The estate Tamil population who lives isolated from the Sinhala speaking majority of the rural population needs to be recognized as a significant section of the Sri Lankan society. However, the gap between Sinhala and Estate Tamil communities has not yet minimized. At present, the post war phase, there is a need for a program to bring them into a united alliance. However, the Estate Tamils have been confined to their estates in the past, under the present complex social conditions; they have to make contacts with the wider society to fulfill their needs. Is this arena, the rights that are enjoyed by the rural citizens should also be given to the estate population. The Estate Tamils who are the citizens of this country are also entitled to all the civil rights enjoyed by other people. There should be adequate opportunities for them to approach the government officers to acquire necessary government services that are available. Estate populations, who sell their labor for livelihood needs, have no idea or understanding about their civil needs.
The issue of citizenship rights of these people began with the neglect of the citizenship of up country Tamils by the unitary constitutional provisions of 1947 and the Sri Lanka Citizenship Act of 1948. Though the majority of Estate Tamils have got there citizenship by 1990’s, there are many unsolved problems of their citizenship rights. Although, awareness about their rights was created through the support of the Grama Sewaka’s, yet the distance between the Superintendent and the Estate population provided no space for such services. Even though they have made aware of their civil needs, still they need to travel a long way to the divisional secretariat office. If they go for such services there is always the risk of losing their daily wages. Since there work cannot be completed in one day they need re-visit these offices several time. By doing so, these daily wage earners are at a risk of loosing their day’s pay and most of their work is hindered due to language barriers. Considering the above factors a mobile a program was organized to provide National Identity cards and Birth certificates to the Edurapola Estate population of Bulathkohupitiya D.S area of Kegalla district.
The problem was coordinated by Bulathkohupitiya social activists in collaboration with the Bulathkohupitiya D.S office. The first task of this program was to focus the attention of the people on important documents and services such as Birth Certificates, National Identity cards, voting rights WPF and WTUF. By this program their approach to other services and other civil rights was enhanced. The program provided them the necessary documents to face security checks without any fear. The Estate workers also became aware of their voting rights, which they were longing for a while; they were relieved from the problem of getting their rights. Minimizing the gap between the government officers and the Estate workers along with other communities paved way to build trust and friendship among them.
Vision & Mission
Vision: A peaceful and just country in which freedom, human and democratic rights of all people are assured.
Mission:To work in partnership with different target groups to educate, mobilize and advocate to build a society of rights conscious citizens and a political culture that enables a political solution to the ethnic conflict and equal opportunities to all.