In the wake of reports about Arabic signboards in some areas of the eastern province, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed that they should be written only in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
According to sources close to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister instructed Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardane to initiate action to make sure that signboards and name boards are written in three officially recognized languages in Sri Lanka.
Following the Prime Minister’s instructions, the Minister will issue a circular asking the local authorities to comply with this decision. There are reports that Arabic language is widely used in areas like Kattankudy in the east to indicate names of roads and by-lanes.
After the bomb attack by the terrorists linked to the Islamic State (IS), there is increased concern in Sri Lanka about Arabization of Muslims. There are also widespread calls for de-Arabization . (Kelum Bandara)