Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan has threatened to resign from his ministerial portfolio if the government fails to give due recognition for language parity.
“If there is no language parity, how on earth can there be genuine power sharing, national coexistence and parity between ethnicities and provinces? National question is not only the language issue. But it sure holds the large part of the national question. Therefore I consider language parity is the prelude to the national coexistence. If no recognition is given to the language parity exercise of my ministry, I will have no business in holding this ministry. I will quit,” Ganesan warned.
He emphasized that his ministry has two major mandates, one is for national coexistence dialogue between ethnic linguistic segments and the other is for the all-important official language policy implementation.
“We are still very much far behind the goal of achieving language parity in this country. Still the Tamil speaking communities are governed by the Sinhala only language policy mechanism. As the sole authoritative for official language policy implementation, I am answerable to the questions raised by the people’s representatives of the Tamil speaking community,” Ganesan said, while adding that the Chief Ministers of the Northern and Eastern Provinces were questioning him over the continuing language disparity.
He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and also Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to discuss certain shortcomings in regard to this issue before they become serious.
Meanwhile, Ganesan has also accused Samaraweera of ‘hijacking’ the local mechanism process from the Prime Minister’s office, which has led to a breakdown in the process going forward. The mechanism centres around four key areas; truth, justice, repatriation and non-recurrence, which are linked to the country’s efforts to achieve reconciliation.
“It is true that that foreign ministry is the face of Sri Lanka to the world. But however it looks to me that foreign ministry has hijacked the total mechanism process from the prime minister’s office. The Prime Minister’s Action Group (PMAG) of which my ministry is also a part has not met since its inception. Foreign minister Samaraweera has somewhat failed to take some of the serious concerns of the leading activists of civil society organizations (CSO),” Ganesan claimed.
According to him, the CSO activists have contributed right through to the upholding of the human rights values during the most difficult days. “I was part and parcel of such activities. They are linked to the coexistence mandate of my ministry under the secretariat for national and international voluntary organizations. Surly some confused atmosphere is prevailing in the consultative and coordination process. Minister Samaraweera and his ministry has failed to take note of the role played by my ministry in the non-recurrence part. This is creating some dissonance tendencies within the victim communities,” Ganesan lamented.