News Item in Colombo Gazette, 4 February 2020
Concerns were raised today over the failure by the Government to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the main Independence Day event at Independence Square. The National Anthem was sung only in Sinhalese, which was a shift from the policy of the former Government which decided to sing the anthem in Sinhalese and Tamil in order to promote reconciliation among the communities.
A group of people led by some activists gathered at the Borella cemetery roundabout and sang the anthem in Tamil and Sinhalese. Most of them wore black in protest of the Governments decision to sing the anthem in Sinhalese only at this year’s Independence Day celebrations.
The Tamil National Alliance also boycotted the main event as a mark of protest. Former Minister Mano Ganesan tweeted saying he was saddened and ashamed to note that the Government had dismissed the National Anthem in Tamil at the official Independence Day ceremony in front of international and local communities. He accused the Government of going down the path of destroying the Sri Lankan identity by giving justification to separatists and disappointing patriots.
WHERE an English-speaking Aussie, BRIAN GILBERTSON, honoured Lanka by rendering SRI LANKA MAATHA in Sinhala in a style that swelled the hearts of Sri Lankans present … and I was one of the fortunate ones
…. incidentally, Brian was coached in the Sinhala version by the late Dr Risien Bartholomeusz — so the lineage of transmission was truly as trans-ethnic and as thuppahi as the whole world is.