25 November, 2020

Blog

Singing Of National Anthem In Tamil

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to provide official sanction for the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil language is cheerful development for the country battered due to racist politics of the two main political parties-the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

This is good omen for a better future as the two main political parties, UNP and SLFP, which were responsible for denying the right to sing national anthem in Tamil language have supported the move.

In a major reconciliatory move President Maithripala Sirisena who has brought about a silent political revolution in the country which was sliding towards lawlessness and emerged as the only hope of all communities, deserves credit for this bold and farsighted initiative.

Reconciliation among communities remains a long and tedious journey for a country which was torn apart by the ethnic war caused by racist politics. In fact depriving the Tamil language equal status contributed a great deal for the ethnic conflict which divided communities and turned the peaceful island into a killing field. As a result precious resources which otherwise could be used for the development and raise people’s living standard were wasted on this unwanted war while politicians and their sidekicks flourished in weapons deals while the country suffered.

The government invitation card to mark the first anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence in1949

The government invitation card to mark the first anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence in1949

The election of President Maithripala Sirisena had shown that mainstream Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others wanted to live together. Thus the need of the hour is for bold initiatives and measures, above petty politics, to avoid past mistakes and bring the communities together.

However as the Chinese adage says that “one thousand mile journey begins with a step”, this may be that first step towards uniting the divided communities.

At the 17 March 2015 meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC), President Sirisena announced his decision to lift the language bar when the leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF), Mano Ganeshan, raised the issue. Reacting swiftly President Sirisena also agreed to issue a circular to all concerned including government institutions and heads of schools informing them about the official approval for the singing of the National Anthem in  Tamil language too.

Had this wisdom dawned on politicians who flourished on racist politics since the early days of independence in 1948, Sri Lanka could have averted the unfortunate carnage which it had to endure during the subsequent years and remain truly a Paradise Island.

The National Anthem was composed in 1940 when Sri Lanka was still under British rule by Ananda Samarakone, a product of Rabindranath Tagore’s Shanti Niketan in India. His  Sinhalese-language song “Sri Lanka Matha,  Apa Sri Lanka”  was adopted by the newly independent Sri Lanka as the national anthem in 1951.

Simultaneously, a Tamil version, “Sri Lanka Thaaye Nam Sri Lanka”, translated by   Lankan Tamil poet, M. Nallathambi who worked as a teacher at Colombo Zahira College during T.B.Jayah’s period, was also adopted.

For decades, both versions were sung, although only the Sinhalese version had constitutional sanction.

This situation continued even during the 30 year LTTE war to set up a separate state of Elam in the North and East of the island.

However, in the aftermath of the defeat of the dreaded LTTE in May Sinhala extremist parties such as Jathika Hela Urumaya, JHU, and National Freedom Front,NFF, instead of stretching  hands of friendship to Tamils, began demanding imposing a ban on the Tamil version on the ground that countries sanction use of only one language for singing the national anthem. This only showed that these extremists did not learn any lesson from ethnic war which ravaged the country. The Tamils’ argument that in several countries, including Canada and South Africa, national anthem is sung in different languages fell on deaf ears.

It was in this atmosphere then Home Minister W.D.John Seneviratne introduced a cabinet paper on December 12, 2010 to officially disallow singing the national anthem in Tamil. Though President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who headed the cabinet, did not officially support Seneviratne’s proposal, his government did not favor the use of the Tamil version. In doing so the country lost the golden opportunity to heal the wounds and unite communities.

Reflecting Rajapaksa’s policy of chauvinism security forces insisted on the use of the Sinhalese version only even in the predominantly Tamil areas.

As a result an unofficial ban came into being since 2010 on singing National Anthem in Tamil despite the Constitution of Sri Lanka making special provision for it to be sung in Tamil.

However even today and, that too despite the changing political climate, handful of Sinhala chauvinists continue to oppose the singing of national anthem in Tamil. They even claim that President Maithripala Sirisena could not issue such a circular permitting the singing of national anthem in Tamil language because it was against the constitution.

In fact what these chauvinists failed to understand is that it was the 1972 constitution of late Prime Minister Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike and the 1978 constitution of racist megalomaniac JR Jayewardene, depriving Tamils of their legitimate rights, plunged the country into a killing field.

In fact 37 years later today the island is struggling to free itself from  the shackles of Jayewardene’s all powerful  executive presidential constitution which paves the way for democratically elected autocratic dictatorship which remains above all laws and answerable to none. In fact Jayewardene’s constitution remains responsible to a very great extend for the current chaotic state of affairs in the country.

If the constitution deprives a community of its legitimate rights isn’t it time to change the constitution rather than clinging on to a constitution which divides communities and destroying the country. After all constitution, though respected and abided by all, is man made and not divine document.

However, it appears that they have learnt no lesson from the past though the country as a whole began waking up to realities and started adopting a live and let live policy ensuring a better future for all.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    14

    This man Latheef Farook,

    Talks both ways, and cannot be trusted – this article after the last one in CT proves himself to be a typical [Edited out]

    He has lost all credibility. Tamils should not be carried away by his brain washing articles.

    After all he is a loyal servant just like the arch racist Dayan, a retired one at that, fed by the same old Sinhala Buddhist racist state.

    • 4
      0

      Latheef Farook –

      RE: Singing Of National Anthem In Tamil

      Singing Of National Anthem In PARA- Tamil, PARA-Sinhala, PARA-English Should not be an Issue, Even thgough the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” are raising it as an Issue.

      “President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to provide official sanction for the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil language is cheerful development for the country battered due to racist politics of the two main political parties-the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.”

      Thre are two types of Sinhala “Buddhists.” Those with Common sense who understand Buddhism as taught by Buddha , and those without common sense, the Sinhala Buddhist Modayas who follow Mara and the Medamulana Mara types.

      Mr. Maitripala Sirisena belongs to the former group with common sense, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      If the National Anthem is to be sung in ONE Language, then it should be in the Language of the Native Veddah Aethho, not in Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamil, Para-English or any other Para-Language.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

      The above message should be widely distributed.

      The National Language should be sung in a language so that the inhabitants can understand and feel for the land as to where they belong.

      After all, the Paras in the world are born somewhere on Earth, so far until space travel outside our planet becomes a practical reality.

      • 1
        0

        Latheef Farook –

        What about this for the National song.The Paras are not recognized.

        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho
        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho
        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho
        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho

        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho Land
        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho Land

        We walked and claimed, given to us by the Gods.
        We walked and claimed, given to us by the Gods.

        Oh Paras, Paras, Palayaw, Poo Bharatayata
        Oh Paras, Paras, Palayaw, Poo Bharatayata
        Oh Paras, Paras, Palayaw, Poo Bharatayata
        Oh Paras, Paras, Palayaw, Poo Bharatayata

        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho Land
        Oh Adivassi Adivassi Aethho Land
        …………………………..

        • 1
          0

          Latheef Farook –

          New Zealand National Anthem
          Māori verse: “Aotearoa”

          They are the “Native Veddah Aethho” of New Zealand

          E Ihowā Atua,
          O ngā iwi mātou rā
          Āta whakarangona;
          Me aroha noa
          Kia hua ko te pai;
          Kia tau tō atawhai;
          Manaakitia mai
          Aotearoa
          English translation (Karetu)

          O Lord, God,
          of all people
          Listen to us,
          Cherish us
          May good flourish,
          May your blessings flow.
          Defend
          Aotearoa
          English verse: “God Defend New Zealand”

          God of Nations at Thy feet,
          In the bonds of love we meet,
          Hear our voices, we entreat,
          God defend our free land.
          Guard Pacific’s triple star
          From the shafts of strife and war,
          Make her praises heard afar,
          God defend New Zealand.
          Full English version[edit]

  • 3
    1

    Minister John Senecratne did what Mahinda Rajapakse wanted – after he was askd not to come to Oford University as opposition by Tamil diaspora would have paused the police problems.

    In some countries national anthem is sung in all ethnic languages of the citizens. In some countries the national anthem has no words(eg Spain) and the tune is played by the orchestra.

    • 2
      0

      Forget about singing the Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil, why shouldn’t we? See the film below:

      If you look at the latest documentary on the genocide of Eelam Tamils by Tamil Nadu producer Gauthaman, and shown simultaneously in Chennai and in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the 25th March, you will know why Tamils in Sri Lanka have no allegiance to sing the genocidaires’ national anthem.

      http://www.tamilwin.com/show-RUmtyDRdSUlw7H.html

      Many Tamil commentators here seem to be complacent to the hidden structural genocide of Tamils still going on under the army jack boots, and instead arguing whether Tamils should sing in Tamil or Sinhalese. There are no bigger fools than you.

      • 2
        0

        The best course of action for Tamils is to stay in silent protest whenever and wherever the Sri Lankan national anthem is played.

  • 8
    2

    Latheef Farook,

    “racist politics of the two main political parties-the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.”

    True. True.

    Curiously, you left out another crucially racist entities in Sri Lankan politics: Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. The SKLMC!

    Why. Oh why?

    Cheers!

    • 0
      1

      I see, so all the parties are racist .. everyone is equally bad – interesting way of avoiding guilt. its the yes i do bad things but who doesn’t excuse .. nice!

  • 2
    2

    This 1949 independence commemoration card is very clear proof of genocide happened in SL after 1949. Depriving minorities singing national anthem in their language…..real ugly … shame on me and my fathers for not standing up against this injustice..

    • 1
      0

      AVB

      “This 1949 independence commemoration card is very clear proof of genocide happened in SL after 1949. Depriving minorities singing national anthem in their language…..real ugly … shame on me and my fathers for not standing up against this injustice.”

      Point out that:

      Singing Of National Anthem In PARA- Tamil, PARA-Sinhala, PARA-English Should not be an Issue, Even though the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” are raising it as an Issue.

      Unfortunately, it was not pointed out in 1948 and 1949.

      Point it now, to the Sinhala Paras, Tamil Paras and any other Paras.

  • 2
    1

    I suppose Rudra sings the Eelam national anthem in Tamil and Sinhala?

    • 0
      0

      Fakeem has asked for time to decide whether they want an Arabic or
      Urdu version. His ExCo will soon meet to reach consensus on a further con – whether they came from Arabia or the Pakistani side to decide on the issue. As to the Sinhala version, Rudy says they have not received
      sufficient requests from the few Sinhalese in TE but he is not averse to the idea at the right time. It is also understood TGTE lawyers says a Sinhala version is not necessary because more than 50% of the current Sinhala language is Tamil, anyway.

      Meanwhile, Rudy reckons what is important is to get TGTE off the ground. He says Mauritius and South Sudan are not enough. He wants at least 3 more countries to support his TGTE – preferably members of UNs
      Security Council. Wait for the next TGTE AGM that will be held either in Las Vegas or Macao subject to the host country agreeing.

      Nettabomman

    • 2
      2

      Taraki

      Read his ‘Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter’ for language policy, for further clarification please contact him:

      Language Policy

      14. Tamil, Sinhala and English shall be the official languages of Tamil Eelam.

      For a full detail of his charter please continue reading the stuff below:

      TGTE Launched ‘Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter’
      May 19, 2013

      The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam launched Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter today. Aspiring to take the Vaddukoddai Resolution forward as the TGTE moves towards realizing its goal, and taking inspiration from Britain’s Ma’gna Car’ta, the Freedom Charter of the African National Congress (ANC) as well as the Palestinian National Charter, the Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter “will enshrine the ‘Freedom Demands’ of the people.” the Prime Minister Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran said. The Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter finalized today (18) after three day International Conference.

      We publish below the statement in full;

      Positions:

      Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – Prime Minister TGTE

      1. We, the people of Tamil Eelam, have an inherent right to self-determination. Subject to Genocide at the hands of successive Sinhala national governments and as an essential measure of protection we wish to establish our own independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam.

      2. The creation of an independent and sovereign State of Tamil Eelam remains the only viable option to lead a life with security, dignity and equality, both individually and collectively.

      3. For over six decades we have struggled, through both non-violent means and armed resistance, to protect ourselves from state sponsored Genocide. We demand the international community organize a referendum to enable us to exercise our right to self-determination and also take all measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of Genocide against the Tamil people.

      4. The North-East of Sri Lanka is our traditional homeland and will be the territory of the State of Tamil Eelam. The maritime and aerial limits of Tamil Eelam will be established according to international laws.

      5.The independent state of Tamil Eelam will embrace wholeheartedly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all international human rights and humanitarian treaties and conventions.

      6. A Constituent Assembly, elected by the people, shall draft the Constitution. The Constitution will avoid any concentration of power in one authority or person and enshrine the independence of the Legislature, the Executive and Judiciary. Tamil Eelam shall be a Republic adhering to the laws enacted by a Parliament of elected representatives chosen through direct voting by the people. The people shall have the right to recall their elected representatives.

      7. No religion shall be given the foremost place in Tamil Eelam. The freedom to worship and the cultural right to practice religious traditions shall be ensured.

      8. Tamil Eelam will prohibit capital punishment.

      9. The state of Tamil Eelam shall guarantee Constitutional protection of individuals, families and communities from any form of discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, language, caste, gender or sexual orientation.

      10. The rights of all minority groups in Tamil Eelam will be respected and safeguarded. The distinct identity of Muslims will be recognized. They shall have the right to participate in formulation of their role in Tamil Eelam. Whenever the hill country Tamils choose to settle in Tamil Eelam, citizenship rights will be extended to them forthwith and the state shall implement special programs for their welfare.

      11. All freedom fighters shall be honored as national heroes. All those who sacrificed their lives shall be honored as martyrs. The welfare of the families of the martyrs and cadre shall be the responsibility of the state. All civilians who lost their lives during the freedom struggle shall be remembered through a national monument. May 18 will be established as a National Day of Mourning and November 27 will remain as the National Maaveerar Day.

      Foreign Policy

      12. Tamil Eelam shall maintain close relations with all nations that have democratically elected governments. Expressing solidarity with the people of India and to foster peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, Tamil Eelam will forge a special relationship with India.

      Economic Policy

      13. The economic policy of Tamil Eelam will be shaped with the needs and resources of the people of Tamil Eelam in mind and to cultivate global cooperation as well as recognizing the significant role of the Tamil diaspora.

      Language Policy

      14. Tamil, Sinhala and English shall be the official languages of Tamil Eelam.

      Education Policy

      15. Education shall be compulsory and free for all.

      Health Policy

      16. Health will be a fundamental right and all citizens will have access to free healthcare.

      Development Policy

      17. Development includes economic as well as social, human resource and cultural development in a sustainable way. An important goal of development policy would be to create social equity and minimize disparities.

      18. Some of the objectives of development projects in Tamil Eelam will be to ensure that all citizens have:

      – their own shelter;

      – basic livelihood

      – adequate nutrition, especially for children, pregnant mothers and the elderly

      – protection from infectious diseases

      Environment Policy

      19. Land, water and space resources within the territory of Tamil Eelam will be conserved. Large-scale reforestation projects, especially of the Palmyra resource destroyed during the war, will be undertaken as a priority.

      20. Emphasis will be given to renewable energy forms such as solar, wind and wave. All non-renewable resources will be used cautiously keeping in mind the needs of future generations.

      Citizenship Policy

      21. Citizenship will be extended to all those born in the homeland or descended from those born in the homeland. Provisions will be made for obtaining citizenship through naturalization and also for holding dual citizenship.

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/
      tgte-launched-tamil-eelam-freedom-charter/

      • 1
        0

        Oh yes we all believe stateless Rudy will keep his word.

      • 1
        0

        Native Veddah,

        7. No religion shall be given the foremost place in Tamil Eelam. The freedom to worship and the cultural right to practice religious traditions shall be ensured.

        14. Tamil, Sinhala and English shall be the official languages of Tamil Eelam.

        Sri Lanka should Adopt the constitution of Tamil Eelam, and still Call it Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    at a ceremony if there is no one who knows the national song in Sinhala, is it good (1) to observe 2minutes silence or(2) to sing the national song in Tamil or (3) to sing some other song as a prelude?

  • 0
    0

    Just a court case by Wimal will fix the problem.

    What happened when Rajiv merged North and East?

  • 5
    1

    I listened to the National Anthem sung in Tamil language, from begining to the end. I don’t know who the singer was, but I was impressed.

    It evokes feelings of belonging to the Motherland, as much as the original Sinhala version. I could not understand all the words but some words made sense and followed a similar pronounciation as the equivalent Sinhala word.

    The President’s decision was absolutely the correct one. Any person who was born in Sri Lanka or from Sri Lankan parents, but unable to speak Sinhala is just as entitled as another to sing the National Anthem in their language, a language they understand, express and feel their feelings. I see no problem in it.

    • 0
      0

      I also believe the cause of unity and reconciliation in today’s context will be served if a group of leading Sri Lankan singers, drawn from the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher communities – including Christians – form a group and sing the National Anthem both in (1) Sinhala and (2) in Sinhala Tamil demonstrating their diversity. A model can be secured from a move made in India a few years ago where leading singers beginning with Lata Mangeshkar, her sister Asha Bhosle – and, singers from both genders throughout India representing the States, the religions and the races there came out with a truly touching rendition. This is now available in Video Online.

      They have obviously drawn inspiration from the “You are the World” effort of Music maestro Quincy Jones where Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Cindy Lauper and many old and news singing stars came together and really took the world with this lovely effort. This went viral in the world with many countries taking the cue.

      I am confident this will engage popular support. No denying the fact
      the anti-Unity brigade like Galabodda Gnanassara, with his cloth tucked up, will squeal with the JHU, PNM and what else joining them screaming blue murder and yelling the CIA, RAW, the Tamil Diaspora, Tamilnadu are all behind this “conspiracy against Sinhala Buddhism and the Buddhist Nation in Sri Lanka” ????

      Kettikaran

      • 1
        0

        Kettikaran,
        Please get your facts right before rushing into print.

        Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thero is a well-respected Monk.

        I think you mean Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara the leader of the Bodu Bala Sena, a totally different kettle of Fish!

        Please apologise to the Good Thero.

        • 1
          0

          Tku Hamlet for the correction. I, of course, meant that rowdy
          blot on Buddhism – disgracing the country and that divine creed that is a gift to the world from India. Why have’t the millions of followers of Buddhism in the country lead by their clerical leaders publicly raise their voice against this avatar of Buddharakhita Thero? This must start with the Prelates in Asgiriya and followed by other Mahanayakas in the country.

          Kettikaran

  • 1
    0

    how about singing national anthem in 6/8 beat with a papare backing….these gawa-palana fools are making a mockery out of everything..

  • 1
    1

    Couple of prose in English more than enough. Who wants the history lesson in a National Anthem? Standing for hours another pain!
    Make it simple ohhh our Pundits!!!!!!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.