ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has appointed a cabinet subcommittee to organise the island nation’s 75th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule, with plans under way to recommence singing the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil.
The subcomittee will be headed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe and will include Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and ministers Douglas Devananda, Susil Premajayantha, Bandula Gunawardena, Keheliya Rambukwella, Ali Sabry, Vidura Wickramanayake, Kanchana Wijesekara and Tiran Alles.
Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday August 16 that the anthem will be sung “as usual” in both Sinhala and Tamil as they’re both national languages.
The anthem hasn’t been sung in Tamil at an Independence Day celebration since the change of government in November 2019 following the election of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The performance of the national anthem in Tamil was a highlight of the Yahapalana years from 2015 to 2019 under then President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The decision became politicised as ultranationalistparties in the opposition at the time was accused of using it to whip up chauvinistic sentiment.
Wickremesinghe is now President of Sri Lanka and, though he was elected by a parliament dominated by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) known for its nationalist views, he has vowed to see his reconciliatory policies through. (Colombo/Aug16/2022)