Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has indicated that it has no plans to change its policy on the languages used in the packaging of its milk products in Sri Lanka.
Reacting to scathing comments and threatened governmental action for violating the country’s language policy, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka said that it has a uniform policy in regard to the language used in the packaging throughout a East and South East Asia.
“Whilst our Anchor Butter Product Packaging is fully compliant with the packaging regulations of Sri Lanka, we understand and empathise with the recent concerns regarding the languages used on the pack. To clarify, Anchor Butter is made, packaged and exported from New Zealand to multiple countries in East and South East Asia. The same pack is made available to Sri Lanka.
Hence, the product packaging includes the commonly spoken language in these respective countries. We reiterate that the languages on the pack are not a reflection of our respect for diversity and the value we place on all our customers.”
But this does not explain why they left out Tamil which is the second most used language in Sri Lanka which has to be used in public communication by law in Sri Lanka. It also does not explain why Chinese is used and that with precedence over Sinhalese which is the dominant local language.
Meanwhile the Minister of National Languages Mano Ganeshan said that government has initiated action against Fonterra Brands in Sri Lanka for breaching the national language policy.