Official Language Policy put into practice in Ruwanwella DSD

Ruwanwella Divisional Secretary, with TOT Group
TOT Training
Executive Director interacts with group

National Language Programme is a joint initiative implemented by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Ministry of National Language and Social Integration (MNSLI). NLP through its Public Engagement Fund provided funds to SLCDF to conduct a programme to increase awareness and promote language rights and social integration in Ruwanwella Divisional Secretary’s Division in Kegalle District. Project started in September 2012 was completed with encouraging results in May 2013.

The purpose was to promote and protect language rights among citizens. It included the initial awareness training on official language policy, development of two Training of Trainer modules on National Language Policy and community level awareness training. In this project, all Grama Niladharis in Ruwanwella DSD participated and TOT Training cadre at community level include both village and plantation community.

There are at least 10 participants working with the estate communities. The training paved the way for these participants to realize the importance of the Official Language Policy (OLP) and understanding the grievances of the estate community. All the Grama Niladharis that participated assured doing their best to implement the OLP at all levels. The participants felt the need to treat each person equally although they spoke different languages. Twenty four trainers conducted the programmes for a mixed group of Tamil and Sinhala communities in villages and estates. This project did not have any ethnic or linguistic / religious barriers. Ruwanwella DSD comprises all communities of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim.

Awareness created on OLP in 101 villages representing all ethnic communities. Village communities understood more clearly on the OLP and their constitutional rights, value of OLP and the responsibilities of the State and other agencies. A trilingual brochure was developed to get a common understanding of the OLP by any lay person.