The 3rd and 4th batches of soldiers who followed an intensive Tamil language course in Jaffna received certificates at a pompous ceremony held on Friday (29) evening at Kakesanthurai with participation of educationists, distinguished guests and well wishers in Jaffna.
A total of 1815 Army members serving under Security Force Jaffna (SF-J) attended the one month course conducted by Army and civilian instructors at Brigade and battalion level. Tamil language programme for SF-J officers and men commenced early this year on concept of Commander SF-J Major General Udaya Perera with intention of enabling soldiers to communicate effectively with local population so that mutual relationship could be improved. Establishing the identity of the Army as a national organization is another motive of organizing this language course. A plan is underway to make each and every soldier serving in Jaffna competent in communicating in Tamil by September 2015 through such Tamil language courses.
Prof. Vasanthi Arsaratnam, Vice Chancellor University of Jaffna graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Appreciating the genuine effort of teaching Tamil to soldiers, the VC said it would pave the way to effective communication between Security Force personnel and civilians. She further said that all universities are planning to start Tamil language courses for Sinhalese students and Sinhala for Tamil students.
Earlier, 1476 officers and other ranks were given similar training in Batch number 1 and 2. Batch number 5 is presently undergoing language training at respective places. Reverend members of clergy, Commander SF-J Major General Udaya Perera and Distinguished gusts such as former VC of University of Jaffna Prof. Balasundaram Pillai and Senior DIG Northern Province Mr. Poojith Jayasundara also distributed certificates to course participants and awards to those with higher performance.
Course participants presented a short Tamil play exhibiting the knowledge they gained.
General Officer Commanding 52 Division Major General Priyantha Jayasundara coordinated the training programme.