Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Democracy, Sri Lanka Style > Sri Lanka's Laws > Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act, 1958


Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act
Certified on 4 September 1958

[see also Enactment of Sinhala Only Law]

An Act to Provide for the Use of the Tamil Language and to Provide for Matters connected therewith or incidental thereto

1. This Act may be cited as the Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act, No. 28 of 1958.

2. (1) A Tamil pupil in a Government school or an Assisted school. shall be entitled to be instructed through the medium of the Tamil language in accordance with such regulations under the Education Ordinance relating to the medium of instruction as are in force or may hereafter be brought into force.

(2) When the Sinhala language is made a medium of instruction in the University of Ceylon. the Tamil language shall, in accordance with the provisions of the Ceylon University Ordinance and of the Statutes, Acts and regulations made there under, be made a medium of instruction in such University for students who, prior to their admission to such University, have been educated through the medium of the Tamil language.

3 A person educated through the medium of the Tamil language shall he entitled to be examined through such medium at any examination for the admission of persons to the Public Service, subject to the condition that he shall, according as regulations made under this Act in that, behalf may require,-

(a) have a sufficient knowledge of the official language of Ceylon, or
(b) acquire such knowledge within a specified time after admission to the Public Service:
Provided that, when the Government is satisfied that there are sufficient facilities for the teaching of the Sinhala language in schools in which the Tamil language is a medium of instruction and that the annulment of clause (b) of the preceding provisions of this section will not cause undue hardship, provision may be made by regulation made under this Act that such clause shall cease to be in force.

4. Correspondence between persons, other than officials in their official capacity, educated through the medium of the Tamil language and any official in his official capacity or between any local authority in the Northern or Eastern Province and any official in his official capacity may, as prescribed, be in the Tamil language.

5. In the Northern and Eastern Provinces the Tamil language may be used for prescribed administrative purposes, in addition to the purposes for which that language may be used in accordance with the other provisions of this Act, without prejudice to the use of the official language of Ceylon in respect of those prescribed administrative purposes.

6. (1) The Minister may make regulations to give effect to the principles and provisions of this Act.

(2)No regulation made under subsection (1) shall have effect until it is approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives and notification of such approval is published in the Gazette

7. This Act shall have effect subject to such measures as may have been or may be adopted under the proviso to section 2 of the Official Language Act, No. 33 of 1956, during the period ending on the thirty-first day of December, 1960.

8.In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-

"Assisted school" and "Government school" shall have the same meaning as in the Education Ordinance;

"local authority" means any Municipal Council, Urban Council, Town Council or Village Council

"official " means the Governor-General, or any Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or officer of the Public Service and

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation made under this Act.

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