Now, Mano proposes ‘revolutionary’ cabinet paper to solve language problem


CBK and Mano

By Shamindra Ferdinando

National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan on Wednesday said that he would submit a revolutionary cabinet paper to strengthen ongoing efforts meant to induce the Sinhalese to learn the Tamil language.

Minister Ganesan said the proposed cabinet paper would seek a policy decision regarding the Sinhalese acquiring proficiency in the Tamil language before being absorbed into the public sector.

The minister alleged that those who had joined the public sector invariably failed to learn the Tamil language though they were required to do so. Ganesan made the announcement addressing the soft launch of a special website for bilingual and trilingual resources pool at the Committee Room ‘A’ at the BMICH.

Minister Ganesan said: "Implementation of the language policy, addressing the language related issues and implementing them in a real time basis will be a prelude to solving more than half of the ethnic problems. A cabinet paper has been put forward to re-look at the selection criteria of recruitment in to government service where there will be further motivation for learning new languages."

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga presided at the event in her capacity as Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). Both Mrs Kuamratunga and Minister Ganesan agreed that a major effort was needed to solve the language problem in the state sector.

Minister Ganesan said that Sri Lankans eagerly acquired proficiency in Korean to secure employment there. The Minister asserted that people could be similarly compelled to learn the Tamil Language by making it compulsory for them to secure state sector employment.

Turning towards the former President Kumaratunga, Minister Ganesan said that she spearheaded the project to end the Rajapaksas’ rule. "She prepared the blueprint for the regime change project," the minister said adding that the then Opposition owed its success to her effort.

Emphasizing the importance of learning English, Minister Ganesan said that those who had excelled in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages should receive the preference in securing state sector employment.

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