Compare the different ways in which the Belgians and Sri Lankans have dealt with the problem of cultural diversity.
Compare the different ways in which the Belgians and Sri Lankans have dealt with the problem of cultural diversity
Both Belgium and Sri Lanka are democracies, yet they have dealt with the problem of cultural diversity very differently.
- Leaders realised that for the unity of the countiy, it is important to respect the feelings and interests of different communities. The constitution prescribes that the number of Dutch and French speaking people shall be equal in the Central Government.
- Both Dutch and French communities, share power on an equal basis at the centre. Along with the State Government, both communities have a third kind of government called ‘community government’ which decides on cultural, education and language related issues.
- Between 1970 and 1993, the constitution was amended four times to enable all linguistic groups to live together within the same country.
- In Sri Lanka, there are two major communities, the Sinhalese speaking (74%) and Tamil speaking (18%). The majority community, the Sinhalese have forced their dominance over Tamils, refusing to share power.
- Both communities have lived in tension as the Sinhalese have denied political, educational religious, employment and economic rights to the Tamils leading to the Civil War.
- In 1956, the Government passed an Act to recognise Sinhala as the only official language, thus disregarding Tamil.