By Ajith Siriwardana
National Peoples’ Power (NPP) Presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday assured northern people that they would create a situation where Tamil people would be able to learn and deal with the government in their mother tongue.
Speaking at an election rally in Kilinochchi, he said there were two state languages such as Sinhala and Tamil and added that it was vital to ensure the language rights of all communities.
“There are communities who speak Sinhala and Tamil languages. We have to ensure their right to learn and deal with government matters in their mother tongue. Tamils must have a right to lodge a complaint in Tamil. They should get a reply in Tamil to a letter sent by them to a state institution in Tamil,” he said.
Mr Dissanayake said our rulers were trying to instigate racism for their petty political gains and added that they were trying to create a division in the communities to continue their governance.
“When the signboard of the Palali airport was put up in Tamil, Mahinda Rajapaksa tried to create an opinion that the Sinhala language has been undermined by the Tamil just to gain Sinhala votes. When we came here, we saw that Rajapaksa’s name boards displayed here are in Tamil. That is to gain Tamil votes,” he said.
Mr Dissanayake said they would introduce a programme to foster Tamil culture and literature so as to protect their cultural identity.
“We do not see any literal, cultural-artistic products identical to the northern Tamil. They totally depend on Tamil Nadu artists,” he said.