The Sri Lankan government confirmed that its national anthem will be sung in Sinhala only for next year's independence day celebrations in Colombo.
As in previous years, an elaborate military parade is set to be held through Colombo's Independence Square, with thousands of troops and military hardware on display.
However, Sri Lanka’s new president and former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided to reverse a 2016 decision and stated that the Sri Lankan anthem will be played in Sinhala only.
Whilst celebrations are held across the Sinhala south, in the Tamil North-East the day has been marked as a 'Black Day', with protests and demonstrations staged across the Tamil homeland.
The Rajapaksa regime’s decision comes after Tamil signboards were reportedly destroyed across the south, just days after his election victory last month.