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State institutions not implementing language policy, will face the music

The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration (MNLSI) yesterday warned that legal action would be taken against state institutions which failed to provide their services to the public in both Sinhala and Tamil.Minister of NLSI, Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that he had directed the Official Language Commission to advise secretaries of all ministries and heads of government institutions to take necessary action to ensure equality among all ethnic groups by strictly adhering to the government’s language policy as sanctioned by the Sri Lankan Constitution.The Constitution guaranteed the right to all citizens to use their mother tongue at government institutions, Minister Nanayakkara said, noting that there had been several complaints from the Tamil speaking public that they faced difficulties as regards translations.Citing an example, Minister Nanayakkara said a circular issued in the Sinhala language to a school or a health institution in the North or East could lead to confusion when it was translated into Tamil.Meanwhile, the Media Secretary to the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Mahendra Harischandra said that all government servants had been provided with Tamil language training. They were not entitled to salary increments if they did not complete all the stages of the training provided by the government in the usage of the language.A translator pool affiliated to the Language Department, with over 500 translators, was also made available to all government institutions. Members of the pool could be contacted through the Department’s website and their services could be obtained, he said.The MNLSI would also commence a hotline in the near future so that the government institutions in need of Sinhala – Tamil translations could acquire the services of a translator by calling the hotline, Harischandra added.

Author: TELO Admin