Sri Lankas Supreme Court is to investigate a complaint from a man of the tiny indigenous community that police violated his rights by stopping him from using his native language, officials said Friday.
Uruwarige Kekula said a police officer had threatened him with physical violence unless he spoke the islands majority Sinhalese language instead of his native tongue, Veddha.rn
rn Kekula said he had been wrongfully detained at the police station in the central town of Mahiyangana for speaking in his language during an inquiry against the local postman.rn
rn Chief Justice Sarath Silva on Thursday ordered a hearing of the complaint, court officials said.rn
rn The language of indigenous Sri Lankans also known as Veddhas has become almost a Sinhalese dialect and is easily understood by the majority community.rn
rn The Veddhas account for only a few thousand people in the country of 19 million and mix culturally with the Sinhalese.rn
rn The Veddhas have racial affinities with Africas pygmi