Representatives of the Malaiyaha Tamil community have adopted a 13-point declaration committing to work towards realizing their full potential as Sri Lankan citizens.
The declaration was adopted on May 21, 2023, during an event commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Hill Country Tamils and the ‘International Tea Day’, held in Nuwara Eliya.
Issuing a statement, the Malaiyaha Tamil Community said a community of advocates emerged out of the Malaiyaham 200 deliberations which were held over three days in Nuwara Eliya.
Women and men workers in the plantations, Trade Union and Civil Society representatives, Academics and Artists in the Malaiyaha Tamil community have committed to work towards realizing their full potential as Sri Lankan citizens.
The Malaiyaha Tamil community have been the backbone of the country’s economy for over 150 years and has played a crucial role during times of economic crisis. Yet, many families in the Malaiyaha Tamil community still remain in line rooms with poor health, education and infrastructure facilities, it said.
The statement further said that the structural exclusion through a prolonged period of statelessness and disenfranchisement has resulted in the community lagging significantly behind national achievements on human development indicators. They are among the most vulnerable to disasters and crises.
It added that the Malaiyaha Tamil community is evolving in every aspect and asserting its place in Sri Lanka as full and equal citizens.