Cabinet not decided on Anthem language

2016-01-28 03:02:30

The Cabinet is reportedly divided over the opinion on the proposal to sing the National Anthem both in Sinhala and Tamil languages at the National Independence Day event this time, it is learnt.

A committee working on national reconciliation has proposed this to the Cabinet yesterday. However, a section of the Ministers was opposed to the idea. Therefore, a final decision was not taken.

The committee has made such a proposal in the hope that it would be a step forward in the direction of bringing about reconciliation among the ethnic groups. Currently, the National Anthem is sung in Tamil, mainly at events in the Tamil speaking areas.

After the ministers exchanged their views in this respect, President Maithripala Sirisena said he would decide on it after discussing it with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He also asked the Ministers not to talk about it any further.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne are among those who stood for the National Anthem to be sung in both the languages.

During the previous rule, then National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara proposed a bilingual national anthem to be worked out and it led to a controversy at that time, prompting the Public Administration Ministry to issue a circular how the National Anthem should be sung. (Kelum Bandara)

  Comments - 22

  • Thanos Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:44

    When it comes to the National Anthem, the language is actually irrelevant. Sinhala, Tamil or English is irrelevant. What matters is the meaning of it which applies to all citizens.

    Reply : 9       50

    Andrew Pitugala Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:53

    Unity in diversity dictates that both languages be used.

    Reply : 5       49

    Saman Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:07

    Here is South Africa they have one national anthem where every body use as a Rainbow nation,

    Reply : 5       15

    Lanka Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:02

    What is there to decide? Do other countries have their anthems in multiple languages? Just let it be the way it has been (we were fine all these yrs), concentrate on bringing peace, values, morals into people. Look at the behavior from top to bottom. Changing language of the anthem is not going to change anything. May be the north can play only the music, if they have a language issue.

    Reply : 31       53

    Deen Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:16

    If they are eager to sing our National Anthem we should encourage to do so. If you insist them only to sing in Sinhala some times even their grand Children will not be able to sing. Our NA has a very sensitive and beautiful meaning and most probably allowing them to sing with precise meaning could be the first step to wipe out differences between communities.

    Reply : 10       22

    Bala Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:02

    Yes an yeas again. Other countries do have in two languages.

    Reply : 8       21

    Muhandiram Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:04

    Good idea to have the National Anthem sung in both Sinhala and Tamil languages as it will make National reconciliation that much easier.

    Reply : 19       45

    Kiris Baba Amaray Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:10

    Yes, the National Anthem should be sung in both languages, nothing wrong on it.

    Reply : 13       42

    Kadupol Jothywansa Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:14

    As we are living in the united SriLanka, it is right to sing the Anthem in both languages.

    Reply : 12       38

    Nehe Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:49

    why not in arabic also then?

    Reply : 23       24

    ANTON Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:09


    Reply : 13       8

    jatiya Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:21

    Should not change our national anthem. It is for all of us, not for one race , it is for all races. MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW IT.

    Reply : 16       14

    Greg Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:53

    USA has so much more ethnic groups but they are not stupid to believe that ethnic harmony is singing the national anthem in each language they could lay their hands on. The minorities are also reasonable enough to understand that the national anthem cannot be sung in every language to please everyone

    Reply : 11       22

    Hesh Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:54

    looks like the stupid government isnt finished dividing people over ethnic lines. should be the only country where different citizen have different versions of national anthems

    Reply : 7       14

    SL-Wallah Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:55

    National Anthem should be in Sinhala only. There can not be more than one. It goes with the majority. This will be like opening a flood gate. The next thing will be a demand for Arabic or whatever. I hope the Parliament will sit tight and steadfast in refusing which is the right thing to do. If the Sirisena or Ranil are to ignore the disagreement of the majority, then it will cause the downfall of this yahapalanaya

    Reply : 23       20

    rise Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:56

    make English is the first language in the country and make the national anthem in English. via DM iOS App

    Reply : 8       37

    Jehan Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:56

    what about people who can only speak english? Isnt it discrimination for them to sing the national anthem in tamil or sinhala? one thing is clear the british left us in a trap that we will never come out of with stupid politicos like mangalika samaraweera

    Reply : 7       21

    Jayantha Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:00

    it would be the best idea to use the both languages to sing the national anthem. some may argue that it must be only in Sinhala, but it does not make any sense.

    Reply : 11       26

    Anon Thursday, 28 January 2016 12:09

    @ comment section, you guys are the main reason why there will never be any equality within this tiny island! Stop being xenophobic and let them sing in tamil!Also stop using USA and South Africa as examples, once coca cola had native americans sing the american national anthem and got so much of backlash from the white americans is EXACTLY how you lot are reacting to wanting *GASP* TAMIL people sing their version of the national anthem.

    Reply : 6       13

    Vern Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:01

    sigh! how are we going to deliver equality for natives and muslims? why dont we just stop singing the national anthem? you are making issues out of nothing.

    Reply : 2       10

    onlooker Thursday, 28 January 2016 13:12

    The national anthem of a country should only be in one language. Nowhere in the world is it sung in several languages. This govt.does not have a backbone to take a proper decision.

    Reply : 14       7

    Nihal Amarasekera Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:24

    Lot of skeletons in the cabinet.

    Reply : 1       7

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