Rajapaksa regime reverts to Sinhala-only national anthem; Tamil version ditched

Tuesday December 24, 2019

The Sri Lankan government has announced that the country's national anthem would be sung only in the Sinhala language on Independence Day.


Making the announcement, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Public Administration said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued orders that the national anthem should be sung in the national language, and not in any other language used in the country.


In May 2009, after declaring victory in the war against the LTTE, the government of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that the national anthem would be sung only in the Sinhala language, and his brother and the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the national anthem should be sung in the national language.


In February 2015, the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe reversed this decision and allowed the Tamil version of the Sri Lankan national anthem to be sung in state functions.


Though the Tamil version of Sri Lanka's national anthem does not provide any respite to Tamils who have been enduring nearly seventy-two years of state repression and genocide, the Rajapaksa government's decision to ditch it once again shows that it is hell-bent on taking away even the small concessions granted to the Tamils by past regimes to appease the international community.


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