Sri Lanka Matha
|English: Mother Sri Lanka|
|Sri Lanka Matha|
Emblem of Sri Lanka
National anthem of Sri Lanka
|Lyrics||Ananda Samarakoon, 1940|
|Music||Ananda Samarakoon, 1940|
In 1938 Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote the music and lyrics for Nama Nama Sri Lanka Mata in the Bengali language for his student Ananda Samarakoon. In 1940, Ananda Samarakoon composed Namo Namo Mata to instil patriotism and love for one's country, by his students at Mahinda College. That song was later selected as the National anthem of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Government.
Ceylon achieved independence from Britain in 1948 but continued to use the British national anthem. In 1950 Minister of Finance J. R. Jayewardene requested that the government recognise Samarakoon's Namo Namo Matha as the official national anthem. The government appointed a committee headed by Edwin Wijeyeratne, Minister of Home Affairs and Rural Development, to pick a new national anthem. The committee heard several songs but, after much deliberation, picked Namo Namo Matha. The committee made a minor change to Samarakoon's song, with his apprival, changing the tenth line from "Nawajeewana Damine" to "Nawa Jeewana Demine Nithina Apapupudu Karan Matha". The committee's decision was endorsed by the government on 22 November 1951. The anthem was translated into the Tamil language by M. Nallathamby. The first independence day it was sung was in 1952.
In the late 1950s controversy arose over first line of the anthem, "Namo Namo Matha, Apa Sri Lanka". It was deemed to be "unlucky" and blamed for the country's misfortunes including the deaths of two prime ministers. In February 1961 the government changed the line to their present form, "Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka", despite Samarakoon's strong opposition. Samarakoon committed suicide in April 1962, leaving a note complaining that his anthem had been mutilated.
Tamil Version Controversy
On 12 December 2010 The Sunday Times reported that the Cabinet of Sri Lanka headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa had taken the decision to scrap the Tamil translation of Sri Lanka Matha at official and state functions, as "in no other country was the national anthem used in more than one language" - even though the national anthems of Canada, South Africa and those of several other countries have more than one language version. The Cabinet's decision had followed a paper on the national flag and national anthem produced by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W. D. J. Senewiratne. The paper had drawn on the Singaporean model where the national anthem is sung in the official lyrics and not any translation of the lyrics. Based on this the paper recommended that the Sri Lankan national anthem only be sung in Sinhala and the Tamil translation be abolished. The paper's authors had failed to realise that the official lyrics of the Singaporean national anthem are in Malay, a minority language (75% of Singaporeans are Chinese).
Government minister Wimal Weerawansa had labelled the Tamil version a "joke" on Derana TV, and had cited India as an analogy. Some journalists, such as D. B. S. Jeyaraj, claimed that it was wrong of Weerawansa to cite India as an analogy because according to them the Indian national anthem was not in Hindi, which is the most widely spoken language of India, but in Bengali, a minority language. Although sources based on an official Government of India website state that the Indian National anthem was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly of India, the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly of India on 24 January 1950 does not mention that the National Anthem was "adopted", nor does it mention that it was done so in its Hindi version. In actual practice the unaltered Bengali version is the version sung as the National Anthem, with its words in original Bengali Tatsama, a highly Sanskritized form of Bengali that has Sanskrit words common to both Hindi and Bengali.
The alleged Cabinet's decision to scrap the Tamil translation caused much furore in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan government denied allegations that the Tamil translation of the anthem was to be abolished. The Presidential Secretariat has stated that there was no basis to the media report and follow up reports which intimated the same. Nevertheless an unofficial ban on the Tamil version came into being as fearful public officials in Tamil speaking areas stopped using the Tamil version or blocked attempts to use it. The Sri Lankan Army forcefully stopped any use of the Tamil version and taught school children to sing only the Sinhala version.
In March 2015 newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena announced that he would be issuing a circular which would state that there was no ban on singing the national anthem in Tamil. Sirisena's announcement was attacked by Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists.
|Sinhala||Tamil Translation||English Translation||Transliteration
ශ්රී ලංකා මාතා
ஸ்ரீ லங்கா தாயே - நம் ஸ்ரீ லங்கா
Thou Mother Lanka,
Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka,
ʃriː laŋkaː maːtaː, apa ʃriː laŋkaː,
- Habib, Haroon (17 May 2011). "Celebrating Rabindranath Tagore's legacy". The Hindu.
- Haque, Junaidul (7 May 2011). "Rabindranath: He belonged to the world". The Daily Star (Bangladesh).
- de Silva, K. M.; Wriggins, Howard (1988). J. R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka: a Political Biography - Volume One: The First Fifty Years. University of Hawaii Press. p. 368. ISBN 0-8248-1183-6.
- Bamunuarachchi, Jinadasa (2 February 2013). "Vasu, DO NOT KILL Ananda Samarakoon again". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
- "The quest for the right song". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 16 November 2008.
- Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (17 December 2010). "The language controversy over Sri Lankan National Anthem". dbsjeyaraj.com.
- Kodagoda, Anuradha (22 March 2015). "Namo, Namo...: A matter of language". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka).
- Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (31 December 2010). "National Anthem: From “Namo Namo” to “Sri Lanka Matha”". dbsjeyaraj.com.
- "Ananda Samarakoon - The composer of our national anthem". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 14 May 2006.
- "The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Chapter I - The People, The State and Sovereignty". Policy Research & Information Unit, Presidential Secretariat, Sri Lanka.
- "National Anthem only in Sinhala; Tamil version out". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 12 December 2010.
- Philips, Rajan (1 January 2011). "The Trilingual Master Plan and Monolingual National Anthem Muddle". The Island (Sri Lanka).
- "National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil". The Island (Sri Lanka). 16 December 2010.
- "No scrapping Tamil version of national anthem: Sri Lanka". Zee News. 13 December 2010.
- "Sri Lanka denies move to ban national anthem in Tamil". adaderana.lk. 14 December 2010.
- "S.Lanka denies move to ban national anthem in Tamil". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 13 December 2010.
- "National Anthem and National Identity". The Island (Sri Lanka). 17 December 2010.
- "Lanka scraps Tamil version of national anthem". Zee News. 12 December 2010.
- "Sri Lanka's national anthem now only in Sinhala; Tamil version out". Deccan Herald. 12 December 2010.
- "Sri Lanka scraps Tamil version of its national anthem". NDTV. 13 December 2010.
- Chandra, Anjana. India condensed : 5000 years of history & culture. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2007. page 120
- "Constituent Assembly of India - Volume XII". Indian Parliament.
- Roy, Shubhajit (17 June 2006). "NCERT needs to get its lesson right on anthem". The Indian Express.
- "Sri Lanka minister denies Tamil national anthem ban". BBC News. 13 December 2010.
- Reddy, B. Muralidhar (13 December 2010). "Colombo denies reports on Tamil National Anthem". The Hindu.
- Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (21 March 2015). "Singing the National Anthem in Tamil Hailing “Mother Lanka” as “Sri Lanka Thaaye”". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
- "Sri Lanka Tamil national anthem row reignites". BBC News. 28 December 2010.
- "Jaffna students forced to sing National Anthem in Sinhala". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 28 December 2010. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010.
- "'Disaster management' observed with Sinhala anthem in Jaffna". TamilNet. 27 December 2010.
- Balachandran, P. K. (18 March 2015). "Sirisena Allows Singing of Lankan National Anthem in Tamil". The New Indian Express.
- "Rumpus over national anthem". The Island (Sri Lanka). 21 March 2015.
- "President Sirisena could be impeached - National Anthem in Tamil". Ceylon Today. 20 March 2015.
- Karunarathne, Waruni (22 March 2015). "National Anthem In Tamil: Mixed Reactions". The Sunday Leader.
- "Sri Lankan national anthem in Tamil causes backlash". Tamil Guardian. 21 March 2015.
- "Lankan party opposes singing of anthem in Tamil". DAWN (newspaper). 20 March 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Anthem of Sri Lanka.|
- National Anthems: Sri Lanka
- National Anthems: Sri Lanka
- Himnuszok: Sri Lanka
- National Country Symbols Of All Countries: Sri Lanaka