09th March 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The first Memorandum of Understanding between the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and a Government Ministry was signed between CPA and the Ministry of National Co-Existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, yesterday, 9th March 2017. The MoU is on an audit on the status of Language Rights in central government institutions to be conducted by CPA and has been entered into to achieve the common goal of advancing these rights.
Since 2016, CPA has realigned its approach to Language Equality to address institutional change, initially at the national level of central government ministries, followed by institutions at the provincial and local levels.
The initial phase of the Promoting Language Equality and Reconciliation at the National Level (PLERNL) project implemented by CPA involves conducting a comprehensive assessment of language policies in practice in government institutions. The assessment will be done in relation to the guidelines stipulated in the Official Language Policy (OLP). The legislative statutes governing the implementation of the Official Language Policy (OLP) in State Administration were presented through the State Administrative Circular No: 18/ 2009 and Gazette 1620/ 27 of 25.09.2005.
In that year, a Road-map for designing language policy per state institution was circulated among all relevant institutes. The Ministry of National Co-Existence, Dialogue and Official Languages facilitated briefings and provided necessary guidance in this regard.
The Road-map identified 4 (four) priority areas when implementing OLP at the State level. The four areas identified are; Visibility and Ambience, Administration and Documentation, Service Delivery, and Institutional Commitment and Support Mechanisms. As such, “The Audit on Implementation of National Language Policy in Government Institutes” is designed by CPA as an evaluation of the current status quo in respect of these four areas.