fifty years ago January 24, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (January 24, 1970): Equal status for Tamil in Ceylon

The All Ceylon Tamil Congress while re-pledging itself “unequivocally” to “a united Ceylon with a unitary form of Government” has demanded equal official status to the Tamil language and equality of opportunity to the minority Tamils throughout the island. A resolution, adopted at the 25th annual session of the Congress at Chavakachcheri near Tamil-dominated Jaffna in the north last night [Jan. 22], called for an early solution to the language problem “on the democratic basis that what Sinhala is to the Sinhalese Tamil shall be to the Tamil-speaking people wherever they may reside in this country. All racial, linguistic and religious communities can and must live together with self-respect and dignity as equals and co-operate in the common heritage with equality of status and of opportunity through the length and breadth of Ceylon,” the resolution declared. The Tamil Congress, which had a political setback after bulk of its members broke away in the late fifties to form the Federal Party with its cry for federal set up and a militant line to back it up expressed its disenchantment with the working of the present Soul-bury Constitution by the successive Governments since independence and called for incorporation in the Constitution of a chapter on fundamental rights.

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