- 1956 parliamentary polls a watershed in SL’s political history
- Tamils persisted with agitation cum negotiation strategy to restore rights
- Independence from the British only resulted in bondage under Sinhalese
2020 has dawned! Greetings for the new year to all readers. My article in this column last week about moves being contemplated to forbid the singing of Sri Lanka’s national anthem in Tamil at the 70th Independence Day event seems to have been received well, judging by the positive responses I have been getting from readers this week. What makes me most happy is the fact that an overwhelming number of these responses have been from Sinhala readers.
Among those responding were two children of Pundit M. Nallathamby who translated the national anthem into the Tamil language. I gathered from their mails that they were very young when their father passed away. Pundit Nallathamby who translated Ananda Samarakoon’s “Namo Namo Matha” into Tamil as “Namo Namo Thaaye” in 1950 had died in May 1951. The poem was approved officially as the national anthem by the then UNP Government in November 1951, just five months after Pundit Nallathamby’s demise.