Sinhala-Only for President

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 December 2005, 22:22 GMT]
President Mahinda Rajapakse declared last week that as a matter of policy he will address all important events in Sinhala, the Sunday Times reported this week. He pointed out that “Sinhala was his Mother tongue” the paper said.

Mahinda RajapakseLast week the President invited all Colombo based diplomats for a briefing on his approach towards the peace process.

“ At the meeting, he made an important ground-breaking announcement. Something even the former populist peoples President Ranasinghe Premadasa did not do. He said that in the future, when he speaks at such occasions, he would speak in the Sinhala language,” the Times’ political column reported.

“He said that Sinhala was his Mother tongue. There would, however, be a translator, he said, who would translate what he says into the English language. He said that he would do this on all important functions, and that he would be doing it as a matter of policy.”

“The 1956 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike 'Sinhala Only' policy, it seems, has now borne fruit,” the Times’ political column also observed.

President Rajapakse, elected with the overwhelming backing of the Sinhala people, particularly the nationalist voters, has long nurtured an image as a ‘man of the people’ as had President Premadasa who governed in the late eighties.

 

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