View this site in සිංහල


To Prime Minister Bandaranaike the language of a people was the repository of the hopes and values, the culture and way of life, and the deepest aspirations of a society. Thus it was that early in his political life as a Minister of the State Council he had pioneered a motion to make the local languages, Sinhala and Tamil the two State languages, that would supplant English – then the language of the imperial ruler – which was the official language of the country.

Accordingly, In 1956, as Prime Minister, he introduced Sinhala, the language of the overwhelming majority of the people, as the official language of the country by way of the Official Language Act, and followed this up by the Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act which made Tamil the language of Administration in the Tamil –speaking majority areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.