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STUDENTS IN TAMIL NADU ARE YET TO WIN LANGUAGE RIGHTS ENJOYED BY LANKAN TAMIL STUDENTS SAYS TIGER WEBSITE
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles
Agitators who plan to fast as a protest would demand Tamil Nadu schools use the Tamil language as a medium of instruction, a right enjoyed by Tamil students in neighbouring Sri Lanka for decades, reported the Eelam Nation website.
The liberation Tigers controlled Eelam Nation said over fifty organizations have decided to hold fasting as a protest when the Tamil Nadu assembly is to meet on August 16 to urge the Tamil Nadu government and politicians to do the needful to bring Tamil language as a compulsory medium language in the Southern state’s schools from kindergarten to grade five.
In contrast to students of Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan Tamil children have been learning in state schools in their own mother tongue ever since the island nation changed from English to Sinhalese and Tamil as the medium of instruction in the nineteen fifties, just after independence.
Analysts say the Sri Lankan Tamils enjoy more language rights in Sri Lanka, despite the armed struggle of the Liberation Tigers to create a Tamil only separate state in the tiny island nation’s North and the East. The majority of Tamils in Sri Lanka live in the Sinhalese dominated areas and their children still enjoy the right of learning in Tamil language in state schools completely free of charge up to the universities.
The liberation Tigers controlled Eelam nation said the Tamil Nadu protest fasts by fifty organizations will be held in Valluvar Kottam in Nungambakkam , close to the Tamil Nadu assembly in the city of Chennai, from 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. on August 16 and 17.
While Tamil is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka it is yet to win official language status in India where the world’s largest Tamil population of 55 millions live.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam( LTTE ) controlled website said that teachers should stop teaching in foreign language mediums in Tamil Nadu schools since these students are going to work and live in Tamil Nadu. The website attributing the statements to the agitating organizations said students should read and understand Tamil language to live in that state.
The website said the organizations demanded Tamil Nadu government to provide jobs for those who are learned in Tamil as an encouragement to study the language .
The Eelam Nation said the organizations that are organizing the protest fast also urge the Tamil Nadu government to bring restrictions on business houses and other institutions to put banners in languages other than Tamil. They also demanded, according to the Eelam Nation, that government should impose rules on prayers to be recited in Tamil instead of Sanskrit.
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