FCCISL takes up teaching of languages
The most volatile issue in Sri Lanka today is the escalating ethnic
strife that has engulfed the entire country and it now hurts every
aspect of life in the country.
Since its eruption, so many individuals and associations untiringly
worked to stave the menace, and very importantly some have worked at the
grass roots level, which have indeed been successful, though they were
not seen outwardly.
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL)
a collection of businessmen and industrialists also have been striving
hard to penetrate into the core of the issue to defuse tension at least
in the business environment.
FCCISL have floated a project “Business for Peace Initiative”. It not
only arranged interaction between prominent personalities in politics
with the business community, but also involved in practical and tangible
activities such Back to Business programme, which was aimed to resurrect
the businesses that were affected by the conflict.
The latest of the series of programmes initiated by the FCCISL”
Peace Initiative” is the teaching of the official languages that
would certainly create an impact on peace.
The programme expects to teach either Sinhala or Tamil to the
business community as the case may be in 10 districts through their
Regional Chambers and ably assisted by the Official Languages Department
by providing competent instructors.
The districts involved would be Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya,
Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticaloa, Manar, Jaffna and Trincomalee
Anuradhapura Chamber realised that lack of knowledge of respective
languages has been a hindrance to communicate and it affected peace and
Thus, they proposed that teaching of languages would be vitally
important to achieve peace. The suggestion was well taken up and all
possible avenues were studied and the project was launched.
Sinhala would be studied by the business community in the
predominantly Tamil areas and Tamil would be studied by the business
community in the predominantly Sinhala speaking areas which would
eventually create a bridge connecting the two communities, a major step
towards achieving peace.
Secretary General/CEO of FCCISL Samantha Abewickrama said that the
Official Languages Department has agreed to provide competent trained
instructors in the two languages and also to prepare necessary
curriculum and also to provide necessary text books.
He said that the course would extend to 108 hours teaching and at the
end of the Course, the competence would be tested and a certificate
would also be issued. It would be a comprehensive learning experience
that would enable the participants to read and understand the language
The course is spread over a period of six months, covering 18 hours
per month. The course was already started in Anuradhapura, Trincomalee,
Batticaloa and Mannar at the beginning of November.
Steps have also been finalised to started the Course in the balance
Director Membership Services, FCCISL, B L Ramanayake said that
altogether they expect to teach the languages to 1,000 business people
and thus each district 100 persons would participate. Each class would
consist of 20 participants.