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Naam 200:Two Centuries of Indian Tamil Heritage in Sri Lanka



  Nov 03, 2023

Historical Commemoration of Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka



Context:

Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka, historically referred to as Malaiyaha Tamils, are observing two centuries of their presence on the island.
Originating from their arduous journey as indentured laborers brought by the British for plantation work, their history is marked by significant challenges including disenfranchisement and labor exploitation.

Event Significance:

A landmark event, Naam 200, is scheduled with key Indian and Sri Lankan dignitaries such as Nirmala Sitharaman and Shashi Tharoor to recognize this community’s contribution and struggles. This occasion is set to unveil initiatives aimed at improving their socio-economic conditions.

Key Developments:

Announcement of land and housing rights for plantation workers.

Introduction of the ‘Upcountry Charter’ addressing gender equality, health, and development.

Continued Indian assistance through grants for community development projects.

Commemorative activities to raise awareness and honor the community’s history.

The Plight of Malaiyaha Tamils:

They have faced severe discrimination and poor living conditions historically.

Significant delays and challenges in obtaining Sri Lankan citizenship.

Economic backbone in the tea industry, yet remain one of the poorest communities.

The Forward Path:

The 200th-year commemoration serves as a pivotal moment to acknowledge past injustices and to push for substantial policy reforms that would ensure the rightful integration and upliftment of the Malaiyaha Tamils into Sri Lankan society.

SRIRAM’s


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