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ERIC Number: EJ1067317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Language Policy, Ethnic Tensions and Linguistic Rights in Post War Sri Lanka
Herath, Sreemali
Language Policy, v14 n3 p245-261 Aug 2015
As in many former colonies, language policy and planning in Sri Lanka has been largely shaped by and continues to be overshadowed by its history of colonial rule. Sri Lanka experienced colonization under three different western powers for over four centuries. This situation was further muddied by the three-decades long ethnic-based civil war which Sri Lanka experienced after it gained independence. The status of the country's local languages and of the speakers of these languages were of central concerns for all Sri Lankans during colonial times as well as during the civil conflict. These concerns continue to be felt even though the war--fought between the Sinhalese-led government and the Tamil militants (the LTTE or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) ended in 2009. Drawing on models for Minority Language Rights (MLR) (May in "Int J Biling Educ Biling" 3(2), 101-128 2000b, "Language and minority rights." London: Longman (pp. 1-22) 2001; Phillipson et al. in "Introduction, Linguistic human rights: Overcoming linguistic discrimination," 1995) and Linguistic Human Rights (LHR) (May in "J Multiling Multicult Dev" 21, 366-385 2000a), this paper examines how local Sri Lankan languages have been accommodated and empowered vis-à-vis the sociopolitical and historical fabric of the country. The paper first maps out colonial language policies, the post-independence policies of the Sri Lankan government, the language policies of the LTTE and the post-war language policies of the present (2014) government. Against this backdrop, I then discuss the limitations posed by the existing MLR and LHR models when they are used for analyzing civil war-affected, post-colonial communities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sri Lanka
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A