The Foundation for Existence (FFE), which has conducted an extensive survey on `language inequality and equality` presented its findings, on the implementation of official language policy, to Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya recently.
Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya told The Island that the Ministry had drawn its attention to the fact that increased facilities would need to be provided to public servants to learn both lan guages. Tamil and Sinhala public servants would be required to learn the second language. Former Secretary to Prime Ministers Bradman Weerakoon, Mangala Munasinghe, Prof. S. Sandrasekeran and S. Balakrisnan had formulated the Official Language Policy.
Minister Jayasuriya said that he would ask the government to increase the budgetary allocations to improve language skills in the public sector and he would also substantiate the necessity for such additional allocation of money.
Bradman Weerakoon said that Sinhala public servants are required to have proficiency in Tamil and Tamil public servants are required to have Sinhala proficiency and these two languages directly impact on the general public. It had been highlighted in the survey that a language was not only a medium of communication but also a powerful source of gaining knowledge.
He said that most Tamil people were reluctant to be employed in administrative fields in the public sector organizations as the current emoluments were rather inadequate and added that officials attached to the Official Language Commission had no links both Sinhala and Tamil public servants and this situation had caused great difficulties due to lack communication abilities in both languages.