BBS, NFF Hit Out At Allowing Singing Of National Anthem In Tamil

The Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said on Thursday that President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to allow the singing of the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil is unconstitutional.

BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera stated that the Sri Lankan constitution has sanctioned only one version and that is in Sinhalese, The New Indian Express said. He added that if any change has to be brought about in such a fundamental matter, there has to be a referendum.

Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF) leader Mano Ganesan told ‘Asian Mirror’ recently that President Maithripala Sirisena will be sending a circular in the near future, allowing the singing of the Tamil version of the National Anthem. The decision was taken at the last meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC).

However, Gnanasara Thera pointed out that the unconstitutionality of the practice had been pointed out in 2010 and it was stopped.

Explaining the BBS’s stand further, its CEO Dilantha Withanage, told Express that by raising the language issue, Ganesan is only sharpening communal differences and creating tension in the country.

“These issues are brought up purely for political gain. The Tamil problem is deep rooted and cannot be solved by getting the right to sing the national anthem in Tamil,” Withanage argued.

Meanwhile, Leader of National Freedom Front Wimal Weerawansa told media that the decision to allow singing of the national anthem in Tamil will influence extremism in the country.

However, speaking to ‘Asian Mirror’ on the matter recently, Ganesan added that both songs have the same tune and same meaning. “Those who love the country should promote both the versions” he said, adding that it will help encourage a national feeling among all Sri Lankan people.
(With inputs from The New Indian Express)

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