‘The Sinhala Only’ benefits remain

I agree with the points raised by Mr P.A. Samaraweera in his article on the ’56 Sinhala Only policy.

Both Elmo De Silva & H L Seneviratna's arguments touch only on one side of the coin. Basically, two important factors are to be considered here, how long it would have taken, had the same pre 56 policies continued, for the entire population to be on par as those of Colombo Elite? Did the country have enough resources then to implement such a wide education programme? Even after centuries of colonial occupation, only a handful were English educated, not the masses. It is almost impossible for the whole nation to be English educated within a short span of time. The Colombo Elite would have continued to enjoy their positions meanwhile, and would have seen to that remaining so. Therefore, the assumption that we would have had an English educated population by now that would have had equal opportunities is a myth.

Even if they succeeded by a miracle spreading English far and wide in the country, the Colombo elite discrimination would have continued against the country boy, English educated or not, because they were not pushed out. The 56 revolution gave the country boy that something special with which the elite could not compete with.

Then look at other nations who have followed the course that both EDS & HLS advocate, and learn what their position now is. English has taken over both Welsh & Gaelic languages, and only a small percentage of those ethnic people sadly speak their mother tongue now. Easily it would have happened to us if post 56 changes did not take place.


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