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Religious Unrest Continues in Sri Lanka

An attack was launched by a Buddhist mob against a Mosque in Colombo on Saturday August 10th 2013, just one day after Muslims celebrated “Eid Ul Fitr”. At least 12 people were injured in scuffles that broke out during the siege. The reason for the attack was based on the claim that the new three-storey structure on […]

Discrimination and minority issues

The Secretariat for Muslims will advocate and lobby for the full implementation of the Official Languages Policy (OLP) as a means of ensuring the Constitutional rights of the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka. SFM will team up together with other key stakeholders such as Tamil Civil Society Organisations in the North and East and the hill country in advocating for the implementation of the Official Languages Policy and issues of equitable resource distribution, employment, education and university entrance, etc.

 

The Sinhala Only language policy introduced in 1956 was a major source of discontent among the Tamil speaking population, since Sinhala was declared the official language, and thus discriminated against the minority Tamil speaking people. This issue among others formed the basis for continuous agitation by the Tamils which climaxed in the thirty year long civil war that raged between the LTTE and the government forces.

 

As a minority community within Sri Lanka, the language issues affect the Muslims as well since they primarily speak in the Tamil language and require the same facilities in relation to education and employment, as well as the freedom to conduct their business with the State in the language they understand, etc.

 

In 1987, as a result of an Indian influenced Peace Accord, the government adopted the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which stipulated that Tamil is also an official language.

 

The Official Languages Commission (OLC) was established by Presidential decree and Act of Parliament. However, due to myriad reasons, the OLC has failed to carry out its mandate and ensure effective implementation of the language policy in Sri Lanka.