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* Public employees need to be tri-lingual, Sri Lanka government says
Sun, May 2, 2010, 11:20 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration has taken measures to launch a new program to teach all three languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English to 1.2 million public sector employees.

The newly appointed Minister of National Languages and Social Integration S.B. Nawinna made this announcement after assuming duties at his Ministry.

The government plans to set up language teaching centers in each Province with the assistance of Provincial Councils as part of its reconciliation process to improve communication among different ethnic groups.

The program would benefit the public sector employees to get their salary increments and promotions in the future, the Minister pointed out.

"The improvement of linguistic skills comes directly under the Ministry. We would do the utmost to run the Ministry efficiently in keeping with the extended policy of the Mahinda Chinthana," the Minister has said.

The Minister stressing the importance of the language skills when dealing with minority ethnic communities said most local authorities and government officers communicate in Sinhala and English mostly presenting problems for the Tamil population.

"If this problem is not resolved soon, it will be a long wait and frustration for the Tamil speaking people," the Minister has pointed out.

Same problem arises when Sinhala people go to local authorities and government officers in the Tamil dominating areas of North and East, he explained.

Learning three languages is a socio-economic need while building bridges of friendship among three communities, the Minister added.

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