a word against Premadasa’s measure as they knew that doing so would subject them to Premadasa’s death squad and they would get tyre [yre treatment or burn alive treatment meted out to Wijewwwea.  

In the 1978 Republican Constitution Sri Lanka’sNational Anthen has been declared as the Sri Lanka Maatha” together with its musical notes. The constitution has also listed Tamil version Sri Lanka Thaaye” (Maathaa) translated by K.Kanagaratnam together with the English version. 

The terroristproxy and the worst racist to fanction as the Tamil rcist gang withth eimminent death soon of racist grandpa the 86 ear old Sambandan has told the medua that the decision to sing the national anthem only in Sinhala during official functions was part of a plan to make Tamils second class citizens,

Instead of taking steps to promote unity and reconciliation; the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration was taking steps to widen the gap between the people, the MP said.

“When the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe administration came to power in 2015, the national anthem was sung bth in Tamil at the Independence Day for the first time. I took part in the independence day celebration with TNA leader, R. Sampanthan. It was the first time that ITAK representatives attended an independence day celebration in decades.”

During the 2015 Independence Day celebrations, a number of steps had been taken to promote reconciliation, Sumanthiran said. However, after President Rajapaksa had been elected a number of steps were taken to roll back the progress. “The decision against singing the national anthem in Tamil was a part of this. If the government wants the Tamils not to sing the national anthem, we will be glad not to sing it.”

“The Tamil people have rejected a Sri Lankan identity because their just and democratic demands have not been met”, Sumanthiran said, adding that the Tamil people needed more political rights and then only would Tamils become equal citizens of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Ranjith Soysa, resident in Australia commenting on opposition of the Yamil Nadu racist political outfits DMK, and caste basedPMK said that it is not necessary to sing the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil at the forthcoming Independence Day celebrations.

While we reject the view point of the Tamil Nadu’s racist politicians interference in a Sri Lankan  domestic issue, which the Sri Lankan Government  has the capability of examining in detail and taking their own decisions for the benefit of the country. We have to reiterate that by making various strident noises concerning Sri Lankan Tamils the Indian politicians are attempting in vain to prove that they are the saviors of Sri Lankan Tamils which places the Sri Lankan Tamils in an awkward position in relation to Sri Lankan nation state.

With regard to the Sri Lankan Nataional Anthem, it was the blunder made by the previous Government which  allowed a translated song to be accepted as a national anthem in Tamil whereas the country should have a single National Anthem, The translated Tamil version of the  national anthem has number of words which are different to the original including the term,  Sri Lanka Matha’ The action should be taken urgently to rectify this aspect and replace the original song, The national anthem can be  written in Tamil ,but it should not be a translation. The government must get its teeth to this issue urgently without any delay.

As for the Tamil Nadu racists politicians Mr.  Soysa said that we request them to look after their back yard by requesting or demanding the Central Government of India to get them the approval to sing a translated Indian Anthem in Tamil. We await to hear the response from the Central Indian Government.

The Canada based terrorist proxy scribe D.B.S.Jeyaraj ijn a recent article published on 4th January states that

  • 1956 parliamentary polls a watershed in SL’s political history 
  • Tamils persisted with agitation cum negotiation strategy to restore rights 
  • Independence from the British only resulted in bondage under Sinhalese 

 He says the situation changed in 1956 when the coalition led by S.W.R. D. Bandaranaike gained power. Bandaranaike became Prime Minister and made Sinhala the sole official language. It was indeed noteworthy that the Tamil version of the national anthem continued to be in use even after Sinhala was made the sole official language in 1956. While the Sinhala version was sung in most official functions in Colombo and Sinhala-majority provinces, the Tamil version was sung in Tamil-majority areas and Tamil medium schools. This accommodative attitude was displayed even after Sinhala was made the sole official language and Tamil had no official status at all. 

It was common in those days for selected school bands and choirs to render the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil. What is remarkable is that though the Tamil language held no official status then, the more enlightened governments of the day had no qualms about the national anthem being sung in the Tamil language in Tamil-medium schools or official functions in predominantly Tamil-speaking regions. 

Jeyaraj states that the political landscape of the island began to change from what it was at the time of independence. The parliamentary elections of 1956 were a watershed in the political history of the island. The UNP that was in power from 1947 was defeated. As mentioned earlier, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike swept the polls as part of a coalition known as Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP). Bandaranaike became the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon. It was a different story in the North and East. The Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) led by S.J.V. Chelvanayagam won ten of the sixteen seats in the Northern and Eastern  Provinces. Two of them were Muslim majority constituencies. 

The party known as the Federal Party(FP) in English espoused the goal of federalism. Even as the 1956 victory hailed as a people’s revolution ushered in a new government of the common people described as Apey Aanduwe” (our government), the state of ethnic relations in the country deteriorated drastically. Sinhala had been declared the sole official language of the country. Protests by Tamil politicians were disrupted through violence. Attempts to resolve the crisis through political arrangements like the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Agreement were aborted because of extremist opposition. 

One of the earliest casualties in this conflict-ridden atmosphere was the Tamil perception of independence. The advent of FP and rise of Tamil nationalism saw the Tamil polity being asked to treat Freedom Day as a day of mourning. The rationale was that independence from the British had only resulted in bondage under Sinhalese. There was only a change of masters. Hence, Independence Day was nothing to celebrate about, but only to be observed as a black day. 

These protests underwent a change after the Republican Constitution of 1972. Thereafter, May 22 too was observed as a black day. February 4 lost a little of its significance. The UNP Government elected in 1977 ushered in a new Constitution in 1978 thereby doing away with Republican Day and Republican Constitution. The symbolism of black flags on Independence Day however continued. The escalation of the conflict and resultant suffering made the very concept of independence meaningless to Tamils. 

The Constitution of 1978, ushered in by the UNP regime and led by J.R. Jayewardene, provided national language status to the Tamil language. It also granted Constitutional status to the national anthem. Clause 7 of the Constitution says: The national anthem of Sri  Lanka shall be ‘Sri Lanka Matha,’ the words and music of which are set out in the third schedule.” 

Tamil received national language but not official language status in the 1978 Constitution. The national anthem in Sinhala was given constitutional status through Clause 7 of the same Constitution. However, the Tamil translation was also given constitutional recognition by way of the third schedule to the seventh clause. The official gazette as well as copies of the 1978 Constitution published in Tamil had the Tamil words of the national anthem. 

Tamil received elevation as an official language along with Sinhala by way of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1987. Tamil as an official language received further enhancement in the administrative and legislative spheres through the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1988. Sections 18 and 19 of the Constitution clearly state that Tamil is both an official and national language of Sri Lanka. The elevation of Tamil as an official language provided greater impetus for the national anthem to be sung in Tamil, but events had begun to overtake and these concessions on the language front were beginning to be seen as part of the too little, too late” syndrome in volatile politics. 

In the evolving new situation of ethnic conflict, the practice of singing the national anthem went out of circulation in Tamil polity for more than three decades. The politics of ITAK and later the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) created an environment where alternative Tamil State” anthems were being sung at political meetings. At least three different songs were in use then. 

English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil are recognised as official languages in Singapore but Malay is regarded as the national language. It must be remembered that independent Singapore was part of the ‘Straits Settlements’ during the British colonial rule .After gaining freedom from the British, Singapore remained part of Malaysia until it was expelled and attained independence somewhat reluctantly. Under those circumstances, it was considered appropriate that the national anthem be in Malay only. Translations are available in English, Mandarin and Tamil but only Malay could be used to sing the national anthem in official functions. 

Thus, in Singapore where the national anthem is in a minority” language, there was an imperative need to debar translations and insist upon Malay alone being used officially to sing the national anthem. If translations were allowed, the Mandarin or English version could swamp the Malay version. But this is not the case in Sri  Lanka where Sinhala is firmly entrenched as the language of the majority and primary official language. It is the Tamil language that requires special measures and guarantees in the present situation. 

 The Rajapaksa regime under Mahinda did not ban the Tamil national anthem legally but saw to it that singing the national anthem in Tamil was forbidden in day-to-day affairs. The subterfuge adopted was that of maintaining the status quo overtly while negating the practice of singing the national anthem on ground. It was stated that there was no change and that constitutional provisions remained. Thus, it was said that singing the national anthem was a right that prevailed and had not been taken away. An unofficial diktat however was strictly enforced by which schools and government institutions were discouraged” from singing the national anthem in Tamil.

Things however changed with the regime change in 2015. The government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe restored the singing of the national anthem in Tamil. It created a precedent in 2016 of ensuring the singing of the national anthem in Tamil. 

The so-called quasi-Independennce we received from the British Imperialists in 1948 retained in the hands of British imperialists the golowing:

  1. Rights of operating and the administration of the Colombo Poty;
  2. Rights of operating and administrationof the Kayunayake airport and the aircraft hangers adjacent to it.
  3. Rights of operating and administration of the Ratmalana airport.
  4. Rights of operating and administration of the Trincomalee harbour and the adjoining Oil Tank Farm of 100 tanks
  5. Comtinue to consider the Queen of England as the Head of State. 

The people;’s government of Prime Minister rescued from and annulled all rights of operation and administration of all our ports and airports in the hands of British government and declare tyhen as the properties belonging to the government of Sri Lanka.  In order to get the rights of ownership of the Trinhciomalee Oil Tank Farm the Babndaranaike hovernment had to pay Sterling Poinds 250,000 to the British Government.

In addition tio this Britiain was in charge of mainting Sri LKanka’s Foreign Policy.  Due to thism for instance Sri Lanka was unable to permit a Russian Football Team to come for playing a friendly match in Colombo during Sir John Kotalawala’s government.  Yje Bandaranaike government took over the charge of Sri Lanka;s Foreign Policy  and declared that the country will maintain friendly relations with all countries.

Another main obstavle was Queen if England remaining the Head of State of Sri Lanka.  It was due to this handicap that Sri Lanka was unable to convict the culprits of those who staged a Coup against the government in 1962 and all the culprits got freed by aclemency extended by the Queen of England. 

Similarly when the JVP carders staged 1971 rebellopn, tyhey were prosecuted as staging a rebellion against the Queen of England.  This handicap remained until Madam Sirimavo Bandartaqnaike rescued and liberated the country from all foreign bondages and declared Sri Lanka a Republic under the Republic Constitution. 

So the time has come now for us to restore our free and sovereign status and to put final end yo yhr quasi-Independence Day celebrations,  Let 4th February this year as the last Quasi-Independence Day Celebration and consider 22nd May as our Republic Day from this twae onwards.   

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