SL PM lauds Bangladesh for promoting values of multilinguism
Publish- February 21, 2021, 11:47 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. File photo
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed his appreciation to the government of Bangladesh and the High Commission for promoting the values of multilingualism among Sri Lankan students.
He conveyed it through a pre-recorded video message marking the International Mother Language Day.
Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo on Sunday observed the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) with due solemnity and fervour.
The theme of the celebration was ‘Language for Friendship’ with special focus on the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
The Government of Sri Lanka partnered with the High Commission in the observance.
Due to the constraints of the pandemic, the main part of the day’s celebration was a virtual programme.
The event also featured a video message from the special guest, Sri Lankan Education Minister Prof GL Peiris. He emphasised the role of language in breaking compartmentalisation in the education system.
Moderated by Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam, the programme consisted of a panel discussion and a multilingual cultural performance.
The panel speakers were Prof JB Dissanayake, the eminent Sri Lankan linguist and Emeritus Professor of Colombo University; UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka; High Commissioner of India, Ambassador of Italy and High Commissioner of Malaysia.
They spoke about preservation and protection of all mother tongues and also shared their thoughts about their countries’ experience with multilingualism.
High Commissioner Tareq urged all to utilise the observance to uphold fraternity of languages and cultures in building a just, peaceful and inclusive world.
At the beginning of the virtual event, the immortal Ekushey song was rendered in Bangla by the Muslim Choral Ensemble of Sri Lanka.
A documentary, in-house production of the High Commission on IMLD, was also screened.
On this occasion, at the initiative of the High Commission, the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka organised a Children’s Art Competition (from 08-15 February 2021) in a hybrid mode (to limit the requirement of physical presence) where a good number of students participated despite the pandemic situation.
The names of the winners of the competition were announced and all the art works were displayed at the virtual event.
The Ministry of Education also organised some dance routines and recitations in Sinhala and Tamil languages by children video clips of which were screened.
The cultural segment also included a number of enthralling (pre-recorded) children’s performances arranged by the Colombo Plan Secretariat, SAARC Cultural Centre, Maldivian Educational and Cultural Centre, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Alliance Française, Russian Cultural Centre and Iranian Cultural centre in Colombo and Sri Lanka Scout Association.
A large number of people, including Ambassadors/High Commissioners and diplomats based in Colombo, local dignitaries, students and teachers of local educational institutions, representatives of cultural organisations, and children joined the virtual event.
The entire programme was also live streamed on social media platforms.
Before the virtual programme, in the morning, the High Commission also had an in-house observance of the day abiding by the local health guidelines.
As a part of that, the national flag of Bangladesh was hoisted at half-mast at Chancery by High Commissioner Tareq in presence of Mission officials.
It was followed by observing a one-minute silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the language martyrs, placing of floral wreath at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reading out of messages of the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs, screening of documentaries and offering of special prayers.
The High Commission would also arrange a Blood Donation Camp on Monday at a local hospital in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Scout Association.