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The language controversy over Sri Lankan National Anthem

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A National Anthem is a song of patriotic sentiment affirming loyalty to one’s country or nation adopted officially by that Country or Nation. An anthem becomes a national anthem through Constitutional provision, specific legislation or long – standing tradition.

Stylistically the majority of anthems are marches or hymns.They are usually written or composed in the most common language in the Country.There are however some notable exceptions to this rule particularly in multi-ethnic nations.

Ananda Samarakoon ~ pic courtesy of: sundaytimes.lk

In Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon , the song “Namo Namo Matha” written by the artist-poet Ananda Samarakoon was formally adopted as the national anthem in 1951. It was slightly amended and changed to “Sri Lanka Matha” in 1961 without the consent of Samarakoon.

When the national anthem was adopted in 1951 Sinhala had not been proclaimed as the sole official language. Thus the United National Party (UNP) government of the day got the song in Sinhala translated into Tamil by the scholar “Pundit” M. Nallathamby.

Both the Sinhala and Tamil versions have been in use for decades. There has set in over the years a certain form of usage in relation to the national anthem. The original Sinhala song gets pride of place in most state or official ceremonies and events. In some instances the Tamil version is also sung.

It has however been the practice for the Tamil version to be used in most events or functions in the Tamil speaking areas of the Northern and Eastern provinces. Most Tamil medium schools also sing the national anthem in Tamil at school events. This applies to many Tamil medium schools outside the North – East too.

It is indeed noteworthy that the Tamil version continued to be in use even after Sinhala was made the sole official language in 1956. Both the Sinhala and Taml versions were sung in the sixties of the last century when the Prime minister Dudley Senanayake visited Jaffna.When Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike came to Jaffna as premier in 1974 to open the newly set up Jaffna campus of the University of Sri Lanka both versions were sung.

It was common in those days for selected school bands and choirs to render the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil. What is remarkable is that though the Tamil language held no official status the more enlightened governments of the day had no qualms about the national anthem being sung in the Tamil language in Tamil medium schools or official functions in the predominantly Tamil speaking regions.

The Constitution of 1978 ushered in by the UNP regime led by Junius Richard Jayewardene provided national language status to the Tamil language. It also granted Constitutional status to the national anthem. Clause 7 of the Constitution says – “The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be “Sri Lanka Matha,” the words and music of which are set out in the Third Schedule”.


Both the Sinhala original and Tamil translation were acknowledged. This was done mainly because of former Kalkudah MP KW Devanayagam who was at that time the only Tamil minister in the UNP government. This act evoked praiseworthy mention as an indicator of inclusiveness and tolerance.

The Wikipedia dictionary in its entry on national anthems refers to Sri Lanka in this way – “The Sri Lankan national anthem has translated lyrics for each of the country’s official languages Sinhala and Tamil. It was actually written in Sinhala, but a Tamil translation is also played on some occasions and mostly played in Tamil Provinces and Tamil schools”

It could be seen therefore that this Island nation has displayed a sense of accommodation towards the usage of Tamil language in the sphere of “officially” singing the national anthem throughout its post independence period.

Although the singing of the national anthem decreased significantly in the North and east due to the escalation of the ethnic conflict the practice is once again emerging in recent times after the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Against this backdrop it was indeed troubling to see a sudden “assault” on the usage of the Tamil national anthem from unexpected quarters. Strong moves were initiated by sections of the government to abolish the translated Tamil version of the national anthem and impose Sinhala as the only language in which the national anthem could be sung officially. A cabinet paper was taken up for discussion by the government in this regard on December 8th 2010.

It is somewhat unbelievable that such a politically myopic exercise could have been undertaken at the present juncture.

After decades of a separatist conflict the alienated Tamil population is slowly struggling to be re-integrated into the political mainstream of a united nation. Now they were being denied the right to sing the national anthem in their mother tongue and dealt a symbolic blow .


This act of denial had other insensitive connotations in the wake of the military defeat inflicted on the LTTE. It could be interpreted by some as a symbol of triumphalism. The Tamils were being treated as a “conquered” people and forced to sing the national anthem in the language of the “conqueror”.

There was also a cruel irony in the contemplated move.The limited right to sing the national anthem had been enjoyed in the past when Tamil had no official Constitutional status. Now Tamil had official language status thanks to the 13th and 16th amendments to the Constution. Sadly attempts were being made now to deny the right to sing in Tamil after elevating it as an official language.

Furthermore these moves were being proposed under the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Rajapaksa has earned much credit in the past due to his efforts to afford official recognition to the Tamil language. He is the first Sri Lankan head of state to start learning the language of the principal minority ethnicities in his country.

Rajapaksa tries to speak at least a few passages in Tamil on important occasions. He is the first man to speak in Tamil while addressing the UN General assembly. Recently he got his secretary Lalith Weeratunga to use Sinhala,Tamil and English at the official swearing in ceremony.

It is ironic therefore to see attempts underway to deny usage of Tamil in singing the national anthem when President Rajapaksa has in the past embraced the language to a great extent publicly in a bid to demonstrate to the Tamil people that they are indeed an integral and esteemed component of the Sri Lankan nation.

What then led to this sorry situation?


The way to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. The background to these attempts were also based on good intentions. It had been felt that no proper procedures were being practised at official functions where the national flag was raised or national anthem sung.

President Rajapaksa had therefore instructed Public Administration and Home affairs minister W.D.J. (John) Senevirathne to prepare a cabinet memorandum outlining the appropriate protocols to be adopted in relation to the national flag and national anthem. A cabinet paper incorporating basic guidelines was duly prepared and submitted for discussion and approval on November 3rd 2010.

After preliminary discussion in November the cabinet paper was taken up for detailed discussion again on December 8th 2010.

This column learns that the officials who drafted the memorandum had relied greatly on a Singaporean piece of legislation as a model. The use of the national anthem is governed by Part IV of the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules made under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act. This act amended in 2007 was used as a model by Sri Lankan officials.

Apparently there is a provision in the Singaporean act which stipulates that anyone singing the national anthem must sing the official lyric and not any translation of the lyric. According to informed sources the duplication of that provision in the Sri Lankan cabinet memorandum had paved the way for the current controversy.

It is learnt that the cabinet paper recommended the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala only and suggested that the Tamil translation in use for decades be summarily abolished. It was also proposed that those who were not proficient in the Sinhala language could write down the Sinhala words in Tamil or English and sing.


The Sri Lankan officials in emulating the letter of the Singaporean guidelines had missed the spirit of the Lion City state anthem. Although the majority community in Singapore are the Chinese (75.2%) the national anthem is in the Malay language spoken by 13.6% of the people. The national anthem written by Zubir Said is titled “Majulah Singapura” or “Onwards Singapore”.

English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil are recognized as official languages in Singapore but Malay is regarded as the National language. Thus it is considered appropriate that the national anthem be in Malay. Translations are available in English,Mandarin and Tamil but only Malay could be used to sing the national anthem in official functions.

Thus in Singapore where the national anthem is in a “minority” language there is an imperative need to debar translations and insist upon Malay alone being used officially to sing the national anthem. If translations were allowed the Mandarin or English version could swamp the Malay version. But this is not the case in Sri Lanka where Sinhala is firmly entrenched as the language of the majority and primary official language. It is the Tamil language that requires special measures and guarantees in the present situation.

It was in this context that the cabinet paper dated November 3rd 2010 was taken up for detailed discussion by the cabinet on December 8th 2010.


According to ministerial sources who spoke to this columnist on condition of anonymity it was National Freedom Front (NFF) leader and Construction, Engineering , Services Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Werawansa who at the outset welcomed the proposal to abolish the Tamil translation and sing the national anthem in Sinhala alone.

Weerawansa informed his cabinet colleagues that the Tamils wanted to sing the anthem in Sinhala and said that when he was in Jaffna recently the national anthem had been sung in Sinhala only at an official function. The Jaffna Tamil gathering had sung enthusiastically, Weerawansa said.

Pontificating further the former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)stalwart observed that it was a joke for a national anthem to be sung in two languages. He also educated his co – ministers that in India where so many languages were spoken including Tamil the national anthem was in Hindi only.

Unfortunately minister Weerawansa was not well-informed on the topic he was waxing eloquent. There are several countries like Canada, Philipines , Belgium, Switzerland and South Africa where the national anthem is sung in two or more languages in full or in parts. At the same time many countries allow limited use of translations. (This column intends elaborating on these matters in a forthcoming article).

More importantly Weerawansa was incorrect in his reference to the Indian national anthem. The song “Jana Gana Mana” was written in Bengali by the illustrious Rabindranath Tagore a Bengali himself. It is however written in “tatsama” and not colloquial Bengali.

Celine Dion sings National Anthem of Canada in French


Tatsama Bengali is somewhat classical and has an extensive vocabulary of words “loaned” from the ancient Sanskrit language. About 70% of words used in Tatsama Bengali is of Sanskrit origin while only about 40% words in colloquial Bengali is Sanskrit.

Bengali poets of the 10th century resorted to Tatsama because they felt that a greater deal of classical Sanskrit was required to express their thoughts in poetic form. Later in the 19th century another school of thought comprising English educated Bengalis revived the Tatsama poetry in a big way.

Tagore was influenced by this school of thought and resorted to Tatsama in conveying his poetic thoughts in Bengali. “Jana gana mana” therefore had a lot of Sanskritised words intelligible to most Indo-Aryan languages .

Weerawansa was therefore incorrect in saying the Indian national anthem is in the official language Hindi. Incidently another of Tagore’s compositions “Sonar Bangla” or “golden Bengal” is the national anthem of Bangla Desh.

According to ministerial sources Weerawansa’s ill-informed onslaught on Tamil being used to sing the national anthem found a responsive chord in several ministers.

One reason for this type of response was the view shared by some that Weerawansa was only articulating the wishes of President Rajapaksa. So some better informed ministers were seemingly in agreement with Weerawansa to curry favour with the President.


In that situation several of the more enlightened ministers also kept silent.There was also hesitation among ministers of the Tamil and Muslim communities to speak out. But not so the irrepressible Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

The veteran leftist firebrand who had joined cabinet ranks as minister of National languages and Social integration was the first to speak against the proposal to do away with Tamil in singing the national anthem

Nanayakkara spoke eloquently on the need to be inclusive and fair by the minority communities. He saw no need for the removal of an arrangement that had been in practice for so many years. Comrade Vasu also pointed out that the need of the hour was to reach out to the Tamil masses and bestow upon them a sense of belonging. The national anthem proposal would be detrimental to national unity, he said.

With Nanayakkara leading from the front the counter-offensive to the “Sinhala only” imposition gained momentum. Rajitha Senarathne the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister , Douglas Devananda the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister, Rauff Hakeem the Justice minister A.L.M. Athaulla the Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister joined the discussion and spoke out against the proposal.


Athaullah had a counter –proposal. Why not include verses from Tamil also into the national anthem along with Sinhala? He queried. For the national anthem to be truly national both the Sinhala and Tamil languages should constitute it observed the uncrowned king of Akkaraipatru who went on to propose a bi-lingual national anthem.

The mood at the cabinet meeting changed and it soon became obvious that the proposal to do away with the Tamil translation of the national anthem was being met with stiff resistance. It was also clear that deep divisions were emerging on this account within the cabinet conclave.

Gauging the situation correctly President Rajapaksa brought the discussion and debate to an end by announcing that the decision on the cabinet paper would be deferred indefinitely until a later date. He said that an intensive informed discussion was necessary before a final decision was arrived at.Meanwhile the status quo would remain as usual, the President stated.

Although the decision on the issue has been deferred the controversy surrounding the issue has not ceased. News reports in sections of the media continue to fuel it.

It is important to note that the issue has not been resolved conclusively.

What then is the future of the Sri Lankan national anthem?


DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at djeyaraj2005@yahoo.com


  1. Thank you DBS for giving us the true picture of what happened. I think status quo should remain when final decision is taken

  2. Thank you Mr.Jeyaraj for this illuminating article about the exact happenings. I think lots of media are spreading false stories and angering Tamils

    I hope your article and the next continuation will give correct insight and restore a sense of balance to a highly sensitive issue

  3. This article is very informative

    It took me back to my schooldays in Thellippalai when we sang the “Thesiya Geetham” in Tamil at school functions and assembly

    Pandithar Nallathambys translation was very good and by singing it in a language we understood we the students got enthused with patriotism and love for our motherland

    Let sanity prevail when cabinet finalises the issue in the future

  4. There is no point in meddling with something that worked well so far.Let our Tamil brothers and sisters continue to sing Sri Lanka Matha in Tamil wherever possible

  5. If the govt abolishes Tamil translation the message conveyed to Tamils will be clear. This is a Sinhala rata

  6. A good article. Sri lanakans have lot to learn. But will they? They are following the foot steps of their politicians.

    The government MP’s from minority community have’nt said anything officialy, yet. When will they? sad. Mr. Thondaman and Dougles, when will you speak for your people?

  7. Dear DBS, you have already referred to the potential spoilers on both sides. This is a clear example of that and shows Tue idiocy of some of our politicians. I hope wiser council prevails and look forward to learning a bilingual anthem.

  8. I am so happy that people like Vasu are in the govt.Will help influence Mahinda away from racists like Weerawansa and Ranawaka

  9. Thank god, Vasudeva Nanayakkara is in the Cabinet (for the first time?). He has been a true champion of minority rights for a long time, and he is in the right place, at the right time.

    Nanayakkara is a real Nanayakkaran.

  10. I am a Tamil but prefer to sing national anthem in Sinhala but I agree that provision must be made for people wishing to sing in Tamil to sing in Tamil

  11. I am Muslim from Weligama.My school though Muslim was Tamil medium school. When I was student we Muslims also sang “Namo Namo Thaye” in Tamil during functions. Let the situation remain as same

  12. As a patriotic Sinhalese, I think Mr. Athaullah is correct. Or at lease, keep both versions. Let everyone feel the patriotism in their mother tongue.

  13. I think Mr Athaulla ‘s suggestion makes a lot of sense.

    Although I am a true blue Lankan I only know the first phrase, which is the most important bit.

    If we can sing that phrase in Tamil at the beginnibg and at the end following the Sinhala version, it will be great for harmony, and allegiance.

    It also has the added attraction of novelty and listening pleasure.

    How entertaining it is when Manoharan and Sebastian belt out Sinhala song s in Tamil .

    I hope common sense prevail and bring every one together as a one nation and provide a peaceful, prosperous and a free society for the future generations.

    Thanks Mr Jeyaraj for your excellent effort.Keep up the good work.

  14. Dear DBSJ, It is again a good article. I have for the first time heard about the tatsama bengali.

    I am remembered of tarsamam, and tarpavam in the tamil grammar.

    May be this is same as that tatsama. Can you clarify on this, if you have time.

    Now the sri lankans have an oppurtunity to resolve their problems politically.

    They should not miss this oppurtunity, May better sense prevail.


    I am sorry Mahesh but I am not familiar with the concepts you’ve mentioned so I cant answer you on that count

    But the borrowing or usage of Sanskrit or “Vada mozhi” words in Tamil is referred to as “Manipiravaalam”.

    Of course it is English that is becoming the new Manipiravaalam in contemporary Tamil usage

  15. .
    In my opinion not a single tamil speaking srilankan should ask for this…..

    Why tamils have to keep on begging for everything….

    Let the sinhalese decide…..



    Asking is not begging as you put it. In this case no one is demanding anything new but only suggesting that the prevailing situation continue

    The Sri Lankan national anthem is for all Sri Lankans irrespective of whhether one is Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay, Burgher or any other nationality that has made Sri Lanka its home

    It is not a matter for the Sinhalese alone to decide as you propose. At the same time the non – Sinhalese have to gain the consent of the Sinhalese for anything to work

    What is required is a consensual decision of all.

    Ultimately Sri Lankans must decide how they want to sing their national anthem

  16. Dear DBS,

    New Zealand is unique for having two national anthems of equal standing – ‘God Defend New Zealand’ and ‘God Save The Queen’. The commonly sung anthem is ‘God Defend New Zealand’ and it has both Maori and English versions. The English version had been first sung in 1876 and it was translated into Maori in 1878 at the request of the then Governor Sir George Gray. At all public events such as rugby test matches that are televised throughout the world, singing the anthem begins with the first two verses of the Maori version and then ends up with the English version. I certainly hope that Sri Lanka could learn a very valuable lesson from New Zealand.



    PS: I am always waiting impatiently for you to publish your next article and the next article.

    Thank you and Thank you……………DBSJ

  17. I am going to rather strong on this point.

    After going through the past 30 years and if we are asking for national reconciliation we need national RECOGNITION too.. To Hell with what is being done in any other country. The National Anthem should be and must be sung in both languages. I would prefer One anthem with verse in Both Singhalese and tamil being sung at official functions and the sinhala only or tamil only versions being sung by whoever it wants.
    When we go to church sometimes the service may be in a different language. But because prayers are recited in all languages I can go to a tamil church service and participate in it.
    In the deep south where i am doing some work, Sinhala budhist staff of Cargills supermarket are happily wearing santa hats and going about the business to the background of christmas carols.

    Tamil is taught in schools as mandatory. President MR was right in deterring from making this decision.

    Weerawansa is an idiot and so are the others who even thought of doing this dastardly act at this juncture.

    DBSJ you may remember this hymn sung at college.

    The most appropriate: Sung to the tune similar to ‘Danno Budunge’

    Father, thou has promised
    The isles shall wait for thee
    The joyous isles of Ocean
    The jewels of the sea
    Lo, we this island’s watchmen
    Would give and take no rest
    For thus, hath thou commanded
    Till our dear land be blessed.

    Then bless her mighty Father
    With blessings needed most
    In every verdant village
    By every palmy coast
    On every soaring mountain
    O’er every spreading plain
    May all her sons and daughters
    Thy righteousness attain.

    Give peace within her borders
    “Twixt man and man goodwill”
    The love all unsuspicious
    The love that works no ill
    In loyal lowly service
    Let each from other learn
    The guardian and the guarded
    Till Christ Himself return

    To Him our land shall listen
    To Him our land shall kneel
    All rule be on His shoulders
    All wrong beneath His heel
    O consummation glorious
    Which now by faith we sing
    Come, cast we up the highway
    That brings us back the King.

    Walter Stanley Senior (1876-1938)

    God bless Srilanka this christmas and May all her sons and daughters Thy righteousness attain

    God bless you all friend and foe alike. Have a blessed Christmas and a Joyful new year.

  18. DBS you have mentioned that Namo namo Matha song was changed to Sri Lanka Matha without consent of the author Ananda Samarakoon. Can you explain more please?

    I will be elaborating on this in next weeks article.Please be patient Carlton

  19. I am a Tamil born and grown up in Colombo. I have sung national anthem in Tamil only at school in Hindu College Bambalapitiya and Ratmalana. Otherwise I have always sung it in Sinhala. If I am given a choice I will sing in Sinhala than Tamil. But I must have the choice.It cannot be taken away by a stupid govt

  20. Ever since the hunger strike at the UN office, I knew Wimal Weerawansa is an idiot. I didn’t think I couldn’t possibly have a lower opinion of him, I was wrong !

    As Godzilla and few readers mentioned before, as sinhalese I fully support Mr. Athaullah suggestion to keep both languages in the anthem. And get rid of this silly issues out of the way once and for all.

    While we are at it let’s go back to original verses of the writer, to remedy the insult done to the Ananda Samarakone.

  21. As a Sinhalese I have no objection to the national anthem being sung in Tamil or even Sinhala and Tamil together.Politicians like Weerawansa must stop their communal politics

  22. Thank god at least there appear to be a few ministers in the cabinet that has a bit of common sense. Namo namo matha is one of the most beautiful national anthems in the world, who cares if we sing it in Sinhalese or Tamil. People should sing it in any language they can and want.

    Thanks DBS for your very illuminating article. You never ceases to amaze me with the details that you have on anything that you write.

  23. I did not read the article in full yet. But I was waiting for this for the last few days and want to put down my thoughts first.

    I am sure most Sinhalese (as I am) have no issues in the national anthem being sung in Tamil.
    We feel they as Sri Lankans they should have the right to choose in which language they can sing the national anthem. I would have an issue only if anyone refused to sing it in any language.

    But as people who voted for the current regime (and still beleives they can and want to make a change) these useless, insensitive actions keep baffling us.

    I simply cannot understand what good can comeout of this move. What are they trying to achieve? Rather than trying to further insult a segment of our own people, this should be the time to reach out. I just cannot understand this…

    In one hand they rehabilitate the LTTE child soldiers, they get them married, they arrange for them to sit for the ALs, they invite TNA for discussions and on the other hand they do absolutely stupid, insensitive things like this…

    It just keeps baffling me. I feel this was an insult to part of our own people and there is nothing wrong in them protesting this action.

  24. thank you DBS…as usual I was waiting for a clarification to come from you……and finally the flood gates are open…

    well sri lanka has one president as far as i know…if we want wimal to be the president he will have to wait..for a while……….

    I am glad vasu came out with equal eloquance to save the day…which paved the way for other minister to speak up…..

    for goodness sake speak up…..now before it is too late

    let ppl who speak the languge sing it in the language they know….we don’t need rocketscience to understand this logic.

    let’s not go for unnecessary issue when the country is trying to come out of 30 years of a war….Do we want more?had we enough?

    Wimal should know when to keep his mouth shut and when not to…….he doesn’t have the right to say it is a ‘joke to sing it in tamil”..it was very very offensive…I personally felt uncomfortable reading the news……..

    DBS.. wimal doesn’t represent all the sinhalese….i just want you to know…..let your ppl know that we can work this out…and we must. ….

  25. Dear DBS
    I’m somewhat disagree with some of your opinions.
    Yes, it will generate some sad or unhappy feelings to Tamils by saying Only Sinhala version is allowed.

    But Anthem plays a big role. When you hear it you should feel it. I think it was wrong from the beginning to allow to have two versions(Sinhala and Tamil) There should be only one version.

    Will a Sinhala man feel anything when he hear the Tamil version?
    Will a Tamil man feel anything when he hear the Sinhala version?

    I agree if somebody says, Ok, we change the Anthem to have lyrics from both Tamil and Sinhala language. I’ll give my 100% support to this. what I’m saying is there should be only ONE.

    I salute to the comment from #17. Rohn Wewala

    I’m living in Singapore. As to my knowledge long ago Malays are the majority in Singapore. Thats the reason “Majulah Singapura” is in Malay.

    “If translations were allowed the Mandarin or English version could swamp the Malay version.”
    I disagree with you when you say for the reason, for not allowing other translations in Singapore. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think this is your own reasoning.
    I think it only allow one version because Chinese,Malays and Tamils will all feel the same when they here “Majulah Singapura”. This is my own reasoning.

    What I’m trying to say is National Anthem should be like National Flag. only one version.

    I still remember the feeling when I hear my College Anthem. it was written in English. Early years in College I didn’t understand the half of it (As I learn English later) but I knew how to sing. I still remember feeling of that energy when I sing and hear it even though I’m a kid and even though I didn’t understand most of it.

    Finally DBS,
    What I want to say,
    DON’T promote the idea that cancel the Tamil version is wrong. Yes it is a “sorry situation” But it is for the greater GOOD.
    Pls DO promote the Idea that It should be only one, but better to have a mixture of languages in lyrics.

    Yes I’m a Sinhalese. But I hope I spoken as a Sri Lankan.


  26. I think some people have misunderstood the issue when they say there should only be one national anthem. In Sri Lanka there is only one anthem which is in Sinhalese. The Tamil one is only a translation.There are no two anthems like what some people say


    Dear Mr Jeyaraj and fellow readers

    Firstly, I must commend Mr Jeyaraj’s article. As always any article that is keyed-off by DBSJ are well researched and structured, succinct, well balanced and extremely interesting to the reader’s mind. They often carry a normative argument rather than criticism or appreciation. I thank Mr Jeyaraj very much on behalf of the many reader’s who eagerly await to read your articles.

    In reading this article what struck me most was the indication that there is a lack of expertise in Sri Lankan Public Policy arena. Mr Jeyaraj is correct in his diagnosis on the underlying model used to draft the National Anthem policy proposal; Policy Transfer. Adopting Singaporean policy on National Anthem, without dissecting its underpinning rationale, ethos and values. But what is policy Transfer? It is the process by which knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements, institutions, and ideas in one political system (past or present) is used in development of polices, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in another political system.

    It seems to demonstrate that our Public Policy actors have muddled-on in drafting the new proposal relating to the National Anthem without identifying the possible outcome and their subsequent probable community responses. . The top-down approach in application demonstrates the disregard for a holistic approach and the reasoning for the present large gap in proper representation of the broad community and its consultation in policy formulation. Therefore I think that the Ministerial Advisors and Policy Managers have failed in their duties in proper analysis and application of Strategic Policy Making and Policy Transfer.

    As Aristotle said “If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development”. And George Santayana further endorses the importance of the above statement by highlighting that “a country without a memory is a country of madmen”. It seems to help us comprehend the present state of affairs pertaining to this policy dilemma. As long as we dont tackle the underlying causes, my feeling is that Sri Lanka will continue to progress the way it does at present.

    As to what happens in the policy process, I suggest that you take a good look at the below clip on youtube to think for yourself.


  28. I was living in UK for 3 decades but never heard UK anthem in Gaelic,Irish,Scottish.Onlymin English.My wife is a Chinese from Thailand and in there 16 % is Chiniese but even Chinese new year is not a holiday for Chinese.The only official language is Thai and let alone national anthem in Chinese!!

  29. A very enlightening article from DBSJ which puts the case in its proper perspective.
    It is unfortunate that we have certain illiterate pundits in the cabinet whose only aim is to play the racial card.

  30. I think the Tamils will give up their Eelam struggle and unite as Sri Lankans only when the Sinhalese come out from their ignorance and realize that Sinhala (Sinhalaness) and Sri Lanka (Sri Lankaness) are two different things.

  31. [English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil are recognized as official languages in Singapore but Malay is regarded as the National language. Thus it is considered appropriate that the national anthem be in Malay. ]

    I also think our national anthem should be sung in malay, because mahinda’s ancestors were brought from indonesia by the dutch and settled in hambantota. Since he is the only leader who eradicated terrorism the sinhalese should give him that respect he deserves, by acknowledging his ancestry.

    Second preference is for tamil, because since our cabinetis hell bent on copying singapore,copy it properly.

    weerawansa will also be happy then when he finds that the sinhalese are enjoying and lustily and enthusiastically singing in malay.

    This is what i call trying to always find a win-win solution for everybody. The rajapakshe’s are happy because their ancestry is being respected and acknowledged. The tamils are happy because they don’t have to sing in sinhalese. The sinhalese are happy because the tamils are happy. Weerawansa is happy because the sinhalese are happy.

    DBSJ, don’t say this time my rare humour is not understood. I’am not joking this time, i’am dead serious. Malay is the solution.

    Namo Namo Bahasa Malaysia………DBSJ

  32. thanks for the informative article DBSJ

    If I remember correctly (and I hope I am not stealing your thunder for next weeks issue) there is tragedy associated with our national anthem. Did not Ananda Samarakoon take his own life as he was heartbroken that the words to the anthem were changed?

    Well Weerawansa being a bottom feeding, oxygen wasting, waste of space – nothing new there.

    Kudos to Vasudeva for having a backbone and principals

    Sometimes I think MR is just giving rope for some of the more extreme elements of the cabinet to hang themselves.

    If it aint broke. Dont fix it. Saying that do quite like Athaulla’s excellent suggestion. We can start it with the schools.

    I think some good may come out of this in the end.

  33. I’d appreciate if you can clarify the following. First you said the 1978 constitution bestowed official status to Tamil language if so why do you thank the 13th and 16th amendments for the official status of the Tamil language(I am only trying to clarify and not find fault),
    If the National anthem in Tamil language enjoyed constitutional recognition can a mere cabinet paper deny that? from the comments above its clear no one like the idea of dropping the Tamil version. But as some said national reconciliation could have a good beginning with the national anthem. After all, way heaven too could be paved with good intentions.
    I’m glad too that Vasu was there to save the day and Wimal sahodaraya is fast making a name for himself in putting his foot in the mouth


    The 1978 Constitution gave Tamil Constitutional status as a NATIONAL Language along with Sinhala but Sinhala continued to be the sole OFFICIAL language

    The 13th amendment to the Constitution provided for the creation of Provincial Councils.It also recognized Tamil as an official language along with Sinhala .

    The 16th Amendment built on the 13th amendment and provided for Sinhala and Tamil to be languages of administration and legislation

  34. Aha… awaited article!!!
    As you are living in Canada, since this new controversy started everyday check the site.
    But these clay head politicians who are going to understand all these with broad mind…???
    Regarding the national anthem, very sad to read all these political leaders (who are in the position) statements. And after all these communal blood sheds.
    All over the world war, hunger and environmental disaster all are because of these politicians.
    These things they have to realise themselves.
    For our self satisfaction, we discuss and write comments… hmmm…
    Poor innocent people…
    What to do all over the world same thing… who realise the reality…???
    ‘Humanity’ only in the text…!!!

  35. I think all Tamils can sing in Singalam by writing Singalam words in Tamil but will Tamils pronounce correctly?

  36. I think we must review the national flag and national anthem and evolve new ones in accordance with present day reality of multi-ethnic Sri Lanka

  37. This is a very sensitive time of healing the wounds and scars left by decades of war. No one is going to benefit from the National Anthem being sung in Sinhala only. Things should be left the way they are and the National Anthem should be sung in both Sinhala and Tamil.
    As I don’t know Tamil, the National Anthem in Tamil is without meaning to me. And likewise to a Tamil Speaking person the National in Sinhala would be without meaning too.
    This is just pettiness. If we want an unified Sri Lanka for future generations we should be able to live in Harmony.

    Why bring up this divide just to score a few points with extremists.

    We should be able to live and let live. Our blood is runs red whether Sinhala or Tamil. Actions like this are the seeds of a divide which could fester and grow into another war.

    Thank You for your articles Mr. Jeyaraj. It is a pleasure to read the writings of an unbiased journalist.

  38. When the regime elimanate the LTTE and thought going for a good direction but as a Tamil now i feel we are being left and forcing upon us.when we sing on own language we are more patriotic than dosent know the meaning.
    Hope MR will do the right thing,

    #26 you are totally wrong.still there is only one version but we Tamils practice the translation.and simply you says “hurts” but we all Sri Lankans had the pain and dosent want that path either.this is what the recognition and going to reconcial minority issue.is this the way for United Lanka.i had a good belive in this present Govt but now making us having dobuts.
    This is a take it or leave it situation.when we forced to leave go with agony and anciaty we all dosent like to have the consequances.

    I thought there will be rectification.god bless mother Lanka.

  39. …..President Rajapaksa had therefore instructed Public Administration and Home affairs minister W.D.J. (John) Senevirathne to prepare a cabinet memorandum outlining the appropriate protocols to be adopted in relation to the national flag and national anthem…

    What MR really had in mind was a new national anthem for the Rajapakse dynasty. John Senevirathne did not read MRs mind

  40. Going to school in a school in with Tamil and `Sinhala mediums in Kandy most of the boys had scant regard for the national anthem. They sang gigglingly
    Sri Lnaka Maatha Ape nandhage duwa bandha( married my aunts daughter) etc with profanaties added to the latter verses

    I have never had much regard for the NAtional anthem in either language.

  41. An unwanted controversy. Sinhala version is the original. Tamil version is translation.Tamil should be allowed wherever possible

    Why should schoolchildren in Kilinochchi sing anthem in Sinhala at school functions?

    Why should Tamils having a sports meet in Jaffna sing anthem in Sinhala?

    A practical, common sense approach is necessary

  42. “No other countries sing the national anthem in 2 languages” LOL this shows are ill-informed and how dumb these sinhalese idiots are, no wonder lanka is sailing down to hell with the sinhala govt holding one paddle dumbasses.

  43. tamils especially in the north and the east were of the opinion that

    the srilankan national anthem and the flag doesn’t

    fairly represent their aspirations.

    if you asked me to sing the anthem i will never ever sing this!

    so is with the sinhala-srilanka flag. it doesn’t really represent our identity!

    so why bother wheather it’s in sinhala or tamil ?

    and with reference to rajapakse speaking tamil it’s not only him but the whole of sinhala masses speak to some extent the tamil language.

    does anyone know sinhalese has borrowed or stolen like our lands more than 40000 tamils words and using them without appericiating!

    does weerawansa and others would stop using the tamil words in their language and find substitutes in sinhala!

  44. I hear UN BanHi Moon has discused with MR and decided to send the UN panal members to Srilanka. await and see what the alsation dogs Wimal and Mervin can do to them.

  45. People like Jayanath havent understood the situation at all. There is only one national anthem in Sri lanka and it is in Sinhala. The Tamil version is a translation and was allowed usage whenever and wherever possible

    There were never two anthems

    No point in arguing about incorrect assertions

    Maybe thats why DBS did not respond to Jayanath comment

  46. #32 Thesan
    Seems an obvious point but thanks for calling this out. I do tend to agree with you on your point about national identity. Too many of us Sinhalese folk do not try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

    I do hope that a struggle for Ealam is history though and we all move into an integrated society as Sri Lankans.

    #27 Jayanath
    You are wrong. There is absolutely no greater good in banning a Tamil version of the anthem. How would you feel if the Sinhala version was banned and everyone had to sing it in English?


    But the borrowing or usage of Sanskrit or “Vada mozhi” words in Tamil is referred to as “Manipiravaalam”.

    Of course it is English that is becoming the new Manipiravaalam in contemporary Tamil usage


    In course of time the Manipiravaalam became Malayalam. See how the language has divided the Tamil Nadu.

    Only because of this Malayalam / Manipiravaalam they have become Keralites or Malayalees. Otherwise they would have remained the Chera people, speaking Tamil.

  48. Only now i know the background on the subject. Well it seems the intention was noble.

    There is only one national anthem for Sri Lankans and that is final. No issue for translations as long as it is inline with the original content and ryme. Infact we should promote the national anthem at this stage to be sung more and more specially in areas where it was outlawed in the recent past, the laungage is of secondary importance.

    Sri Lankan national anthem is so beautiful and im so proud of it. Indian national anthem is the most “romantic” and sri lankans understand most words of the Indian national anthum. my 3rd favourite is the New Zealand one(which also sung in two languages but same ryme). The worst is the American one(appologies). There is no better national anthem than our Sri Lankan NA when it is played by a band.

    There is a lot of media hype surrounding the issue and they deliberatly kept out the background of the contravercy from public. Thank you DBS for being the exception.

  49. I used to work before marriage as a Sinhala teacher in a Tamil medium school with Tamil and Muslim students in Kandy. There the students sang national anthem at school assembly, prize giving, sports meet etc in Tamil

    I also sang in Tamil with them after a friend wrote Tamil words down in English for me. Later I learnt it by heart

    I loved and enjoyed singing the national anthem in Tamil with Tamil and Muslim Sri Lankans. At other functions in other places I sang it in Sinhala

    Being able to sing in both languages enrishes my life

    I must tell the Sinhala readers here that in my five years of teaching in Kandy I always found the Tamil and Muslim teachers and students singing the national anthem with enthusiasm and respect

    Their patriotism was very visible. Beig able to sing in their mother toongue gave them greater happiness and satisfaction

    Why must we spoil it all?

  50. How pathetic that this jumbo cabinet is maitained by tax payers money.

    How can this country go forward with cardboard heroes becoming cabinet ministers?

    Y r these morons wasting the time on issues that are non existing to us?
    This is the problem of having too many useless ministries and the ministers have to dig in to some dung to keep the ministry running.

    God save my country from these idiot of ministers.

    can there be a public forum within the ministry where learned people of a subject could debate these issues before putting out cabinet memorendum. At least find out the true facts/

    Please Mr.President have some learned advisers and listen to them than to your empty vessles in the cabinet.

  51. Singing the anthem in Tamil may have been be one of the causes for ill conceived terror regime.

    No chances should be taken about revive such feelings, and if allowed even the future generations will face the repeat of events. No chances should be taken this time around.

    Remember how JVP terror repeat in late eighties, despite rehabilitation?

  52. Pea-brained idiots and racists like weerawansa should have a Nanthikadal episode too. Prabakaran was a murderer and destroyed the country, and now comes an equally dangerous version -weerawansa. Why, or why is that such fools and fidiots have to make decisions for the country. Tamils should have the right to sing the national anthem in their own language. After all they are singing about Sri Lanka. The shortsightedness and utter ignorance of weerawansa and the gang will drag SL down to the depths again. Compared to the ignorant weerawansa, the thug Mervyn Silva appears to be an angel. Mervyn might be involved in all sorts of nefarious activities, but, weerawansa is an outright racist. I was an university student in the late ’80’s and saw how racist and ignorant the JVP was at that time. People like weerawansa should be locked up in prison for what the JVP did in those days. How did he escape the military crackdown of the JVP? As long as people like weerawansa are allowed to have a say in the nation’s decision making, doom for mother Lanka. So sad!!!
    Many many cheers to Vasudeva. Long may you live!!!!!

  53. Dear DBSJ,Since I heard about this unnecessary controversy I was so saddened for Sri Lanka Matha and so bewildered.Having read your illuminating account on how it came to pass I wish to thank you.Like you I wondered how a President who promised to UNITE all Sri Lankans under one banner could take steps to DIVIDE the nation by The Anthem!
    How ever thanks to Vasu National unity has been saved.Long may he continue to be a Presidential Advisor.Now that we know (thanks to DBSJ) that NO DECISION was made it is to the Presidents credit, that at least on this matter, he has recognised wise counsel around him.
    Frankly,I am ashamed to be a Sinhala when Weerawansa also calls himself Sinhala. All who voted him in to Parliament should be so ashamed too!.
    Having read you and all the comments I feel Athaulla’s proposal is the wisest and would love to sing a verse in the Anthem in Tamil.

  54. I quote (Seneke’s);
    ‘I think some people have misunderstood the issue when they say there should only be one national anthem. In Sri Lanka there is only one anthem which is in Sinhalese. The Tamil one is only a translation.There are no two anthems like what some people say’

    Why don’t sinhalese understand this important point. It looks like our politicians have not learned anything from the past; look at 56 riots and the number plates today. In fifty years we might sing the in english!!!

  55. As a child, I remember hearing that GG Ponnambalam addressed the UN General Assembly quoting from puRanaanuuRu the phrase “யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்” and provided the English translation (something like “every place is my place, every person is my kinsman”). Do you know if this is true? If so, it would make GG Ponnambalam the first person to have addressed the UN General Assembly in Tamil.

  56. Dear Sinhalese:( MRBros&sons, Dayan,Leela,Davinda Fernando,Ravi Perera and the likes)

    I understand that you are upset by Tamil Diaspora. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry.

    Today, it is our independence, Protest against genocide, association with the International community, your inability to get us.

    Yesterday “barbarism of LTTE terrorism”, before, it was the Federal party, even before that it was the “favouritism of the British”. It appears that Tamils, who could achieve equality and who, therefore, could live freely, upset you. Even after committing war crimes (cold blooded murder and rapes on camera) and Genocide.

    Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset by us. You were upset in 1956, in 1958, in 1961 and in 1977 and went on acts of arson, rape, pillage, murder and plain barbarity and we were scornfully asked to go to the Federal party for help.

    Of course, dear Sinhalese, long before there was a Tamil tiger, we the Tamil people – upset you. And we go back a long way in the history of Sinhala upset. We upset the “Great” Sinhala King Dutugemunu and you still use his “history” to teach your young ones to be more upset by us.

    Reds are upset and monks are upset. The radical Sinhalese are upset and the gentle “Sinhalese moderates” are upset. We upset the Sinhala Hamudawa who massacred tens of thousands of us; we upset the Sinhala police who, collaborated with rioters and killed, burnt and slaughtered untold numbers of us.

    And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear Sinhalese, that we decided to leave you – in a manner of speaking – and establish a Tamil state. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers, we upset you, irritate you and disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you (and thus love you) – and have you love us and so, we decided to come home – home to the same land we were driven to in 1983.
    Having left you and your pogroms and riots, having taken our leave from you to live alone in our own little state of Tamil Eelam, we continue to upset you.

    Well, dear Sinhalese, consider the reaction of a normal Tamil from Tamil Eelam:

    In 1956 and 1958 and 1961 and 1977, there was no “Tamil terrorism” to impede peace between Tamils and Sinhalese. Indeed, there was no Kotias (Tigers) to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same Sinhalese slaughtered thousands of Tamils in Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya and Colombo. Indeed, in 1958 so many Tamil men, women and children were mercilessly hunted down in Polonaruwa Sugar plantation.

    Dear Sinhalese, why did you massacre hundreds of Tamils in one day in 1958? Why did you carry out the1977 pogrom and made 75,000 refugees. Could it have been your anger over Tiger terrorism in 2007? And why were thousands of Tamil men, women and children slaughtered in pogroms between 1956-83? Was it because Sinhalese were upset over Tiger terrorism in 1996?

    The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of “para demala” (foreign Tamils!) that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream – Sinhala Buddhism only. What you failed to do yesterday, you dream of today.

    Dear Sinhalese, you stood by and cheered on when the Sinhala police burnt down our beloved Jaffna library.
    You stood by when Sinhala police massacred attendees at an International Tamil Cultural event in Jaffna.

    You contributed and stood by in 1983 genocide, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Sinhala town and city in your land.

    You drove millions of Tamils to the North-East, thus suggesting Tamil Eelam is our only Homeland. When we come here to establish Tamil Eelam, alas that upsets you again and you are even destroying our cemeteries. It appears that you are hard to please. Now you are trying to stop us to sing your national anthem in our mother tongue.

    And since we know that the Sinhalese dream daily of our extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own homeland and many lands of the world. And keep upsetting you. If that bothers you, dear Sinhalese, well ? – think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

  57. Let s follow WEERAWANSA , and do like in India…where the national Anthem is in Bengali (not Hindi) ….There are only 7% Bengalis in India whereas we have more than 20% tamil speakers in Sri lanka…so let s make Sri Lankan national Anthem in Tamil….in the minority language like in India…like wanted by the genius Weerawansa.

  58. Mr. Jeyaraj
    Why isn’t the National Anthem of UK sung in Welsh, Irish and Scottish? Why isn’t the National Anthem of USA not sung in English, Spanish and the aboriginal languages of that country? Why doesn’t you suggest that the National Anthem of Sri Lanka should be sung in the language of the Veddas as well?

    Good idea.The Veddahs are indigenous. All of us arrived later………….DBSJ

  59. @tharis, brilliant idea.

    @pam, Weerawansa is a bloody racist and has no place in our society.

    The real idiots are the Govt Officer who did the cabinet paper. Their act has brought shame to SL as it tries hard to recover and move forward. These fellows are like ” lindey inna gembas “. Perhaps they too were pandering to their masters.

    Let it be known to my Tamil Brothers and Sisters that Vasu always spoke for the Non Sinhalese. He is the wise man amidst the loonies.

    And what the heck were the intelligent people like GL Peiris and Amunugama doing keeping their bloody trap shut.

    It’s the inaction and the unconscious complicity of the intelligentsia that let the goons rule us.

    Merry Christmas to you DBSJ and to the readers who celebrate Christmas.

    Thank you and wish you the same too………….DBSJ

  60. எங்கட பிரச்சின தேசிய கீதம் தமிழில இல்ல சிங்களத்தில இல்ல பாரசீகத்தில படிகிறதோ எண்டது இல்ல ….நாட்டில இருக்கிற இனவாதத்த களைஞ்சு, வடக்கு கிழக்கு மக்களின்ர பொருளாதாரத்த முன்னேற்ற வேண்டும் என்டதுதான்..யார் ஐயயா..இவளவு காலமும் தேசப் பற்றோட தேசிய கீதம் படிச்சது?எதோ இவ்வளவு காலமும் தேசிய கீதம் படிச்சுகொண்டு இருந்தவைக்கு திடீரெண்டு சிங்களத்தில படிக்கிறது ஒரு பிரச்சின மாதிரி எல்லோ கதைகிரியள்

  61. comment #70

    Well said Sathyam!! I am sure the “average” sinhalese reaction to your comment would be to ignore your truthful statement and harp again on the LTTE or use the choicest bad language in the world to insult the Tamils!!!

    They are incorrigible, except for some!! Those few good people are hesitant to do anything for fear of their life and limb!!!

    They will never admit that LTTE was the by product of their violent behavior towards their Tamil brothers!!!

  62. Great article. You have summarized what average readers need to know from the subject.
    It reminds me the warning from Colvin, “two languages two countries-one language one country”. We have paid dearly from the opportunistic decisions by the politicians.
    The national anthem issue – I am glad we have the likes of Vasudeva in the parliament to at least educate the idiots likes of Weerawansa.
    After watching South African and Canadian national anthems, I agree with the suggestion to sing the national anthem in both Sinhalese and Tamil. We could prove to the fellow Tamils that we are one family in one country. It may help cure deep wounds from the past too.

  63. 46. Sandaruwan Gamkande

    61. Arasan

    Could you give the full verses of the songs.
    They seem rich in meaning & rhymes well.

  64. dbs

    Thank you for explaining what really happened. Our vocal warriors of Tamil diaspora will once again be angry with you for depriving them of another chance to attack the Mahinda govt

  65. No surrender we have a own beautiful culture and way of life, we started and never going sleep until we achieve our iwn goal…tamil is a our life and
    brilliahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Cf2lGlRAQ&feature=relatednt meal, we never ever accept anything..
    go on enjoy our own

  66. Weerawansa is the person who saved the Government from being defeated by the UNP, JVP alliance just brfore the defeat of the LTTE.

    If not for him the NE would have been well and truly under Prabakaran with Ranil Wickremasinghe would be doing deals to satisfy the West.

    Obviously, Weerawasa bashing is part and parcel of the armoury of the UNP.and the Ranil supporters in particular will always attack Weerawansa at every possible opportunity.

    So do the JVPeers who se demise isthanfully due to Weerawansa.

    In a democratic Nation every person is entitled to his her own opinion.
    As a Government all opinions must heard, analysed ,debated to formulate policies for the best outcomes for the country.

  67. #65-pam

    Compared to the ignorant weerawansa, the thug Mervyn Silva appears to be an angel
    To say weerawansa is ignorant is like saying that wijeweera or prabhaharan were ignorant. On the contrary these are people who are very shrewd and savvy and have a all or nothing mentality. If you look at the history of the violent struggle of the JVP and LTTE you will realise that these people are not interested in the crumbs thrown by the traditional leaders of the tamils and sinhalese. It is all or nothing for weerawansa too. He is not interested in cabinet positions, but in the presidency. Namal is the guy to watch out. Wimal’s strategy is to do get into the good books of mahinda and at the same time little by little increase his mass support. He is a cunning fellow and will not take on mahinda head on like that bull in a china shop fonseka. He will bide his time till the rajapakshe’s run their course because they are in their sixties and he is young. After that he will give the chop to namal and become the president. If mahinda thinks he is going to have a dynasty with guys like wimal in the wings,he is sadly mistaken. The dynasty will end with his brothers unless he slowly eases out weerawansa. The three musketeers are wijeweera, weerawansa and prabhaharan, who have never accepted the traditional govi and vellala leadership of their people. The only way that they can change that is to use communal garbage, pretending to be nationalistic. Our foolish people also fall for this all the time, it is like music to their ears, like when SWRD took the short cut to power and JR marched to kandy.They don’t realise that the ultimate objective is not cabinet positions for these guys , but to be the number one. Prabhaharan was ready to sacrifice the tamils if he could not be no 1. So he scuttled any chances of a political solution that might result in elections and his defeat. Weerawansa is trying another route because he saw what happened to the other two who were megelomaniacs like him.He is the most dangerous of the three because like the chameleon he can change with the environment and is having that virtue patience, qualities which wijeweera and prabha did not have..

  68. 33. shankar

    I too like the Singapore model of Malay Anthem.

    Failing which Spanish model.

    Or we will end up like Greece-Cyprus or Estonia-Finland model.

  69. 81. j.muthu | December 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    DBSJ, This is even better than malay. We must replace the national anthem with this. It is fanatastic.If the sinhalese want to sing the present one, that is okay with us. We are not nitpickers like them. I’am sure the tamils won’t mind lettng them do what they want as long as we are allowed to do what we want.Tamils have a live and let live mentality as mahesh found out when living in tamilnadu and now he loves the people.

  70. As usual a brilliant article. It eliminated a lot of mis infomation I heard.

    Anyway, I think Mahinda should have decided then and there that both versions of the anthem have to remain.

    And shame on the ministers who kept quiet despite realising the blunder unfolding. Where were Dilan, GL, Amunugama etc.

  71. @83 Shankar.

    I do understand the danger of weerawansa to the country, be it through his political ambitions or his racist brain. I still call him an ignorant idiot because there is no other way to describe some of his actions – like the stupid fast and the protest at the British HC in colombo (over the oxford incident).

    I have seen fist hand the foolish arrogance, total lack of respect for the law and for human life and vengeful attitude of the JVP . I’m glad that Ranjan Wijeratne stood up to them and took them out. My question is how did the horror weerawansa escape the assault on the JVP when so many other idiot and murderous “revolutionaries” were taken out by the military. The president has committed a foolish act by letting weerawansa near any seat of power.

  72. I hope MR will not listen to this crap suggestions by Weerawansa. There is nothing wrong with National anthem being sung in Tamil by Tamils. Does it do any harm to any one? I do not think so. It’s time MR ignore Wimal and keep him in his rightful place when it comes to national affairs.

    Wimal with his narrow and dumb ideas can only bring disrepute to the country and it’s leaders.

  73. The question is neither the anthem should be in one language nor to be patriotic it should be sung in his or her own language.

    It is the wisdom and magnanimity of the ruling community towards the minorities. Lee Quan Yew could have easily changed the lyrics of the national anthem of Singapore to Chinese or English as the spoken language of the majority. But he understood the sensitivity of the Malays who are, though minority in Singapore they are majority in neighboring Malaysia. In changing the Malay scripts he did not want to upset the cordial relationship with Malays and Malaysia which still provides the drinking water to Singapore. and its territorial security largely depends on its large Malay neighbor.

    Similarly a truly wise Si Lankan leader should understand the sensitivity of the 60 million Tamils living in neighboring Tamilnadu. Prompt reaction from the Chief Minister Karunanithy when the news of the cabinet decision leaks out, speaks volumes of such sensitivity.

    Keeping Tamil also as official language may not be palatable to nationalist like Weerawansa but if he is a shrewd politician having wisdom he should encourage his leader to be wise and magnanimous with the minority Tamils for the sake of his own majority community and well being of Sri Lanka as a whole.

  74. Something missing in the very informative article and the interesting and often emotional comments, is the legal status of the national anthem.
    The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka stipulates at Article 7 that –

    “The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be “Sri Lanka Matha,” the words and music of which are set out in the Third Schedule.

    At Article 83(a) it is stated that a Bill for the amendment or for the repeal and replacement of or which is inconsistent with any of the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, or of this Article, and

    shall become law if the number of votes cast in favour thereof amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), is approved by the People at a Referendum.

    The words in the Third Schedule are in Sinhala.

    Taking a subject like the National Anthem for a decision by the people at a Referendum will only give a new lease of life for divisive jingoistic politics.

    Let sleeping dogs lie.

  75. There have apparently been some unflattering reports about Douglas Devananda and Karuna in Wiki Leaks(according to Sun TV) but the english media seems to have ignored it. ….

  76. dear jey last week i had read about your article on political moves being made by mahinda and sampanthan i was really happy that something concrete was taking place but two days later when news came that tamil version of srilankan nationak anthem i was shocked i thought these sinhalese were upto the same old game of keeping the pot simmering so that they can benefit from it fortunately after reading your article i am reassyred that nothing of that sort happened.regarding your view on manipiravaalam or usage of sanskrit rather till probably annadurai and karunanithi entered the scene it was quite popular if you see old movies we can listen to brahminical dialogues being rendered by actors.films like manohara really changed with dialogues written by karunanithi and rendered by sivaji ganesan still is very popular.jey 2010 is going to come to an end incidentally this is birth centenary of tamils first super star mk thyagaraja bagavathar is there any chance of you writing about him given the fact that you have written about gamini fonseka.merry xmas to you and your family and to all our usual suspects of our gang


    Yes I did start on an article about MKT some months ago but never finished it. My grandfather and father were his fans . So I too got to hear his songs from a young age. Later I started learning and singing them too. My favourites from his films are “Vathaname Chandrabimbamo”. Theena Karunakarane”, “Krishna Muhuntha” and the unforgettable “Shiyamalaa”

    I was five years old when Bhagavathar died but can recollect the anguish and sorrow among his fans like my father and grandfather

    I was also taken to a memorial meeting in MKT’s honour then and brought bak a poster that I kept for many years

    In that I remember his name was given as “Muthuvel Achari Krishnamurthy Thiygarajan”\\But nowadays he is referred to as “Maayavaram Krishnamurthy Thiyagarajan. I wonder why?

  77. There aren’t enough problems in Sri Lanka so the Government has to create another one. Let sleeping anthems lie.

  78. DBS has always been perfect in his analysis- well researched and well presented. I dont know whether there is any other site that gives a balanced picture as DBS does. Hence, it was the place I always visited, whenever I needed a better awareness.

    I was waiting to see what DBS has to say on this controversial issue- with carefully selected words, he said it. I would say, well said it.

    When my president spoke in Tamil, though I do not understand a word, I was so proud of ourselves. We dont speak Tamil because we were not exposed to and I always feel that we miss something.

    When I saw this issue on Ada Derana first, I posted my views. What I said was exactly the same as what Minister Athaulla said- we should have one verse in Tamil and then get people use it and finally replace all three versions of National Anthem- I think nobody uses the English version, anyway.

    Remember the great song “Love Sema” sung by many Sri Lankan artists in all three languages? I still remember “Vadam Ellei, Bedam Ellai ……” (Pls excuse me, if I am wrong, but I byhearted it almost a decade ago).

    If anybody listened to that, he/she will realise, the great feeling of togetherness- and isn’t it what a true national anthem is expected to generate…!

  79. For Shrilankan Tamils
    IF Water goes up above your nose level and you can’t swim then need not worry about it is in inches or yards.
    God save all

  80. The Article will be complete if I add that the Author of the
    National Anthem was a student of Christian College, Kotte –
    the oldest English school in the Island. This is now Jaywardenapura Maha Vidiyalaya.

    This article is not completed yet……….DBSJ

  81. Thanks DBSJ for explaining exactly what happened.
    My humble opinion is that the National Anthem should be sung in both languages (Sinhala & Tamil), As Tamil is spoken by Muslims too, this will include the Muslims too.

    The suggesion made by Dilshan F (18) to have about three National Anthems is not a good idea. Just have one Anthem with both languages and sing it at all the functions whether it is in Jaffna or Galle Now the Sinhala kids are learning Tamil language too ( and vice versa) it will not be too hard to sing the Anthem in two languages.
    Well, I am a Sinhalese, and didn’t study Tamil ( I wish I did), but I can sing few Tamil songs. Therefore, it is no big deal having part of the Anthem in Tamil, for the sake of national harmoney.

    Enough Sri Lankans have died because of this narrow minded politicians. Wake up all Sri Lankans and let us share everything in this island, including the National Anthem.

    God bless all in this blog.

    Happy X’ mas & New year to all.

  82. Thanks for a very informative and well researched article
    on a sensitive subject..
    May I recall that a few years ago this very same Wimal Weerawansa went to Palaly Army Headquarters by air with the Film Producer Somadasa Dissanayake and asked the then Commander “can’t you finish off all the Tamils there and solve the problem once and for all’ (or something to this effect.). The better educated Army
    Commander there of course dismissed the suggestion as an impossible one. This was reported in the Sunday Leader at the time.
    Wimal’s attitude can be seen from this episode. Unfortunately these are the people who are cabinet ministers with a number of portfolios. He has hardly changed.

  83. I see some comments in tamil or sinhala without english translation. I do not understand the sinhala only comments. It will be the same to sinhala readers when they see comments in tamil only.

    For example comment (#61. Arasan ) should be tanslated in english so the sinhala freinds can get the ide of the mindset of tamils in the old days. (My english is not good enough to transalte a poem without loosing its gist)

    And I dont understand Pandukkas’ quote in his comment ( #59) though I guess it can be sinhala racist poem. (I tried to gues from the words like Ape rata, sinhala). But I might be terribly wrong!

    I dont know why DBS does allow only tamil/sinhala comments? It doesn’t serve the purpose, wright?

  84. Vicious circle of hatred and violence of 1961 is being planned by MR brothers & Weervansa pals

    First to pretend to reconcile with Tamils via TNA then untill passify IC and come out of war crime ,then start a controversy like 1961 SRI.
    This time National anthum and break off the reconcilation proces citing Sinhala backlash Remember B-C pact, D-C pact!

    The process of GENOCIDE will continue ‘The caravan’ moves regardless.

  85. Hi DBS, thanks for a well researched article. I hope Weerawansa and other ministers will be educated on this process. Mor ethan Half of the ministers in SL (the jumbo cabinet) are like frogs living in the well. I believe, that Weerawansa wants to get into the good books of MR by taking a revenge on Tamils for the waterloo MR met in UK. Hope the sanity prevails in the fool’s paradise of SL. If we have had people like Nehru or Lee Kuan Yeu of Singapore, we would have another vibrant and economically outshining country in South Asia. Because we got racially motivated and narrow minded politician, I will doubt when will sri Lankans will feel pride of singing the national anthem and live in prosperity.

  86. Thank you DBS for trying to enlighten people through proper information and restoring sanity

    But I feel sorry for you as I think the situation will not improve

    We are a doomed nation

  87. Tamil is one of 16 international languages recognized by UNESCO. Why not Follow Singapore and have the anthem in Tamil in Sri Lanka in an international language?.

  88. 89. pam  |  December 18th, 2010 at 10:01 pm@53 gotaPlease don’t insult Alsation dogs!!!!!!

    Please accept my applogies.pl replace it with Hienas or rabid dogs.

  89. I am a Sinhalese and my husband is Tamil.Our two children study in English medium but can speak,understand,read & write Sinhala and Tamil. The boy likes Sinhala more and the girl likes Tamil

    Our home and family is trilingual

    How I wish,hope and pray that our Country and people too could be like our family

  90. Today, when death is the prize for speaking the truth, silence has become the language of the Tamils. They are unable to say anything, even to those who go in search of them, seeking the truth, because the Sinhalese army has ears everywhere.

  91. #71 tharis

    Thanks Tharis.

    There is a golden opportunity here for the SLG to prove to the Tamils and the world.

    If India can have National Anthem in Bengali (7%) and Singhapore can have in Malay, why we Sri Lankans can’t have National Anthem for whole Sri Lanka in Tamil? Only in Tamil.

    This will create a different Sri Lanka, a New Sri Lanka. Mutual love and respect will grow, Each and every Tamil will feel this is My Sri Lanka,.

  92. Before adding my 2 cents to the debate, let me through the DBS blog express my gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakara. It is because of principled people like him non-Sinhalese can still feel like Sri Lankans (no offence my Sinhala speaking brethren). In a previous comment I doubted if there was any minster who had the guts to question MR. I stand corrected. Way to go comrade, if only we had people like you in power thirty years ago….oh well just call me a perennial dreamer.

    While quite gratified by the number of DBS readers who promote the necessity for a bilingual national anthem as yet another catalyst for reconciliation I am rather tempted to question the relevance of the notion of “national anthem” (could very well extend the contention to flag, animal, bird etc) in a world where borders and boundaries are being rendered meaningless by the dynamic interaction between technological advancement and economic opportunity. Such symbols (I just couldn’t fathom these any other way) are so 18th, 19th centurisque (ok, extend that to the 20th as well). They were needed to keep the subjects loyal to the powers that be and instil, and maintain, a sense of identity, distinctiveness.

    But in the info age all distinctions and boundaries are being rendered exponentially blurred. Personally, I do not have to look too far to see the proof. Just my immediate environ is proof enough for me. I am a Sri Lankan born Tamil who holds Canadian citizenship. My wife is of Indian origin. My kids speak more Hindi and Gujarati than Tamil. Through marriages there are a number of Sinhalese, Muslims and Burghers (I have to leave out the Indian side…it is just too many) in my extended family. As a consequence of the 30 year old conflict in Sri Lanka I have close friends and family in some twenty countries. Due to my job I live/work in two or three different countries in any given calendar year….I just returned from Turkmenistan…didn’t even know such a county existed till I was asked to go.

    So what is my identity, where should my loyalties lie?

    I have no confusion or qualm about my position. I identify myself as a human being (no more no less). My loyalties are to everyone who have been kind to me (in Tamil we say “uppittavari ullalavum ninay”) and my anthem is “Yaadhum Oore Yavarm Kelir” (which means “The whole world is my place; the whole humanity is my fraternity”).

  93. When I saw this news first, I was surprised and felt happy.
    I was surprised to learn that there is a Tamil translation of ‘Sri lanka matha’ which is sung at some functions. (Never heard of it before. Can someone post a link to it. Do Tamils like it?)
    I was happy about it. I always felt sorry that Tamils had to sing an anthem which they do not understand. I wished we had a new anthem with verses from both languages.
    But now I feel the current status is also fine.
    At my school we had two school songs. One in Sinhala & the other in English. We sung one in the morning and the other in the evening. We loved them both.
    We can adopt such a policy when we have functions involving both communities.
    I am sure that the president will maintain the status quo as a result of the much saner counsel from within & out side the cabinet. (President once said in Kandy that we should revise the anthem to include Tamil verses)


    Harshe,Can you locate that MR speech about revising the anthem to include Tamil verses please and e-mail it or a link please?

  94. Sri Lanka Matha English Translation:

    Mother Lanka we salute Thee!
    Plenteous in prosperity, Thou,
    Beauteous in grace and love,
    Laden with grain and luscious fruit,
    And fragrant flowers of radiant hue,
    Giver of life and all good things,
    Our land of joy and victory,
    Receive our grateful praise sublime,
    Lanka! we worship Thee.
    Thou gavest us Knowledge and Truth,
    Thou art our strength and inward faith,
    Our light divine and sentient being,
    Breath of life and liberation.
    Grant us, bondage free, inspiration.
    Inspire us for ever.
    In wisdom and strength renewed,
    Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended,
    In love enfolded, a mighty nation
    Marching onward, all as one,
    Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.

    Sri Lanka Matha Tamil Translation:

    ஸ்ரீ லங்கா தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நல்லெழில் பொலி சீரணி
    நலங்கள் யாவும் நிறை வான்மணி லங்கா
    ஞாலம் புகழ் வள வயல் நதி மலை மலர்
    நறுஞ்சோலை கொள் லங்கா
    நமதுறு புகலிடம் என ஒளிர்வாய்
    நமதுதி ஏல் தாயே
    நமதலை நினதடி மேல் வைத்தோமே
    நமதுயிரே தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நமதாரருள் ஆனாய்
    நவை தவிர் உணர்வானாய்
    நமதோர் வலியானாய்
    நவில் சுதந்திரம் ஆனாய்
    நமதிளமையை நாட்டே
    நகு மடி தனையோட்டே
    அமைவுறும் அறிவுடனே
    அடல்செறி துணிவருளே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நமதோர் ஒளி வளமே
    நறிய மலர் என நிலவும் தாயே
    யாமெல்லாம் ஒரு கருணை அனைபயந்த
    எழில்கொள் சேய்கள் எனவே
    இயலுறு பிளவுகள் தமை அறவே
    இழிவென நீக்கிடுவோம்
    ஈழ சிரோமணி வாழ்வுறு பூமணி
    நமோ நமோ தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே


  95. If they wont allow Tamils to sing national anthem in Tamil then Tamils must sing Tamil Eelam anthem in Singalese

  96. I thing Weeravansa is right, we must sing the National Anthem should be in ONE language as Sri nLanka is ONE country. We must take in to consider the Indian example (wimal always do as practice -)


    ஸ்ரீ லங்கா தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நல்லெழில் பொலி சீரணி
    நலங்கள் யாவும் நிறை வான்மணி லங்கா
    ஞாலம் புகழ் வள வயல் நதி மலை மலர்
    நறுஞ்சோலை கொள் லங்கா
    நமதுறு புகலிடம் என ஒளிர்வாய்
    நமதுதி ஏல் தாயே
    நமதலை நினதடி மேல் வைத்தோமே
    நமதுயிரே தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நமதாரருள் ஆனாய்
    நவை தவிர் உணர்வானாய்
    நமதோர் வலியானாய்
    நவில் சுதந்திரம் ஆனாய்
    நமதிளமையை நாட்டே
    நகு மடி தனையோட்டே
    அமைவுறும் அறிவுடனே
    அடல்செறி துணிவருளே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே
    நமதோர் ஒளி வளமே
    நறிய மலர் என நிலவும் தாயே
    யாமெல்லாம் ஒரு கருணை அனைபயந்த
    எழில்கொள் சேய்கள் எனவே
    இயலுறு பிளவுகள் தமை அறவே
    இழிவென நீக்கிடுவோம்
    ஈழ சிரோமணி வாழ்வுறு பூமணி
    நமோ நமோ தாயே – நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
    நமோ நமோ நமோ நமோ தாயே

  97. As we saw from the protests against the UN in Colombo earlier this year and other incidents, it is clear MR and Weerawansa like to play the “good cop, bad cop” act. So the proposal to abolish the Tamil version of the anthem, although may not have been MR’s idea, clearly has his approval. It is also clear that if not for the opposition of just four Ministers, the proposal would have been accepted and passed. To those of us who understand the true nature of the MR regime, this should come as no surprise.

  98. 30. Silva | December 18th, 2010 at 1:38 am

    First A is not B, not C; Why do you have to copy another country?

    Whay can’t be the first? Are you just a follower?

    Next, if you want to copy, then what argument’s can you give again copying Singapore? (Sing the national anthem in 2nd most spoken language !)

  99. This could be the step x in alienating Tamils…

    I am worried no one, in SL politics is interested to build a strong SL. All are interested in cheap vote harvest . Vimal & co are not even interested in Sinhalease at least. If he is, he would think of improving the lives or ordinary sinhalese at least. What he is doing is fuelling another hatred campaign which will fuel another non-winnable war.

  100. Majority of the Sri Lankans don’t care which language is used to sing our beautiful national anthem… let ’em sing it in Tamil, English, Timbaktu or Zulu… So long as there’s only one true MotherLanka we love… and there are no other traditional, historical or additional homelands in the proud country, we are happy to live in harmony and respect with anyone.

    NOPE… proud Sri Lankans will never accept the fact that singing of national anthem in Tamil is proof that we have two polarized communities hating each other and there is a separate country within.

    That’s what Tamil Terrorist Diaspora (TTD) will hope for, and the foreign vultures play second fiddle to. Let’s VOW to defeat them.

    There are no ‘Tamils’ in Sri Lanka… and there are no Sri Lankans without the inclusion of the colourful Tamil speaking Sri Lankans.

  101. 70 Sathyam, 75 Sam,

    I have no words other than to say I feel very sorry for your warped mindsets.

    As a Singhalese you will not upset me. People like you will remain within the Singhalese and Tamil communities.

    People like you both Singhalese and Tamil have brought upon horror to people in Sri Lanka.

    I only wish this christmas that true peace will dawn upon your twisted hearts

  102. Ultimately Sri Lankans must decide how they want to sing their national anthem

    I think we are already doing it.The politicians stop messing up again

  103. Hi DBSJ & Readers,

    I would like to comment about adopting Singapore model into srilankan model. I have lived in singapore few years and I have red biography “Singapore Story” by Lee Kuan Yew.

    What i understood from that, Singaporeans are very adoptive to the situations. Lee Kuan Yew has a team of members who were cream of their chosen job. To name Rajaratnam (Deputy Prime Ministers of Singapore), Lim Kim San (Credited for leading the successful public housing program). Mr Lee had ability to adopt situations learnt from other country’s current situations at that time. Also keep revising it based on community feedback. There were controversies about PAP government. But at end of the day, a 3rd world nation in 1960’s transformed into 1st world in just over 40yrs.

    I believe our country doesn’t have maturity to adopt talents from different community and what we are trying to do is to pick something from Singapore that we believe it will work out here. but we don’t look how long Singaporeans took to fine tune it.

    I think, Sri Lanka needs to adopt its own way of doing things based on our unique problems. But its hard to come from a natural prospective other than minority majority prospects. This is very hard to come by.

    God Bless Us.

  104. DBS

    I am hoping you will make valuable suggestions about this controversy when you complete your article next week

  105. Good on Athaullah. I think an anthem with Sinhala and Tamil. When I suggested this in the blog many months ago I got shot down by both Sinhalese and Tamil readers.
    If the anthem has lyrics of both languages, will give people of both communities a chance to better appreciate each other.

    Sri Lanka matha- apa Sri Lanka
    Namo namo matha
    Sundara siri barini
    Surendi athi sobhamana Lanka
    Danya danaya neka mal palathuru piri
    jayabhoomiya ramya
    Namathuru puhalidam ena olir vaai,
    namathuthyEl ThaayE!
    Namathalai ninathadi mEl vyththomE
    NamathuyirE thaayE
    nam Sri Lanka
    Namo Namo Namo Namo ThaayE

    Oba wey apa vidya
    obamya apa sathya
    Oba wey apa shakthi
    apa hada thula bhakthi
    Oba apa alokey
    Apagey anupraney
    Oba apa jeewaya wey
    apa mukthiya oba wey

    NamathOr oLivaLamE
    Nariyamalar ena nilavum thaayE
    Yaamelaam oru kaurunai annai payantha
    ezhilkoL sEykal enavE
    iyaluRu piLavukaL thamai aRavE
    izhivena neekiduvOm
    ilangai sironmani, vaazhvuRu poomaNi
    Namo Namo ThaayE.

    nam Sri Lanka,
    Namo Namo Namo Namo ThaayE!
    Apa Sri Lanka
    Namo namo namo matha

  106. 88. pam | December 18th, 2010 at 10:00 pm
    @83 Shankar.

    I do understand the danger of weerawansa to the country, be it through his political ambitions or his racist brain. I still call him an ignorant idiot because there is no other way to describe some of his actions – like the stupid fast and the protest at the British HC in colombo (over the oxford incident).
    The incidents you describe are not of an ignorant chap, but of an highly ambitious opportunistic character.These are political gimmicks that enhance your vote base. Wimal got 100000 votes at the last presidential election. Next one he will be aiming for 200000. With these gimmicks now he will have 150000. karunanithi also is in his present position because his political life is full of stunts like these.

    Here is a comment #80 from one of his catchers calling himself anonymous

    [If not for him the NE would have been well and truly under Prabakaran with Ranil Wickremasinghe would be doing deals to satisfy the West.]

    So he is positioning himself as the saviour of the sinhalese.One day he will ask for his reward not from the rajapakshes, but from the people. It is namal who is in his sights.

    Personally i have nothing against a man having ambitions, but i have had a gutfull of the people who use the tamils to further their political ambitions, including the TULF after their drubbing in the 1970 elections. Unfortunately this is also another pitfall of the westminister system that we have to live with i suppose.

  107. #46 Sandaruwan Gankande

    Agree with you that Hela Jathika abhimane is far more catchy than Sri Lanka Matha (more in the ilk of the Portuguese, French or Old Soviet anthems)..

    One thing is Hela Jathika Abhimaney would translate to Tamil as ‘Eela thesiya Adhimaaney’ (someone correct me if I’m wrong).. It will take some convincing for the original masses to digest it.. The other is that it refers to a mainly agriculture, whilst Sri Lanka Matha refers to more of her beauties.

    My most preferred anthem would be the ITN theme song ‘Samanala siripa piuma dowagena’, Not only does it refer to the natural beauty and ancient civilization of the island, but also it’s present multi-cultural nature..

    My second choice would be ‘Lanka Lanka pembara Lanka’

    Either of these could be modified to have some Tamil lyrics in them..

    #77 Palan

    Hela Jathika Abhimaney- Wedu viruwan sey poraney
    Dinu mawbima sawsiriyen sarasaw
    Pibidew pibidew sarasew

    (Like the heroes of yore – who raised Hela national pride
    Let us drape our motherland in prosperity
    Arise arise and be prepared)

    Weera wikum pey peradaruwo
    Desa Resa mura keruwo
    E leya ethi oba suru wiruwo
    Noma waw nayakaruwo
    Deya diyunata peda yana nawiya
    Goviya bima dewiya
    Wipathey sepathey nodemey nosaley ata lo dama huru helaya

    (Displaying their bravery the ancient Helas
    protected this land
    You who are their blood kin should never be indebted to others
    The farmer who sails the ship of the nation to prosperity should be regarded as god on earth..
    Keeping in mind the eight worldly principles.
    The Helas should be modest during times of prosperity
    and steadfast in times of adversity)

    Muhudata edena maha ganga
    Kumburata yali harawa

  108. Hi DBSJ-Thanks for the detail information about Sri Lankan national Anthem.
    I am a Singaporean; Ceylon native. My Grand father came to Malaya from Manipay, Jaffna.
    It is interesting to see that Sri Lanka would like to follow the Lion city about national anthem. As you said We (Singaporean) sing anthem in Malay.. I am not good in Malay even my kids don’t know malay but they know the meaning of the national anthem because we have the anthem in english.
    I also would like to highlight that Singapore national pledge has written by a Mr. Sinnathamby Rajaratnam (Raja; Starting career as a journalist… played significant role in Singapore politics.. Foreign affairs Etc). Pledge is “We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation”
    I am proudly say that Mr.S.Rajaratnam also came from Vaddukkoddai, Jaffna.
    So see what are the major difference from Sri Lanka and Singapore… Just want to ask Sri Lankans are they ready to build up the country regardless of race? Sorry DBSJ, They (Srilankans-Sinhalese) are not ready.. then they can not achieve happiness, prosperity and progress as defined by Mr.Raja.
    If possible let us know about Sri Lankan national pledge in the next article.
    Best Wishes,

  109. #77 Palan

    Hela Jathika Abhimaney- Wedu viruwan sey poraney
    Dinu mawbima sawsiriyen sarasaw
    Pibidew pibidew sarasew

    (Like the heroes of yore – who raised Hela national pride
    Let us drape our motherland in prosperity
    Arise arise and be prepared)

    Weera wikum pey peradaruwo
    Desa Resa mura keruwo
    E leya ethi oba suru wiruwo
    Noma waw nayakaruwo
    Deya diyunata peda yana nawiya
    Goviya bima dewiya
    Wipathey sepathey nodemey nosaley ata lo dama huru helaya

    (Displaying their bravery the ancient Helas
    protected this land
    You who are their blood kin should never be indebted to others
    The farmer who sails the ship of the nation to prosperity should be regarded as god on earth..
    Keeping in mind the eight worldly principles.
    The Helas should be modest during times of prosperity
    and steadfast in times of adversity)

    Muhudata edena maha ganga
    Kumburata yali harawa
    Dhanya waga kara siri laka mey
    Peradiga ketha karawa
    Arapirimesmata purudu wela
    Duralaw duka Sanka
    Perakum yugayak newathath arambaw
    Nija bhoomi thaley Lanka

    (Diverting the mighty rivers which flow to the sea into paddy fields
    Let us remake Sri Lanka the grainery of the Orient
    Being thrifty and hardworking let us overcome the present grief and poverty
    Time has come to relive the glory days of Parakramabahu I)


  110. #46 Sandaruwn G, (DBSJ please delete my earlier incomplete response to the same blogger, cheers)

    Agreed Hela Jathika Abhimaney is a more catchy song (like the Frecnh, Portuguese and old Soviet ones) but,

    1. It is mainly an agrarian song not a national anthem
    2. Hela Jathika Abhimaney would translate ‘Eela thesiya adhimaney. It would be a hard sell to ordinary folk to have the word Eela in the anthem

    My first preference would be the ITN theme song ‘Lanka du daruwo’ which refers to not only the country’s natural beauty and rich history but also its present multicultural nature

    My second choice would be ‘Lanka Lanka pembara Lanka’

    Both songs can be modified to have some Tamil lyrics..

  111. #59 Pandukka,

    If you want to troll here as pseudo-Sinhalese (I don’t know if you are ashamed of your real identity) at least get the Sinhala right mate

    Firstly write as Panduka
    Secondly the lyrics go

    ‘Mey Sinhala Apagey Ratay- Apa ipadena marena ratai’

    This song has been vilified by many misguided souls who translated it to say that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese only. What the writer is trying to say is that Sinhalese are only found in Sri Lanka. Those who have scant knowledge in Sinhala prose twisted it to suppor their seperatist ideology..

    It would also be useful to go beyond the first line

    Mey Sinhala apagey ratai
    Apa ipadena marena ratai
    Apa hada pana gehena ratai
    Mulu lowa e ratata yatai

    (This is the country of us Sinhalese, the only land where we are born and die, The land to which our heart beats, there is no other like it)

    Ahasa simbina giri kanduru
    Polowa themana wew sayuru
    Muhuda awata bendi pawru
    Merata Asiri siri meyuru

    (Mountains which kiss the clouds, Giant tanks which rival seas, Beaches which fortify the oceans, This is the beauty of this country)

    Samanola giri walalu bimey
    Muni siripa pidena bimey
    Sama karuna guna mahimey
    Apa upathin lada urumey

    (On butterfly mountain/ Adam’s peak where the Buddha’ foot print is worshipped. The serenity and the peace of mind that engulfs you, this is our heritage)

    Are these patriotic type Songs available on a single CD or DVD?………..DBSJ

  112. #83 Shankar,

    Agree 100% on Wimal Weerawansa. However since the fast episode most of the electorate rate him as ‘all noise and no substance’.. The next election will put him in his place..

  113. #40
    We should be able to live and let live. Our blood is runs red whether Sinhala or Tamil. Actions like this are the seeds of a divide which could fester and grow into another war
    Thank you priyanthy for your’ enlightenment. I feel as UN is directly involved in these matters no fool will go for another violent approach certainly this particular new turn creates a wonderful space for Eelam Tamils for a non violent disobedient path the accepted Ghandian way. Will they use it properly in a “do no harm” way?

  114. The current version sucks. I’d say lets make a new with some techno beats in it and it should be in english. Must be better than”God save the Queen”..We can subsitute that to God Save the Rajpacksa’s..

  115. Col.Hari….

    I will be be 100% honest with you. I along with my friends, still use your precious youtube clips to ROFL for weeks! They are simply gems!

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  116. Dear DBS,
    Can you please write about the potential arrests which could have had happened during the MR’s visit to the UK. There has been a lots of claims in various websites on arrest warrants issued to various members of the delegation

  117. DBSJ: I am reminded of ‘Ilangai enbadhu nam thaay thiru naadu’ – a beautiful song sung by A.E. Manoharan. Do you know who wrote the lyrics of that song?

    I am not sure. Maybe Manoharan himself………… DBSJ

  118. 134. Diyasena

    If Surangani, surangani is made the national anthem Tamil Nadu is going to invade Sri Lanka! Most of them do not realize that this originated from SL and think that it is a Tamil song!

    I have argued for hours with some Indians who insist that this song originated from South India.

  119. 131. Diyasena – response by DBS:
    Are these patriotic type Songs available on a single CD or DVD?………..DBSJ
    All of these are available on CD or DVD but I don’t know if they are available on one CD/DVD.

    However, they are all available at Singhala Jukebox :

    Last time I looked, there were more than 10000 Sinhala songs there. You can not download the songs but can listen to them using the RealPlayer. Using audio capture software, I have saved many of those songs.

    Thanks Ranjan……..DBSJ

  120. 131 Diyasena:

    Here is the original clip from the movie Saaravita:


    One of the unforgettable songs from my childhood. It is a pity that Nada will not sing this beautiful song anymore.


    Thanks for this.I just played it twice and it was great. It evoked memories of “Saravita” which I saw about 45 years ago at Roxy,Wellawatte.Joe A was wonderful in that

    Somehow I forgot “mehe Sinhaley” was in this film. I thought because Mahagama Sekera wrote it the song was picturised on his own film “Thun Mang Handiya”. But tisc clip jolted memory. How well she sings!

    It was so nice to see Lanka scenes in black & white

    While this song has a slow beat and strains of a classical melody I was reminded of a racy Tamil pop song by AE Manoharan called “Ilankai Enbathu Nam Thaaithirunaadu”. It was picturised in the Lankan Tamil movie “THeivam Thantha Veedu” as title song and had lots of Lankan scenes

  121. 144: Response from DBS:
    I was reminded of a racy Tamil pop song by AE Manoharan called “Ilankai Enbathu Nam Thaaithirunaadu”. It was picturised in the Lankan Tamil movie “THeivam Thantha Veedu” as title song and had lots of Lankan scenes
    Of course I remember that song. I never saw the movie but knew the song well.

    Talking about Manoharan, we have a version of Kandasurinduni, a spliced version of the song with alternate sections sung by Clarence and Manoharan in Sinhala and Tamil. Very popular in our frequent bila sessions here in Toronto.

    May be that should be the national anthem!

    Anyway, DBS, this will be my last posting for a while as I will be in for someplace warm for Christmas far from the cold of Toronto. I wish you and all the participants of this blog a very happy Christmas and a new year. I thank you DBS, for giving me a chance to participate here and I have learned so much from you and countless other who post here.


    How I envy you Ranjan away from the cold to warmth.

    Thank You for posting so many interesting and informative comments and also exchanging views spiritedly with others

    I have got used to waiting for your comment after each article and so I hope will manage to post at least one comment somehow.

    Thank you for your wishes. Compliments of the season to you and your family

  122. “Ilankai” is not a Tamil word it is originated/derived from Lanka It is a Sinhala word too, but Tamils always called the island Ealam for thousand of years, similarly the anthem and the flag don’t have any significance or history they only serve the Sinhala dominance.

    We Tamils need to be aware of our rights and identity.

  123. “Are these patriotic type Songs available on a single CD or DVD?………..DBSJ”

    I think the Ministry of Defence put out a CD with a collection of patriotic songs in 2009, but have no clue as to which songs are included or not..

    I think most songs are available for downloading or saving on the internet. If you let me know which songs you require I could digg it up for you..

    Thanks.Will do so………..DBSJ

  124. 134. Diyasena

    Wow. What an Idea!


    142. Ranjan, Toronto

    Most of them do not realize that this originated from SL and think that it is a Tamil song!


    I too have a feeling that this must have originated in Sri Lanka. To my limited knowledge it seems to be like a baila song.





    Thank You and the same to you Mahesh………….DBSJ

  125. 129.130. Diyasena

    I was only able to find male singer/singers singing it and mostly solos.
    May be because everone trying to imitate CT Fernando or
    perhaps it is mainly an agrarian song.

  126. Hi DBS, why don’t you write an article about wikleaks information about sri Lanka–Spesially Douglas, Karuna and Gotabaya involvement in Kidnapping for money, unidentified murders. and Prostitution.. Would like to see detail information about this. You shall add LTTE involvements also in the article.

    Happy Christmas!

    Happy Christmas! Why should I be guided by Wikileaks?……….DBSJ

  127. Hi DBSJ would like to share some more…
    Hi Mr.DBS Jeyaraj, I came to your blog just reading about Sri Lankan news thro’some website. It is more informative and good articles to read these days ( I am retired from my profession now) about Sri Lanka.
    I have been Jaffna two times (1988 and 2002) in my life. I feel very sad to see our people living there without any basic needs. Even though I find the courage and driving ability still the same. I have met many youngsters from Ceylon in Singapore—I feel good.

    Refer to the Jayanth#26; he mentioned that Singapore community was majority by Malays when the Anthem was created–completely wrong.
    Let see further the government took over by Chinese dominant and if they want to change it–they would have but not why? Because all about racial harmony. I am not sure about you. If you are recently migrated here/Just working here you may not know past Singapore.
    How our Minister Mentor –MM (Mr.Lee Kuan Yew) built up the nation. It is all regardless of race. Sorry to see your statement.. You have not learnt any lesson from Singapore. You just want to take advantage in Sri Lanka only because you are majority without fairness. Well keep on going… World is watching you… God is there… Tamils in Srilnaka, will create own Anthem if I am not wrong. See our MM (Mr.Lee Kuan Yew) judgement about Ceylon Tamils “Tamils have been in the island of Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese and that Sri Lanka is not a happy “united” country. The present president of Sri Lanka believes he has settled the problem now that the Tamil Tigers are killed, and wants others to believe that too,” and Lee observes: I don’t think they [Tamils] are tough race of people”

    Dear Readers–I wish peace for this Christmas. May the world be free from natural disasters, war and terrorist attacks; may each personʼs heart be filled with love and forgiveness

    Best Wishes,

  128. 148: Mahesh,

    Thank you and a very happy festive season and a happy, healthy and a prosperous new year to you and your family.

  129. #150-DBS- I thing you have misunderstood my intention. I was asking you to write (in your view) about the issues taht i have published in the wikleaks.

    Why do you want me to do that?……..DBSJ

  130. What is the big deal about National Anthem of SriLanka, as SriLanka is a pure sinhala nation the National Anthem of SriLanka should be sung in sinhala only.

  131. I just want to clarify.. as these peoples are government ministers. Even our (I am an Indian) prime minister also met few time Douglas.. our embasidars also frequently meeting douglas, Karuna.. and another person from Karuna division who is ??? He is also holding a post in North east I thing you have mentined an article about NGO members kidnabbed … so are we meeting with this people.. just want to know is Sri Lankan government also doing or promoting prostitution ti earn the money?
    Just want to know about LTTE, Have they run like prostitution business? what a hell/ nonsense country.. with name of buddah.. they are doing everything…

  132. All the best, ranjan for christmas and the new year. Hope to see you back soon on the blog.Good to know that another year was completed, but the bad news is we are getting older.

  133. #125
    Good work. Why “ilangai sironmani, vaazhvuRu poomaNi.”
    This might be “Hela sironmani Vaazvuru poomani”
    This is very near to the original translation than Ilankai sironmani,
    And while saying ilangai sironmani pitch some what disturbed.

  134. Dear Mr.Thavaratnam

    Thank you for this

    Instead of posting it as a comment here I am going to post it as a speech on my website http://www.transcurrents.com in due course

    That way it would have a wider reach and impact

    If and when you have things like these to share with readers please send them directly to me by e-mail instead of posting them as comments here

    My e-mail is dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

    Please continue to post your own comments as and when you like

    Thank You

    Jeyaraj (DBS)

  135. 150,154. Mrs.Shiela

    It is true everything was or is not rosy.

    But there was another wikileak revelation which mentioned that the US consulars in Colombo met three TNA MP’s to get information and one of them is Padmini Sithamparanathan!.

  136. DBSJ,
    Thanks for writing about this at a time of necessity. (I requested it too)
    The President should have canceled the proposal rather than postponing.
    Anyway, it is not the end of the world for Tamils in Sri Lanka even the Tamil version gets removed. But these are the actions bringing the hostile life back. The heads of states should understand this well. may the God bless you and all the citizens of the world in the new year.


  137. Complements of the season,

    For All human beings and not so human in their thinking and behaviour. May God bless and help you all the to the right parth. To All of you are the God who is in yourself.

  138. DELETED

    Please dont waste valuable time and space by posting articles in other media that are totally irrelevant to the subject of this article

    Thank You

    DBS Jeyaraj

  139. Looking forward to the sequel to this informative article.Thank you DBSJ.Happy Christmas and a joyful New year wishes!I do hope you would give some consideration to write a few articles at least in 2011 about Tamil cinema.As you have mentioned before,this also a subject very close to your heart.


    Thank you for the wishes and the same to you too. Yes I am planning to write on cinema in 2011 and only hope I will be able to do as planned.

  140. Although you don’t have to be guided by Wikileaks, I agree with Mrs Sheila that the truth about the likes of Devananda and Karuna should be told to the world and what better person than you DBS to do that.

    There are many in Sri Lanka (and also in India) who are promoting these guys as an alternate Tamil leadership to the TNA and considering the type of activities these guys have been upto and still are upto, are they the type of leaders Tamils of Sri Lanka need or deserve? Exposing them and then hopefully sidelining them might help towards reversing the violent and criminal culture the war sadly introduced to the Tamil community.

  141. #167-kaz

    Exposing them and then hopefully sidelining them might help towards reversing the violent and criminal culture the war sadly introduced to the Tamil community.
    Why don’t you do that without asking DBSJ to do your dirty work. Mahinda is the one who promoted these guys and hugged them to his bosom. He can get rid of them whenever he want’s to. Then they will be like a rudderless ship and not a problem for the tamils. As long as they are useful to mahinda he will keep them in positions of power.

    Everything that they do is at the instigation and instructions of mahinda. So mahinda is totally responsible for whatever evil his golayas do to the tamil community. For example in the sicilian mafia you don’t go after the hitman, you go always after the godfather. Once the godfathers are locked up ,no more mafia.

    We will wait and watch the fun when mahinda wants to get rid of them one day.

  142. Refering#160; Thanks for your consideration that our finance minister speech got more meaning full to others. Please exactly follow the same that I have produced here as this is a goverment releases.

    Best Wishes

  143. Here is an excerpt from an article

    [The number of beggars or homeless people at the Ridigama Rehabilitation Centre has exceeded 600, forcing the authorities to suspend intakes temporarily.

    Superintendent of the Rehabilitation Centre Mahinda Wijesinghe said that the limit on the number of beggars or homeless people who can be taken into the center is also 600 so more people cannot be taken.

    He also mentioned that he was amazed that all the beggers could sing the national anthem faultlessly, though he himself knew only the words namo namo matha.]

  144. #156 Madam Shiela

    Most of the contents of the Wikileaks were the assessment made by American Diplomats. However, they are not always correct. What happened to the assessment made by the American intelligent about Saddam Hussein’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Same way, the assessment about Douglas and Karuna is incorrect. Douglas and Karuna are the hope of the Tamils living in Srilanka. Both of them have took arm when it was necessary and when Olive branch was extended by the present government they have reciprocated. So Madam, don’t take Wikileak as Gospel.

  145. It is the Sinhala flag and Sinhala national anthem. It doesn’t really represent our Tamil identity. Therefore Tamils not bother wheather it’s in sinhala or tamil. We more care about the suffering of the Tamils.

    Mass killings against Tamils are commen place in Sri Lanaka. Here I give few examples. No one has ever been convicted relating to these incidents.

    Mass killings pogroms against Tamils in 1956, 1977, 1981 and 1983. Over 3,000 Tamils were killed in July1983 alone and tens of thousands of houses were destroyed, and a wave of Sri Lankan Tamils left for other countries. In July1983, at the height of the anti-Tamil riots, Sinhalese prisoners in the Welikada Prison in Colombo massacred fifty-three Tamil inmates who were imprisoned for political reasons.

    May 7, 1985 in Valvettithurai (Jaffna District) young men were dragged from their homes lined and shot. Some were shot while they attempted to run. The most gruesome incident involved the blowing up a community center with 25 men. Indeed, 75 civilians had lost their lives for no fault of their own at the end of this horrible incident.

    On August 16 and 17, 1985. Air force personnel, who escaped a land mine explosion in Vavuniya on August 16, went on a rampage killing 150 Tamil civilians and setting fire to several shops. On the following day, 250 Tamil civilians, including women and children, were murdered by government soldiers in Trincomalee.

    On 25 October 2000, Tamil boys aged between 14-23 were massacred by Sinhalese hoodlums at the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Centre, some 3 miles from Bandarawela town in the hill country of Sri Lanka. This Rehabilitation Centre is jointly run by President Kumaratunge’s Presidential Secretariat, Child Protection Authority, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, National Youth Services Council and the Don Bosco Technical Centre.

    Tamildominated East has been the scene of a particularly large number of killings, with at least 9,000 being killed between 1990 and 1993 alone, with many incidents in which whole villages were attacked and the inhabitants slaughtered.

    In Kokkaddichcholai on 2 January, 1987 more than 80 Tamil civilians were killed by the Special Task Force, while another 152 are killed at almost the same location in January, 1991. The nineteen soldiers convicted in the latter massacre were allowed to return to service.

    On 5 September 1990, 158 refugees housed at the Eastern University campus in Vantharumoolai were taken away by soldiers of Brigadier Karunatilleke and never seen again. Karunatilleke served in Jaffna in command of an area adjacent to that of Brig. Janaka Perera at the time of the Chemmani burials. Joseph Pararajasingam, MP, (He was killed at the Christmas mass on 25.12.2005 by Sri Lankan paramilitary group) stated in Parliament on April 20, 1999 that it is suspected that these refugees were massacred and buried at Navalady, near Valachenai.

    On 9 September 1990, 184 villagers, mostly women and children, from around the Saththurukkondaan Army Camp near Eravur were rounded up and never seen again, although there are reports that they were killed and burned and/or buried in the camp. Mr. Pararajasingam MP told Parliament on April 20, 1999 that it is the duty of the government to investigate the mass grave sites at Saththurukkondaan and Navalady.

    An another example on the 14th of August 2006, 53 Tamil schools girls died and over 129 others were injured during an aerial bombardment by the Sri Lanka Air Force (UN Report, August 2006).

  146. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year DBSJ.

    Thank you and wish you the same too……………DBSJ

  147. Hello DBSJ

    Better to see new people like Mr. Thavaratnam in this blog.
    Also I enjoy Ranjan, Leela, Mahesh, Diyasena etc,
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.
    Wish you all Prosperous 2011

    Thank you and compliments of the season to you…………DBSJ

  148. Doen’t matter about national antham about sinhaleese. Tamil want their own country and own national antham in tamil.

  149. In human psychology Intention is the key to asses future behaviour of the person concerned.
    In psychology most elements of hidden intentions comes out when that person is agitated or sleep depressed .

    I believe this emotional disclosure by MR due to London failure demonstrate that
    MR’s hidden intention/mindset is same as SLFP founders SWRD and MR’s father Rajapakse.
    That is Sinhala only.
    Hence Mahavamsa mindset.

    Another thing to note is it is not only MR but entire government ministers did not oppose it . it does not matter what happens now after lots of noice

    It is now up to Tamil intellects to understand social and political signal came from MR government .

    I sugest following book for further reading about “intentions”

    Intentions and Intentionality: Foundations of Social Cognition (Bradford Books) [Paperback]

    In conclusion I would say that the book is a good read for any philosopher interested in intentionality and wishes to have his or her analytical intuitions sharpened by empirical research. The experimental psychologist can benefit from the work for the reverse reason. As a truly independent advance on a separate field, it leaves some wanting, but it can be a start and inspiration for more research.

    © 2004 Marcel Scheele

    Marcel Scheele is a philosopher. He received his masters degree in the Philosophy of Mind at Leiden University (Netherlands). His thesis was on the functionalist theory of mind. Currently he is doing Ph.D. research at the Delft University of Technology on the philosophy of technology. The research concerns the nature of technical artefacts. It is especially concerned with the way in which the purely physical-technical conception of technology can be joined to the conception of the user –the latter being both informed functionally and social or culturally. The main areas of inquiry to this effect are the notion of function, social ontology, collective intentionality, and meaning. He also still works on questions in the field of philosophy of mind.

  150. #177

    வாழ்க ஈழத்தமிழகம் வாழ்க இனிது வாழ்கவே
    மலை நிகர்திவ் வுலகில் என்றும் தலை நிமிர்ந்து வாழ்கவே

    அமுதை வென்ற மொழிஇனள் அருள் கனிந்த விழியினள்
    அரியபண்பு நெறியினள் அவனி மெச்சும் மதியினள்
    மமதை கொண்ட பகைவரும் வணங்கும் அன்பு விதியினள்
    வளரும்45 இலட்சம் மக்கள் கொண்ட பதியினள்

    வாழ்க ஈழத்தமிழகம் வாழ்க இனிது வாழ்கவே
    மலை நிகர்திவ் வுலகில் என்றும் தலை நிமிர்ந்து வாழ்கவே

    வானம் பாடி போல மீன் கானம் பாடும் வாவிகள்
    மலர் கனி குலுங்கிடும் எழில் மிகுந்த சோலைகள்
    தேனும் பாலும் பாய்ந்திடசெந்நெல் விழையும் களனிகள்
    தெய்வ கற்பகதருக்கள் உயவளிக்கும் மாநிலம்

    வாழ்க ஈழத்தமிழகம் வாழ்க இனிது வாழ்கவே
    மலை நிகர்திவ் வுலகில் என்றும் தலை நிமிர்ந்து வாழ்கவே

    பட்டி பளை மகாவலி பயிலருவி முத்தர்றுகள்
    பல வளங்கள் பொழியவே எழில் நடஞ்செய்துலவிடும்
    மட்டக்களப்பு யாழ்நகர் மாந்தை வன்னி திருமலை
    மகிழ்வோடு மலைத்தமிழர்கள் மலரடி தொழும் இனியவள்

    வாழ்க ஈழத்தமிழகம் வாழ்க இனிது வாழ்கவே
    மலை நிகர்திவ் வுலகில் என்றும் தலை நிமிர்ந்து வாழ்கவே

  151. Refering #177 Kamal and some others also highlighted the same opinion that “Tamils want to have own country and own National anthem” .

    I would say it is not Tamils want in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese push them to get it.

    Best Wishes,

  152. 172. Kumar | December 22nd, 2010 at 6:32 am
    #156 Madam Shiela

    Most of the contents of the Wikileaks were the assessment made by American Diplomats. However, they are not always correct. What happened to the assessment made by the American intelligent about Saddam Hussein’s WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Same way, the assessment about Douglas and Karuna is incorrect
    The wikileaks seem to be spot on. You can see from the way the governments are all sqirming. They are not denying anything,only seem to be going after that chap asange with some trumped up charges. Since the leaks have beenpretty accurate about the other countries, no reason to disbelieve what they say about srilanka. Anyway i don’t think srilankans are surprised about the behaviour mentioned in the leaks about karuna and douglas.

    If you say they are the only hope for the tamils, then the tamils have no hope at all.

    As for comparing wiki leaks to saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, i think it is like comparing apples to oranges. These leaks are genuine stuff that has come into the public domain, when it was not supposed to, whereas Bush and his cronies were deliberately leaking stuff out that saddam had got weapons of mass destruction, in order to invade iraq.

  153. 321. Diyasena

    There is no mention of a Pandya Princess.. Only that the Queen came from Madhura.. Without rhyme or reason people (with agendas) jump to the conclusion that it was Madhurai, Tamilnadu. They forget that there was a Madhura in Gujarat as well


    Diyasena I am quoting below the words from the http://mahavamsa.org/2008/05/07-consecrating-vijaya/

    Please read this and then post your comments. Otherwise from your posting people may think that you are anxious to deny the links to the Tamil Nadu/south India.

    The below given words are copied and pasted from the http://www.mahavamsa.org


    But the ministers, whose minds were eagerly bent upon the consecrating of their lord, and who, although the means were difficult, had overcome all anxious fears about the matter, sent people, entrusted with many precious gifts, jewels, pearls, and so forth, to the city of Madhura[16] in southern (India), to woo the daughter of the Pandu king for their lord, devoted (as they were) to their ruler; and they also (sent to woo) the daughters of others for the ministers and retainers.


    No body will readily give his daughter without enquiring about the prospective bride groom and in the Mahavamsa the King it is said readily gives his daughter in marriage.

    This could be possible only if he had some humint in the lanka.


    IF your coming from Mathurai, there is no need to land on any port..


    Remember there is the sea separating the island from the Indian sub continent.

    Also the queens entourage lands in Mahathita, that is mathota.


    Jambudvipa, which at the time meant North India.


    Jambudvipa is the name given to the Indian sub continent from Gandhara to Kanyakumari. Gandhara I am not sure, may be Gandhara, but Kashmir is sure.

    As a Bramin I know that whatever sankalpa I do i also use the name jambudvipa.

    jambudvipe, bharata varshe etc etc.

    Those different Kings left different inscriptions detailing what parts they added or what renovation they did..


    Do archeological investigations there and try to find out the truth.


    “The role of the tamil buhists has also to be investigated”

    Please let us all know when you’ve found the unicorn’s Skeleton..


    You wanted to see the unicorn’s skeleton.

    I am only giving a glimpse of that here. This is by no means an exhaustive evidence.


  154. There should be more reconciliation in this country. Reconciliation of the tamils with mahinda. Reconciliation of UNP, JVP, Fonseka etc with mahinda. Reconciliation of the national anthem views of many with mahinda’s view of same. Reconciliation of everybodys views with mahinda chintanaya.Reconciliation of the whole country including producers of coconuts, chicken and eggs with mahinda.Reconciliation of all srilankans and ex-srilankans abroad with mahinda.


    wishing everyone on this blog a merry christmas and happy new year. A special thank you to DBSJ for tirelessly working this whole year to keep this very interesting forum ticking away. DBSJ, a merry christmas and happy new year to you. Don’t you ever stop working. High time you took a holiday to more salubrious climates like ranjan, who had planned it nicely.

    Thank You Shankar. Compliments of the season to you……….DBSJ

  155. To share season’s greeting with DBSJ & all the friends in your blog.

    May the true spirit of the birth of Jesus spread among the nations.

    May the lowly be lifted up high.
    Let the true joy of christmas come with sharing what you have with the less fortunate women, children & men around you.

    I feel the true spirit of Chritmas is been stolen from our society by the makerting promotions.

    Any way hope that this new year will bring all of us closer and that we will see the goodness in things around us.

    Wish you a joyful christmas.

    Thank you and wish you the same………..DBSJ

  156. 185. shankar  |  December 23rd, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Yes Shankar; A war crimianl is appe leader. Or are you saying that a war criminal was ‘engal’ leader and her was defeated by ‘appe’ war criminal leader and he unified the title?

  157. A very merry Christmas to you and your family DBSJ, hope you get a chance to get off the bleary Canadian weather and enjoy some sun sometime soon..

    Also a merry Christmas to all readers who celebrate it.. Hope yous have a good one..

    Thank You.Comliments of the season to you………….DBSJ

  158. #185
    One Island, two nations, different people, together we march forward. Long live Mahinda, Long live
    Ban ki Moon, Namathu Eelam poma poma veenai poma ?
    Wishing everyone on this blog a merry christmas and happy new year.
    An eelam citizen

  159. 500 Kids from the north coming to Colombo to spend a few days, organised by one of my friends and his friends.

    God bless him and all of you bloggers, Diaspora, LTTE supporters, Sinhala Chauvanists and all.

    May the true peace of christmas just touch you as a soft breath of dawn.

    Thanks for hosting and writing DBSJ, May the winter be kind on you too .

    Happy Christmas

    Dilshan Ferdinando
    Colombo Sri Lanka

    Thank you Dilshan.Happy Christmas …………..DBSJ

  160. Wish you and your family a very merry Christmas, DBJS!

    Also merry Christmas, prosperous New Year and or happy holidays to all readers!

    Thank You and wish you the same too………DBSJ

  161. 113. Harshe | December 19th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Harshe,Can you locate that MR speech about revising the anthem to include Tamil verses please and e-mail it or a link please?

    I tried to find the article in the old ‘Lankadeepa’ news papers at home, but couldn’t. (Must have sold the older heap of papers)
    As far as I remember MR has said it over 6 months back, during a meeting at the Presidential palace, Kandy.
    The paper reported it in Political gossip column.
    President had learnt that there has been a large number of Tamils in that gathering only after his speech. He had said if he knew that there were Tamils in the audience he would have said a few words in Tamil. During that discussion he had said that it would be better if we had a bilingual national anthem.
    Do not know whether he was serious or not.
    But I feel MR is doing his best to tackle the language problem. He is going the extra mile which no other leader has done before.
    I am working at a semi government institution and we have received a directive last week, making it compulsory to make all announcements in Tamil. (i.e. when announcements are in Sinhala there must be a Tamil version as well. But not so if it is only in English)

    So surely there is momentum in the ground. Sinhalese school children are studying Tamil from Primary level. There are questions on Tamil language for year 5 scholarship exams as well.

    Like Rome was not built in one day Tamils should not expect all their grievances to be settled in one day. If they could suffer so much for 30 years and end up with nothing, why can’t they wait few years (may be 5-10) in peace, before judging the current government and agitating. (Anyway it’s just my random thought, it is up to Tamils to decide whether they agitate or not, but I think they will continue to receive the opposite of what they expect, if they continue to give wrong signals, like Oxford union debacle)

    Well it’s the time to forget politics and enjoy the festive season.

    I wish DBSJ the great and all the readers,

    Step by Step the Journey Goes On,
    Little by Little It May Seem So Long,
    Forget About Your Past, You Can’t Change It,
    Forget About Your Future, You Can’t Predict It,
    Just Think About The Present, You Can Handle It,
    Enjoy The Present’s Every Moment & Be Happy!

    ENJOY THE SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Thank you very much Harshe for everything.I learnt a lot from your posts and private mails responding to my requests.

    What you have said here is practical wisdom. I too believe that the Tamil predicament can only be addressed incrementally and that there is no overnight solution. I am also not underestimating the opposition as illustrated by the intolerance displayed on the national anthem issue. But as I often emphasise there is no alternative. The bulk of Sri Lankan Tamils have to live in Sri Lanka and their destiny is inextricably inter-twined with that of the Sinhalese. So we must and will live together as equals in amity,peace and friendship.

    Wish you a very happy Christmas and bright new year

  162. Dear Mr Jeyaraj

    I wish you and your family a Happy Xmas and a Healthy New Year.

    Kalu Albert,

    Thank you and wish you the same too……..DBSJ

  163. National anthem should be in both languages. Most of the Tamils do not understand Sinhala. How can you sing a national anthem without understanding it? Does it make any sense? National anthem and national flag are tools to unite people. There are no two national anthems in Sri Lanka. Both versions have same meaning. Language is nothing, it is a communication medium. Buddha Begawan is a Hindu. Buddhist monks chant in Pali, not in Sinhala. Few politicians try to create problems. Beware, Sri Lankans!

  164. jey more about mkt i happened to lisyen to two of his songs i really went raptures one boomiyil manidan papanasam sivam and soppana vazhvil .unfortunately he was the first tamil superstar he died a pauper.i also happened to read #112 rajivs comments it was really heartening to know that he has relatives of every hue.unfortunately i would say humanity is committing a mistake by losing the cultural identity in the name of assimilation.assimilation was the need of hour becoz we were in turbulent times in the past riven by ethnic,caste and religious divisions .there is no doubt humanity is not out of this but we have become much more mature in fact i would say even in a country like srilanka people are less prone to ethnic divisions than in the past.what we need to do know is we need to keep our cultural identity intact at the same time we should integrate ourselves in a foreign environment.i can cite examples of telugu speaking community in tamil nadu which have been in tamilnadu for centuries without compromising its linguistic identity at the same time integrating well with tamils.some famous tamils of telugu origin are dr.s.radhakrishnan,v.gopalswamy,,ki.rajanarayanan and in fact periyar ramaswamy was of kannada origin.the reason why i am writing about this if humanity is shorn of cultural identity it will be replaced by commercial identity which is happening in the western world where everyone is defined by the money he or she has.hence we need to continue to sustain a positive cultural identity it is akin to residents living in an apartment amicably they can live with peace by being good neighbours to rach other.i guess that is what is happening in singapore where chinese,malays and tamils communities co exist without any problem.let us hope that this is replicated world wide.i wish all the commentators a happy prosperous and peaceful new year.

  165. Jaffana students forced to sing the national anthem in Sinhala during Tsunami remembrance day rehearsal.
    not sure how true this story is watch this space

  166. #195-rajensaba

    How can you sing a national anthem without understanding it? Does it make any sense
    That brings up an interesting point. Do most indians understand what they are singing in bengali and most singapore chinese what they are singing in malay?

  167. Hi DBS,
    Wish you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2011

    On the subject, it says you have to understand and respect the National Flag and the National Anthem the symbol of the nation and national unity.
    Therefore you have to separate national issues from communal issues as oil and water won’t mix… Once something is accepted at national level, it stands way above communal level.
    There is a factual error in the beginning which must be corrected. Otherwise not doing justice to late Anada Samarakoon
    “In Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon, the song “Namo Namo Matha” written by the artist-poet Ananda Samarakoon was formally adopted as the national anthem in 1951. It was slightly amended and changed to “Sri Lanka Matha” in 1961 without the consent of Samarakoon”

    This song composed by Mr Ananda Samarakoon was sung on the 2nd independence day celebrations on 4th Feb 1949 in Sinhala, Tamil and English which caused anxiety among other music composers and one was composed to the tune of’ God Save the King’
    Mr Samarakoon’s composition was selected to be sung at Havelock Race Course in the afternoon of 4th Feb 1950.
    A suggestion was made to the government in 1951 to accept Mr Ananda Samarakoon’s composition ‘Namo Namo Matha’ as the National Anthem of Ceylon with some alterations with the approval of Mr Anada Samarakoon on 22nd Nov 1951. The Cabinet decided on Namo Namo Matha and issued a communiqué on 12th Mar 1952.
    Then the National Anthem of Ceylon was born replacing ‘God save the King’ which was sung over a period of 150 years.
    Later it was said the mystical structure at the beginning of the Anthem was in auspicious for the country and for this reason ‘Namo Namo’ was replaced by ‘Sri Lanka Matha’

    It is important to note Mr Samarakoona was born a Christian who was a distinguished product of CMS Kotte like Anagarika Dharmapala who would have settled easily with God save the King version. Those days if you speak in Sinhalese 25c fine is levied to the student. CMS and STC connected those days.
    However Mr Samarakoon realised there was a need for a change and stood above communal lines took the challenge and can’t imagine how he selected such fine words to visualize the beauty of the country and inspire the nation in that Anthem.

    As the leaders of all communities made the best decisions at the time there is no issue with National symbols at present. If a Tamil version exists without harming the meaning and the melody no one will oppose. Unfortunately if some try to add a communal fervor and make an issue, then it’ll disturb the peace as it appears this last thing in the minds of the people in Jaffna.


    Namo Namo Matha was altered to Sri Lanka Matha in 1961 without Ananda Samarakoon’s consent. The poet was emotionally upset by it. In 1962 he died of an overdose of sleeping pills. He had sent letters to many including then opposition leader Dudley Senanayake that his poem had been beheaded

    I will be writing about all these matters in detail in the final part of this article next week. (could not complete it this week due to Christmas)

    Thank you for your wishes and wish you the same Lakshman

  168. great article DBSJ .. I dont have a strong feeling one way or the other . I think it is fine either way as long as the people know what they are doing and DO NOT BUTCHER the national anthem . Here is the US every sports event is started with the national anthem and in general the kids who sing it know what they are singing . (I said in general)

    When mutliple languages are used it is probably difficult for some to relate .and that is an issue .

    In general I think this is a bad time to bring up the issue due to the proximity of the war and other issues . The idea of a Tamil – Sinhala song is also a good one . That way every student and community will know the other version .

    May be more study should be done into this issue from non political actors and a decision should be arrived at from a pratical point of view .

  169. These days I’m very busy with a charity project but still reading your site. For my point of view national anthem has to sing from inner-heart from the all citizens not the lips from them lot. We have to create the situations where all people feel as citizens first. At this crucial juncture we have to innovate things to unite the communities not dived them apart. Bringing the idea of singing NA in only Sinhalese not healthier one at present. I’m looking forward your part 2 anyway.

    DBS Anna, wish you merry x-mas & happy new-year. Hope you will continue your service forever in coming years. May god bless you & your family!

    Thank you very much for your wishes.Compliments of the season to you and wish you the very best for the new year…………..DBSJ

  170. This half brained nitwit Weeravansa is responsible for ruining lives of thousands of university students in the late 80’s.
    He is responsible for my departure from Sri Lanka to Canada after abandoning my studies at the University of Colombo.

  171. # 32 says a lot. Hats off for the clarrification. Anthem should have both languages in it. Just one peice of lyrics with both.It will be heartfelt to all equally.

  172. When will we ever learn? In 1956 it was Sinhala Only in terms of Language. After nearly 6 decades of division now this one on the National Anthem? One way out could be to add about 1/3rd
    of the anthem in the already approved Tamil version of Pandit Nallathamby. This will enable both Sinhala and Tamil children to learn each others language, respect and honour them too. Now that he has unnecessarily opened an old wound it is nothing but right President Rajapakse uses the enormous support he commands both in the Coalition and the country to get this uniting factor through. This will also place him in good light in all quarters concerned.


  173. Certainly both the versions should be retained..I am Indian & my wife is from Sri Lanka..Indian national anthem is in tatsam Bengali which isn’t used now at all..Noone in India has ever questioned as why the national anthem isn’t in Hindi India’s national language..People should be given a choice to sing it either in Sinhala or Tamil as both Sinhalese & Tamilians are very much part of Si Lanka

  174. They could, but to get correct pronunciation, we would need to adopt some conventions to indicate proper pronunciation when writing the Sinhala words in Tamil script.

  175. Vaazhga Sri Lanka thirudhesam, vaazhga inidhu vaazhgave
    malainihartthivvulahil endrum, thalai nimirndhu vaazhgave!

    Patti pal’ai mahaaval’i payil aruvi sivanolippaadham,
    pala val’anggal’ pozhiyave ezhil nadanjeydhulavidum!
    Mattakkala’appu, Yaazh Nagar, Kozhumbu, Thirukkon’amalai,
    magizhvodu Sri Lankaavargal’ malaradi thozhum iniyaval’

    Vaazhga Sri Lanka thirudhesam, vaazhga inidhu vaazhgave
    malainihartthivvulagil endrum, thalai nimirndhu vaazhgave!

    I am a Thamizhan, but, also I love Sri Lanka. Through this modified song, in which I am praising Sri Lanka, I am expressing my deep love towards my spiritual homeland.

    I will never bow to the likes of people like Prabhakaran. Nor will I supoport the splitting of my spiritual motherland in two. Long live peace in Sri Lanka and in the world.

  176. Diyasena,

    I really like the idea you pesented for a bilingual version of the Sri Lankan National Anthem!

    The following would also work quite well. (Please note I have used a phineticized spelling)

    shrI la~NkA mAtA
    apa shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO mAthA
    nAm shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO thAyE

    sundhara siri bAriNI suraendhi aethi shObhamAna la~NkA
    dhAnyadhanaya naeka mal palathuru piri jayabhUmiya ramyA
    namathuru pugalidam ena olirvAy namadhushiyEL thAyE
    namadhalai ninadhadi mEl vaittOmE namadhuyirE thAyE

    apa shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO mAthA
    nAm shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO thAyE

    obavE apa vidhyA oba maya apa sathyA
    obavE apa shakthi apa hadha thula bhakthi
    namadhiLa maiyai nAttE nagumadi thanai yOttE
    amaivuRum aRuvudanE adal seri thuNi varuLE

    nava jIvana dheminE nithina apa pubudhu karan mAthA
    j~nAna vIrya vadavamina raegEna yanu maena jaya bhUmi karA
    iyaluRu piLavugaL thamai aRavE iLivEna nIkkiduvOm
    ila~Ngai sirOnmaNi vAzhvuRu bhUmaNi namO namO thAyE

    apa shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO mAthA
    nAm shrI la~NkA namO namO namO namO thAyE


    In the word, ila~Ngai, the i is silent. In Tamil, worlds starting with ya, ra or la sounds start with i in witing.

    example: the world for number two in Taamil is spelled as i-ra-N-du but is pronounced as raNdu.

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