Image courtesy Narenthiran

I read Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s article under the caption ‘Accolades for President and Prime Minister‘ in The Island of 10 Feb. with much interest and appreciation. Listening to the singing of the National Anthem in either or both of languages is indeed a moving experience on account of its melody and its theme that we are all children of one motherland. It is most moving when it is sung in our mother tongue, or in both languages.

It is for this reason that those who dispute the claim that all of us, without exception, are children of one motherland may disagree with Prof. Carlo Fonseka. This category of dissidents is not composed exclusively of Sinhalese majoritarian racists. Many Tamil racists also dispute the claim that we are all children of one motherland. They claim that it is the Anthem of the Sinhalese and see no reason to sing it, especially in Tamil.

Such tribalism is a feature of all human societies, and is not easily eradicated. Accordingly, both progress and regression in national reconciliation have occurred and may continue to occur. But the singing of the National Anthem in both national languages on the occasion of the celebration of National Independence Day this year, and its endorsement by the President, the Prime Minister and very many others marks a significant advance. To quote Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s tongue in cheek understatement, “Good things do happen in our country every now and then”.

  • puniselva

    1.Good step forward indeed. But the words must soon be made meaningful for Tamils- now most of them are meaningless for them. Tamils’demands in the last 67yrs have been, in effect, for that.
    2.news.lk, army.lk and defence.lk gave news on Independence Day celebration in Colombo where the anthem was sung in both languages. They didn’t report the function in the Vanni where the anthem was sung only in Sinhala.
    Is it because it was sung by ex-LTTE cadres enrolled in Civil Defence Force and not by ordinary citizens as in Colombo celebration?
    3.In December 2010 the govt ordered that national anthem be sung only in Sinhala in Jaffna and an educational officer who resisted the decision was murdered within hours later in the eveing at his house and nobody is yet punished for it.

  • puniselva

    Last year we saw the symbolic handing over of a fraction of land under HSZ and now we’re told that therest of the issue is handed over to the army.
    The long haggling that went on among the govt minsters preceding the symbolic singing in Tamil raises questions, esp when the function where the anthem was sung in Sinhala in the Vanni was not reported in govt websites.
    This must be seen against the very sluggish progress towards GoodGovernance in all aspects.

  • Jayalath

    Awesome , awesome . It could be great also if Honourable ministress Vijayakala Maheswaran respected and acted according to the statutory and constitutional provisions, without raising resistance to lift the national flag .

    Therefore, I have no objection to singing the Anthem in neither Tamil nor English , because we were under control and managed for centuries by English , we still have English railways ,education, language , brown English men and tea ,coconut and rubber etc , so why can’t we sing the anthem in English too. I personally cannot see any sign of progress of integration among us although the radical steps have taken by new regime to build the eternal peace bridge .
    It is evidently indicated from the attitude of that Vijayakala and chief minister wingnsswaran . If the efforts were productive , there shouldn’t be a limbo . Presumably credible signs of improvements should have prevailed by now for long lasting peace and unity . But as the leaders are bragging about there aren’t much tangible changes yet to see except largely visible colossal infrastructures that were built by former president .
    However , it is not that we as ordinary people responsible for the whole mess that country suffered for decades , because those who the distinguished old professors from all races made decisions to drive the country into this level time to time , I can see even today that distinguished old professors in the country have emphasised what is right to strengthen the harmony and prosperity today , but I am pretty sure , they will not alive here to be part of saving country when it needs to sacrifice by ten of thousand lives for their blunders .This is the bitter reality while considering the situation , that we have acrimoniously experienced in the past . Yet ,I cannot pessimistic the same thing will happen again , but as a precautionary ,it could be a grand consolation to all Sri Lankans if the miraculously achieved triumph would be protected for a perpetual peace and harmony

    • puniselva

      I wouldnt touch a flag with a lion thrust with a sword by inhuman humans – inhuman to make a living creature hold a reprimanding sword. Reprimanding whom?
      I’d object to it if any coutry has such a flag. I ddon’t know why WWF/environmentalists/nature-lovers/religionists haven’t objected to it. It shouldn’t be surprising that i.we’ve been having a series of racial riots and oppression of ethnic minorities and ii.the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala at afunction in the North unreported in govt websites.
      My only appeal to the constitution-makers is to have a flag for peace – we’ve had a flag of violence for 68yrs.

    • puniselva

      A.”miraculously achieved triumph would be protected”
      i.”triumph” is protected by excessive militarisation and by giving excessive power to the military
      ii. militarisation of the North began in 1958. Mrs Bandaranaike began to intensify it in 1961 and further by sending Neville Jayaweera as GA in 1963(according to his memoirs published in TheIsland in 2008) though he didn’t meet the expectations and on the contrary began to be sympathetic towards the Tamils.
      B.”perpetual peace and harmony” can be acieved easily by adopting the Buddhist precepts genuinely or by avoiding to violate the International Law/UN Charter.