Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government

21st April 2024 04:23

Events

Awareness Creation Programme for the Media Personnel

International Mother Language Day was established by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999, in response to a tragic event that took place in Bangladesh in 1952.

On February 21, 1952, students and activists in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) protested against the Pakistani government’s decision to impose Urdu as the only Official Language of the country. During the protest, police opened fire on the demonstrator’s, killing several of them.

The protest and the subsequent violence that followed became a turning point in the struggle for independence for East Pakistan, and it gave rise to a movement to promote the Bengali language and culture.

In 1999, the Government of Bangladesh proposed to UNESCO that February 21st be declared as International Mother Language Day to commemorate the events of 1952 and to promote linguistic and cultural diversity around the world. The proposal was accepted by UNESCO, and International Mother Language Day was first observed on February 21, 2000.

Marking International Mother Language Day, an awareness programme was organized by the Official Languages Commission for Electronic and Print media personnel about the proper usage of Mother Languages, on 19th of February 2024, at the Department of Government Information, Sri Lanka.

Mr. D.Kalansooriya (Attorney at Law), Chairman of the Official Languages Commission, the board member of the OLC, Senior Lecturer Prof. Sandagomi Cooperahewa – Head - Department of Sinhala, University of Colombo, the board member of the OLC Dr.Kavitha Rajaratnam, Head - Department of Linguistics, University of Kelaniya and Senior Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Mr.Dhamminda Kumara were participated as resource persons and delivered speeches.

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Tamil Language Day

Tamil Language Day is commemorated annually in October and a special programme to mark this day was conducted on 28.10.2022 by the Official Languages Commission at Sri Lanka Foundation on the “objective of promoting language circles” in 22 Tamil schools covering the Colombo educational zone.

This programme was headed by Mr. M.M.P.K. Mayadunne – Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government and a special guest lecture on ‘the language circles and social development’ was delivered by Prof. S. Prashanthan, head of the Tamil education division in the University of Peradeniya.

The programme was colored by Tamil Cultural items presented by the schools participated in the programme. This programme had been organized to reflect the Tamil culture and the guests were honored according to the Tamil customs and Tamil symbols had also been exhibited there.

Official Languages Week 2021 – Winners of the Essay Competition

Over 1210 essays in Sinhala, Tamil, and the English language had been sent by school children for the All Island Essay Competition held in 2021 conducted by the Official Languages Commission in collaboration with the National Languages Equality Advancement Project (NLEAP) to mark the Official Languages Week which falls from 01st to 05th July in every year.

This essay competition was held on such an occasion where the Covid-19 pandemic had been badly spread out island-wide and we highly appreciate the very good response received from the students, their parents, and teachers for this essay competition.

The Panel of judges appointed for this essay competition consisted of language experts in the Universities and its decision was the final decision.

Essays submitted in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages were examined by Prof. Sandabomi Coperahewa (Sectional Head of the Faculty of Sinhala at the University of Colombo), Dr. Kavitha Rajaratnam (Senior Lecturer in the Linguistic Division of the University of Kelaniya) and Prof. S.G.S. Samarawera – Sectional Head of the Faculty of English in the University of Ruhuna) respectively.

Official Languages Commission and the National Languages Equality Advancement Project (NLEAP) warmly greet the winners of this essay completion who obtained first, second and third places in Sinhala, Tamil, and English mediums.

Winners of the Junior Category

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Winners of the Senior Category

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To read the winning entries click here

Booklet - Winning Essays

Sinhala Language Day

The Official Languages Commission has decided to conduct an awareness programme to mark the Sinhala Language Day which falls on 02nd March 2022 whereby to make aware the public regarding the importance of the language.

International Mother Language Day

The Official Languages Commission conducted programmes via electronic and printed media to mark the International Mother Language Day which was taken place on 21st February 2022.

The Official Language Week

The Official Languages Commission conducted programmes from 2021.07.01 to 2021.07.05 in order to mark the Official Languages Week.

Awareness Programme

The Official Languages Commission with the support of National Languages Equality Advancement Project has planned to conduct an awareness programme on Official Languages Policy for the students of Social Sciences Unit of University of Ruhuna in the month of May 2021.