Kaaththaankudi UC defends Arabic usage in name boards

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 April 2011, 10:22 GMT]
The president of the Urban Council of Kaaththaankudi, a Muslim dominated town in the Eastern Province, has defended the use of Arabic on par with English in the name boards following protests from certain quarters in Colombo and in the provincial council in the East. Mr. S.H. Mohammed Anzar, the president has said it was a decision solely within the authority of the urban council.

Tamil, Sinhala, English and Arabic were used in name boards that have been put up recently in the territory of Kaaththankudi UC.

Although Sinahala and Tamil languages have been constitutionally recognized as official languages the Colombo government is issuing circulars only in Sinhala language and not even in English, which is the lingua franca, causing inconvenience to Tamil speaking people.

The use of Arabic should be seen in this light as a response to the practice of SL state, was the comment of a Tamil academic in the Eastern University.

In the meantime, Ulemas in Kaaththaankudi have been promoting the use of Arabic as home language arguing that Muslims in the island would remain divided if they continued to use the homeland languages as their home language.

Business elite of the Muslims have also been arguing that the Arabic businessmen who visit Kaththaankudi prefer to see the name boards of a Muslim city in Arabic.


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