International

Sri Lanka celebrates I-Day by rendering national anthem in Tamil too

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at Independence Day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo: AP   | Photo Credit: Eranga Jayawardena

Marked by symbolism of high degree, the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was on Thursday celebrated with an uncommon element - the rendering of the Tamil version of the national anthem at the government's main event of the day.

As in the previous years, the might of security forces of the country was demonstrated at the event on the Galle Face Green which lasted nearly two and a half hours.

Around 8-50 a.m., the celebration got off to a colourful start as the Sinhala version of the anthem was played and President Maithripala Sirisena hoisted the national flag.

But, what captured the attention of many was that the Tamil version was sung by school students at the end of the event, which was also participated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

According to several Ministers, this happened after a long gap and it exemplified the present government’s efforts towards national reconciliation and ethnic harmony. The State-controlled English newspaper, "Daily News," in a report on its website, stated that the national anthem was sung in Tamil since 1949.

Social media went viral. Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Co-existence and Dialogue and a leader representing persons of recent Indian origin, tweeted: "Yes it's a very small act but that goes long way forward. National anthem in Tamil after decades. Victory 4 our Coexistence journey.”

Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Colombo’s Member of Parliament representing the United National Party, stated on his Facebook account: “A first in my lifetime! After many years the independence day celebrations came to a close with the national anthem sung in Tamil!” His post has triggered reactions from a number of persons with some of them not approving of the government's move.

A student, Firas Ashraf, said he was “feeling great and emotional when I was hearing the national anthem sung [in] Tamil.”

Mr Sirisena, in his address, said his government was “determined to face the UNHRC [United Nations Human Rights Council] resolution [on accountability and reconciliation] with the collective strength of all sections” of the country to “protect and preserve the national pride” and the “dignity of our armed forces that have made numerous sacrifices to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”

In his message on the eve of the I-Day, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa referred to the recent arrest of his son, Yoshitha Rajapaksa along with four others and said that in the event of the arrest of his entire family including himself, he would not “deviate from the path of reasserting our national independence.”

Marked by symbolism of high degree, the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was on Thursday celebrated with an uncommon element - the rendering of the Tamil version of the national anthem at the government's main event of the day.

As in the previous years, the might of security forces of the country was demonstrated at the event on the Galle Face Green which lasted nearly two and a half hours.

Around 8-50 a.m., the celebration got off to a colourful start as the Sinhala version of the anthem was played and President Maithripala Sirisena hoisted the national flag.

But, what captured the attention of many was that the Tamil version was sung by school students at the end of the event, which was also participated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

According to several Ministers, this happened after a long gap and it exemplified the present government’s efforts towards national reconciliation and ethnic harmony. The State-controlled English newspaper, "Daily News," in a report on its website, stated that the national anthem was sung in Tamil since 1949.

Social media went viral. Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Co-existence and Dialogue and a leader representing persons of recent Indian origin, tweeted: "Yes it's a very small act but that goes long way forward. National anthem in Tamil after decades. Victory 4 our Coexistence journey.”

Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Colombo’s Member of Parliament representing the United National Party, stated on his Facebook account: “A first in my lifetime! After many years the independence day celebrations came to a close with the national anthem sung in Tamil!” His post has triggered reactions from a number of persons with some of them not approving of the government's move.

A student, Firas Ashraf, said he was “feeling great and emotional when I was hearing the national anthem sung [in] Tamil.”

Mr Sirisena, in his address, said his government was “determined to face the UNHRC [United Nations Human Rights Council] resolution [on accountability and reconciliation] with the collective strength of all sections” of the country to “protect and preserve the national pride” and the “dignity of our armed forces that have made numerous sacrifices to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”

In his message on the eve of the I-Day, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa referred to the recent arrest of his son, Yoshitha Rajapaksa along with four others and said that in the event of the arrest of his entire family including himself, he would not “deviate from the path of reasserting our national independence.”











This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 10:13:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-celebrates-iday-by-rendering-national-anthem-in-tamil-too/article8192964.ece

Next Story