Sunday, May 24, 2009

“No more minorities”- translating the concept into reality

By Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, University of Colombo

(ST)HE the President’s remark about removing the term ‘minorities’ from our vocabulary is commendable as the term has played a major role in the conflict in all economic, political, social and cultural spheres in its history. However, it is necessary to translate this idea into reality rather than keeping it as a concept for the sake of avoiding conflict, and contribute towards sustainable peace.

The Sri Lankan official practice of asking questions on people’s ethnicity (Sinhala, Tamil, Moor, Malay, Burgher and other) as well as religion (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and other) is absurd. So far the answer to this question has served nothing. Moreover, the column requiring this information in all documents and certificates, starting with the Birth Certificate, needs to be deleted. All Sri Lankans should receive a uniform National Identity Card with the name in three languages. Full text Share on Facebook