LLRC advocated Bilingual National Anthem and Other Cultural Paths towards Reconciliation


National Anthem

8.291 Several views were expressed concerning the use of the National Anthem as a unifying factor, and in bringing about greater understanding among the communities. One view was that it would be advisable to reflect the two national languages policy by symbolically introducing at least two lines in Tamil to the National Anthem.172 It was pointed out that this would be a major step towards healing the wounds of the past.

8.292 According to another view the National Anthem should be sung in both languages. It was stated in this connection that in 1951 the National Anthem was officially accepted and from that day the National Anthem was also sung in Tamil and there was no necessity for change at this stage. 173


8.293 The Commission is of the view that creating greater awareness of linguistic and cultural affinities among the different communities would be an effective instrument for promoting greater reconciliation. This must be given the highest priority by the State and made part and parcel of a proactive State policy and program.

8.294 In this regard special attention must be given to translation and publication of major literary works in Tamil into Sinhala, and similarly Sinhala literary works into Tamil. Dissemination of such publications particularly among school children and youth would be of critical importance to foster a greater sense of understanding of and sensitivity to each other’s cultures.

8.295 Cinema, TV and stage drama, productions that highlight commonalities and mutual understanding between communities should be encouraged and disseminated specially for the benefit of the younger generation.

8.296 On the question of the National Anthem, the practice of the National Anthem being sung simultaneously in two languages to the same tune must be maintained and supported. Any change in this practice at the present time would only create a major irritant which would not be conducive to fostering post conflict reconciliation.

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172 Mr Srilal Perera before the LLRC at Colombo on 25th November 2010

173 Mr Amara Hewa Madduma before the LLRC at Colombo on 20th January 2011


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