Chandre Dharmawardana, in a COMMENT directed at the moderate voice of Daya Wickramatunga in Thuppahi Commentary, 5 August 2020 …. here raised in status because of its salience and wisdom
Daya Wickrematunga is said quoted to say: “Our Constitution should include that amendment. The 13th amendment that prescribed equal powers to the provinces, with equal status to the Sinhalese and Tamil languages, was aimed at that. It went to show that the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy of SWRD was wrong.”
In the USA, the Hispanic population is close to 20% and enjoys majority status in some states like New Mexico or California (while in SL, the Tamil population is close to 12-15%), but Spanish is not a national language in the US, and the Star–Spangled Banner is not sung in Spanish.
In France, the population of Arab-speaking people is similarly high, but Arabic is not an official language of France and the Marseillaise is not sung in Arabic.
I would say that Spanish in the US, and Arabic in France should be given recognition as official languages – but no one even dares to talk about it.
How to restore the “rights” of minorities? the solution is NOT via the constitution, or via carving out ethnic enclaves. Once we recognize Spanish in the US, what about Yiddish in New York, or Chinese in the West coast? What about aboriginal languages? An injustice will be done to some minority.
The answer is in technology. Let the constitution say that the majority language, e.g., French in France, is the official language. But we can make all languages equal in practice via technology since everyone’s cell phones can translate from any language to the cell-phone owner’s language (be it Mongolian) and render it in voice or in text. Then, even the tiniest language can exist and every one’s practical needs and enshrined rights can be met, without everyone having to learn a multitude of languages. For details, see:
The 13th amendment has not helped. It has created more problems & more distrust than ever before; and the language divide exists as it did. Also, by giving a special status to Tamil, not enjoyed by Sinhala in the North and East, some (see Island, July 28, Tiranagama’s articles) have claimed that a serious inequality has been created. Tiranagama claims that Tamil has more rights than the majority language has, right through out the country. I have not studied the problem, but legal experts should.
“France to stop Muslims praying in the street, interior minister says” ………………….. ……….. …………. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-stop-muslims-praying-street-ban-islam-interior-minister-a8064591.html
I am not French. But I love the French national anthem viz “La Marseillaise.” I find it stirring. I sing it in [one second after the French] and punch the air. Allez! Allez!