MP protests delays in Language Act

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 November 1998, 15:40 GMT]
The Ceylon Worker's Congress (CWC) M.P Mr. Devaraj, while proposing a motion in the Parliament, during the postponement debate on November 26, protested over what he said was the People Alliance (PA) Governmentís lack of interest in implementing Tamil as an official Language, said sources in Colombo.

"It is 11 years since Tamil was declared as an Official Language. Translation of official documents rarely takes place. Racial percentages are seldom maintained in Government establishments" he said.

"There is gross inadequacy of appointed translators. Statements and complaints by ordinary Tamil citizens are never recorded in Tamil at the Police Stations," he said.

UNP Member of Parliament Mr. Locubandara, PLOTE Member of Parliament T. Siddharthan, EPDP member of Parliament S. Sivathasan, and TULF Member of Parliament P. Selvarajah also spoke in favor of the motion.

Minister of Justice and Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris, in his reply said that this problem cannot be remedied in a day.

"The PA Government has indeed been showing an active interest in the implementation of the Official Language Policy. Typists, translators and stenographers are in very short supply. Out of the 1076 vacancies we were able to find only 47 who were competent to fill the posts," the Minister said further.

The Minister also said that the Ministry of General Administration has given authority to Government establishments to appoint a Language Implementation Officer and that the Attorney General is exploring the feasibility of recording births and deaths in Tamil in areas outside the North-East.


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