The 68th Independence Day celebration proved that the Tamil speaking minority are no more treated as second class citizens, said the Minister of Housing and Construction, Sajith Premadasa, in reference to the National Anthem being sung in Tamil.
Whilst addressing a crowd at Lunugamvehera, he further added that under the good governance government, the distance between the North and the South had vastly diminished. Referring to the joint opposition analogous with the idiom, ‘A drowning man will even clutch at a straw,’ he said,
“The joint opposition is trying to raise its head through trivial matters such an opposition for singing the National Anthem in Tamil. Through this they are trying to stoke racism and hatred once more. This is terribly lowly and disgusting effort. They are conspiring to destroy the good work pertaining to reconciliation done by the current Government.
“Although they call themselves the joint opposition they do not have one common voice or function on the same principle. Udaya Gammanpila refers to the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil as treason against the country, whilst DEW Gunasekera makes a more contrary opinion. He refers to the joint opposition as bunch of extremists. It is clear that the joint opposition does not function on a joint principle. I challenge the joint opposition to release a joint press statement depicting their common view of the National Anthem sung in Tamil.”
Premadasa further added that the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil was a mark of respect for the Tamil speaking Tamils and Muslims in the country. He said these people have expressed their appreciation on this matter. He further added that this instils brotherhood between the communities and makes positive progress in reconciliation.