Thursday, November 22, 2012

National Anthem of Srilanka

National Anthem of Srilanka

The feeling of patriotism gained momentum after Srilanka gained independence from British rule in the year 1948. This further gave rise to the need for a National Anthem which resulted in a competition being held in January 1948, on the recommendation of Srilanka Gandharva Sabha. The composition “Namo Namo Matha” was the winner of the competition and it was eventually selected as the National Anthem of Srilanka. The anthem was composed by late Ananda Samarakoon in Sinhalese. The Tamil version of the lyrics was composed by an unknown author but the meanings are the same as that of the Sinhalese lyrics.
In the early 1950s, the national anthem of Srilanka had to face a controversy due to some flaw detected in the lyrics. As a result of this the opening words were changed from “ Namo Namo Matha” to “ Sri Lanka Matha - Apa Sri Lanka ”.
The central theme of the National Anthem was created to inculcate a spirit of national unity and inspire honor and respect to the Motherland. The first rendering of the National Anthem was made on 4 February, 1952, which is Srilanka's fourth Independence Day anniversary. The anthem was sung by an assembly of 500 students from Museus College.

Excerpts of the Original Version of the National Anthem of Srilanka:-
Apa Sri Lanka Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha
Sundara siri barini surandi athi soba mana Lanka
Dhanya dhanaya neka mal palathuru piri jaya bhoomiya
Apa hata sapa siri setha sadhana jeevanaye matha
Piliganumanu apa bhakthi pooja Namo Namo Matha
Apa Sri Lanka Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha
Obave apa vidya
Obamaya apa sathya
Obave apa shakthi
Apa hada thula bhakthi
Oba apa aloke
Apage anu prane

The Translated Version in English is:-
Mother Lanka we worship Thee!
Plenteous in prosperity, Thou,
Beauteous in grace and love,
Laden with corn and luscious fruit
And fragrant flowers of radiant hue,
Giver of life and all good things,
Our land of joy and victory,
Receive our grateful praise sublime,
Lanka! We worship Thee.
Thou gavest us Knowledge and Truth,
Thou art our strength and inward faith,
our light divine and sentient being,
Breath of life and liberation.
Grant us, bondage free, inspiration.
Inspire us for ever.
In wisdom and strength renewed,
Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended,
In love enfolded, a mighty nation
Marching onward, all as one,
Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.

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