Colvin and one language - a response


I refer to Professor Carlo Fonseka’s article appearing in your issue of February 10, 2016, in which he has stated inter alia "At the time of the Sinhala only debates in 1956, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, a great leader of the LSSP prophesied that the imposition of one language on the nation would result in two countries". For reasons best known to Prof. Fonseka, he appears to have totally ignored what happened on January 8, 1966, when the "Tamil Language Special Provision" Bill was presented to the Parliament, then known as the House of Representatives, by the then Prime Minister, late Dudley Senanayaka.

On that day, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, with his party colleagues, went in procession along the Kollupitiya area of the Galle Road, protesting against the Bill. The famous slogan used by them was "Dudlige Badey, Masala Vadey", implying that Dudley had eaten the Masala Wadey, given to him. Anyone in doubt about this Masala vadey affair, has only to go through the newspapers issued on or after 9th January, 1966.The Bill was however, approved by the then House Representatives. The police were compelled to baton charge the procession, in order to ensure peace and in the process. I believe a Buddhist monk, Ven. Dambarawe Ratanasara, got seriously injured. So, this procession led by Dr. Colvin R. de Silva in 1966, is totally at variance with what he stated in 1956 and referred to by the good Professor, who is very kindly requested to give his reasons for what happened in 1966 and referred to above.

D. Chandrasiri

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