(Text of News Release from the Office of Mano GANESAN Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka for Colombo District and Leader of Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) on November 20, 2022 )
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has travelled to the north, opened up presidential secretariat sub office with expressions of positive notions and has assured to appoint multiple numbers of committees to resolve land, housing, health, irrigations issues of the Tamil community. We welcome these gestures and hope those produce results at the ground level.
We now request president to show the same gesture to the HillCountry Tamil community within which the plantation segment which has been identified as the most vulnerable segment by the UN and World Bank.
We trust the president should be aware of the facts that food insecurity in SriLanka is highest in the estate sector at 51% while 43% at Urban sector and at 34% in Rural sector.
World bank has reported that country’s poverty rate has climbed to 26% and it is at 53% in the estates. In addition, UN special rapporteur Special Rapporteur Tomoya Obokata on contemporary forms of slavery has taken up the issues of the plantation.” said Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Mano Ganesan MP.
Ganesan further said, President has already informed me of his intention to visit up country next. We have already appealed to him for a special presidential commission to study and come out with proposals to address the issues of the working people who live in the plantations. We wanted a special affirmative action program to address marginalization and vulnerability of the plantation people.
Next year will mark the 200th year of the establishment of the tea, rubber and coffee plantation in Sri Lanka.
Behind this are the hard work and sacrifices of the plantation workers that has been bringing the highest forex revenue to this country over the past 200 years.
Hence, this segment of people can’t be ignored high and dry anymore. Any and all restructure plans of the plantation industry, shall take the all-important human element, the plantation workers, into account. Goal of Tamil people of recent Indian origin is nothing but mainstreaming as full citizens in Srilankan polity. Srilankan establishment shall be happy about this goal.