"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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[see also Sri Lanka Constitution 1972]

"The Bandaranaike government had directed that unless a Tamil public servant passed a proficiency test in Sinhala in stages over three years, his annual increment would be suspended and he would eventually be dismissed.

Mr.Kodiswaran, a Tamil in the executive clerical service, declined to sit for the exam and in 1962 his increment was stayed. He sued the government on the ground that the regulation was unreasonable and illegal as the Official Language Act of 1956 transgressed the prohibition against discrimination provided for in section 29 of the Constitution.

The trial judge, the most senior in the judicial service, upheld the plea. But his judgement was set aside on appeal in the Supreme Court on the ground that a public servant could not sue for his salary. Mr.Kodiswaran appealed to the Privy Council in London, which set aside the Supreme Court's decision on suing for a public servant's salary and directed that the Supreme Court should now rule on the constitutional question.

The Sri Lanka government thereupon abolished appeals to the Privy Council, thereby disposing of Kodiswaran's case. And the Republican Constitution of 1972 did away with the safeguards for minorities enshrined in the original section 29." - Walter Schwarz: Tamils of Sri Lanka - Minority Rights Group Report 1983

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