The government should take steps to ensure that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the war-affected northern districts were able to use Tamil in their interaction with local administration, a Lankan reconciliation commission has suggested.
In a list of interim recommendations, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has asked the government to take administrative steps to ease the day-to-day lives of the lakhs of the overwhelmingly Tamil IDPs displaced during the civil conflict.
Headed by a former attorney general, the LLRC met Rajapaksa on Tuesday and suggested that the war-affected Tamils should be in a position to "use their own language in official transactions with government departments, especially the ability to make statements to the police in one’s own language," a statement from the President’s office said.
The issue of language in Sri Lanka has always been a tricky one after Tamil was sidelined in 1956 when Sinhala was made the sole official language. While Tamil now has the official language status, its use in administrative and official circles is limited.