Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required his book Sri Lanka for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats from the late-960s on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.
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On the 21st January 2020 two personnel who are part of an “Email Collective” in which I am a member (mostly as a recipient) raised challenges by a comment within the Thuppahi route (Perera) and by an Email Note to the Collective (Hewapathirane) — arguing for the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala Only. Expecting the issue to arise on February 4th and overwhelmed with work on my two websites and other pursuits, I did not respond immediately. Janaka Perera is nothing if not persistent and has tapped me on the shoulder again.
Let me place their theses in the public domain first so that other voices can chip in. My answer will appear in a day or so as a separate entity.
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News Item in Colombo Gazette, 4 February 2020
Concerns were raised today over the failure by the Government to sing the National Anthem in Tamil at the main Independence Day event at Independence Square. The National Anthem was sung only in Sinhalese, which was a shift from the policy of the former Government which decided to sing the anthem in Sinhalese and Tamil in order to promote reconciliation among the communities.
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