Posted on October 13th, 2020

Stanley Gunaratne 

After Sarath Weerasekera finally stating what patriots have long stated regarding the Indo Lanka Accord (in stark contrast to the “India first” mantra foolishly and treacherously stated by other members within the government),  I share part 2 in the hope that citizens will call for an urgent correction of our nation’s laws.

This article is a continuation of the previous suggestions raised in the Lankaweb article “No more excuses. Get things done. 13A and Indo Lanka Accord be Gone” – http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/11/no-excuses-now-2-3-so-get-things-done-13a-indo-lanka-accord-be-gone/

Correcting the disastrous Language laws, Education Mediums and Lack of Opportunity for the Sinhalese

Before the disastrous segregation and disparity of resources (rural schools got neglected) of the Mrs. Bandaranaike administration, Ceylon had an excellent education system. Kannagara instituted free education for all under the DS government. The plan was to have “Central Schools” funded by the taxpayer, providing scholarships to all rural children based on merit. They would be taught in the English medium, whilst also learning their mother tongue. Thus resulting in a bilingual Ceylonese – much like the Singapore education system today (except on a much larger scale given the size of our island). 


In Singapore, you do not get Singaporean Tamils (or Sinhalese) learning in their own mother tongue segregating from other children. They learn their mother tongue, BUT THE MEDIUM is either Mandarin, or English. This makes sense from the demographics of Singapore to publicly fund Mandarin, or English schools. It would make little economic sense to spend good money on having 4 mediums there (the country has 4 official languages) – money which could be put to better use at providing computers to all schools, and giving a proper science education etc.

Similarly, it makes more sense in Sinhale/Ceylon to have Sinhala, and English medium schools. Any child will learn in one of these two mediums (depending on which school they choose to attend). They will also learn their own personal mother tongue (from a choice of Sinhala, or Tamil). 

ALL students will therefore become bare minimum bilingual in their mother tongue and English. They will know both of these languages to a first class standard. This does not account for any other foreign languages (Mandarin, Spanish, French, Korean etc) that the education curriculum might opt to offer also. 

Tamil students in Singapore, learn with their fellow Singaporeans in English medium schools (a few might even attend Mandarin medium schools there). They do not segregate themselves to Tamil medium schools. 

Similarly, in Ceylon, in the past, especially in places like Kandy, you used to get Sinhalese, Burgher, Tamil, Moor children all learning in ONE CLASSROOM in the same school. There were even Burghers who spoke Sinhala. 

This is all from the primary school age (kindergarten). So a child already will become ready and able to learn in English if that is their chosen school. 

The future

The rationale why Sinhala and English should be offered is the same reason as Singapore. The overall demographics. Around 70% of the population is Sinhalese and the national language that developed here was Sinhala. Therefore, that is why Sinhala medium is proposed as one of the mediums. English of course is the lingua franca of international business, trade and diplomacy (at present). Therefore it makes sense for us to ensure our children have the best possible grasp of English irrespective of their families’ connections, or affluence. 

It seems very unlikely – just like in Singapore – that those of other ethnicities would want to segregate from everyone else, just to learn in their own mother tongue just for the sake of it. In an integrated Ceylon – just like pre 1956 (when the Settlement Schemes were aborted by Bandaranaike) and just like Singapore today – they would be interacting with their fellow ethnicities from birth. It is not like a Ceylonese Tamil is going to only encounter a Sinhalese, or Burgher at secondary school age. They would already have been pals from the day they could walk. In Singapore also there is national service, which some have proposed here to further mix people together (and develop skills/training). 

Ethnic Integration Policy

I reiterate the economic argument that we must focus taxpayer’s money on providing a first class teaching of English, sciences, computing etc. And we must not segregate students.

All of this would be in conjunction with mixed districts without ethnic ghettos. Like in Singapore, as I have stated above, ALL citizens of Ceylon would have the right to fill in forms, to have assistance in their affairs with public institutions, courts etc in any of the 3 official languages (Sinhala, Tamil and English). Thus jobs in the Civil Service, Police, Hospitals etc, would most likely have roles where there are designated on duty personnel who can translate at a moment’s notice if a patient/citizen needed assistance in a different language. The working language of administration of the nation should be in Sinhala and/or English.

The Official Languages of the nation must be corrected in a brand new constitution that undoes that disastrous nonsense of the 1958 language Law, the 13th, 15th and 16th amendments – all of which impose Indian style ethno-linguistic states, regional languages and separate education mediums which is contrary to “one law”. 

The national flag

The national flag should be restored to the ORIGINAL flag raised in 1948 which has been our historic national Lion flag representing one people. This flag used since ancient times represented the Sinhalese kingdoms of old. EW Perera of the Independence movement rediscovered the same flag lowered in 1815 at the Royal Chelsea Hospital in London. It was duly returned by Britain and re-raised on February 4th 1948 upon the Sinhalese nation regaining its independence. Sinnalebbe, MP for Batticloa, was the member of the State Council who proposed it be made the national flag once more. The flag had zero stripes, or Indian motifs demarcating separate identities. Instead, the Lion represented us all. If necessary, the pinnacles present then can be made the four bo leaves that are present today. However, there should be no stripes or division. 

A national language and official languages are different things

There seems to be a total lack of understanding of what a national language is. In Singapore – part of peninsula Malaya – Malay is the national language since it is the language that originated there. English is not the national language, but is an official language. 

Similarly, the only language which originated here is Sinhala and thus Sinhala should be the only national language. For some absurd reason, some Sinhalese “nationalists” (who are actually Marxists) want to remove English, yet promote Tamil as a national language which makes little sense. 

English is the language of international business and like Singapore, it would serve us well to ensure every child knows it. In order to avoid politicians removing this on a whim, it would be best to make it official which will also give us a business edge. 

As for Tamil, we must either take the Burma route or the Singapore route as shown below. Tamil can be official, or not official. But it cannot be a national language here. It would be the height of stupidity to force the Sinhalese to learn Sinhala only, or Sinhala and Tamil, and deny them English (a worldly language).  

Proposed Constitutional clause on Languages

Either of the following options must prevail regarding languages islandwide:


National Language and anthem – Sinhala 
Official Languages – Sinhala and English 
Working Languages/Mediums – Sinhala and English 


OPTION 2 (The Singapore Model)

National Language and anthem – Sinhala 
Official Languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English 
Working Languages/Mediums – Sinhala and English 

Whichever option is chosen, the law must apply nationwide with zero regional laws.

Proposed Ethnic Integration Housing Clause

We must ensure zero ethnic ghettos. All areas must have mixed populations conforming to the overall national demographics.

An “Ethnic Integration Policy” (EIP) for Ceylon must be put in place to preserve the Ceylonese identity and promote ethnic integration and harmony. It will ensure that there is a balanced mix of the various ethnic communities in all Districts, monitored by a designated Civil Service Housing Board. The EIP limits shall be set at block/neighbourhood/estate levels based on the ethnic make-up of Sinhale/Ceylon.

For the purchase of a flat, land, or house, a household with members of different ethnic groups can choose to classify their household ethnicity under the ethnic group of any owner or spouse (co-owner or occupier)

– Bands will be set for each district that conform to the overall national demographic of the country according to the latest population census (e.g. a minimum of 60% Sinhalese, and a maximum of 20% of another ethnicity)

(This policy of EIP is the same as the one maintained by Singapore’s Housing Board, HDB)

– This is easily achievable by restarting the Gal Oya Schemes that were started by DS Senanayake.

I hope sanity will prevail. But with the same pack of useless Parliamentarians (the old Parliament simply reshuffled for the most part) and continued Indian bootlicking with “India first” being publicly announced by policymakers, our nation appears to be on a slow path to nowhere.

Can we regain our former glory? Lambasting China, Britain, the US, ASEAN, Japan, the UN etc and remaining silent on India is like fiddling whilst Rome burns. The number one problem is India.

ABOLISH THE INDO LANKA ACCORD – which is illegal under the Vienna Conventions on Treaties and has stripped us of our independence. ABOLISH THE 13A NOW.

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