Analysis > The tempest in your tea cup
  • Vinod

    The reason the Estate Workers were disowned and disfranchised had nothing to do with Kallathonis. It had everything to do with business and electoral politics. The end of the Kangany system meant that no new workers were coming from India, so the burgeoning labour movement was in a strong position. The Left and the Ceylon Indian Congress together had more than a quarter of the parliamentary seats, and posed a huge threat to the compradore elite and the Plantation Raj. The coalition of the compradore elite, the UNP and TC, just about cobbled together a majority in Parliament. Getting rid of a quarter of the proletarian vote was essential for the survival of the neo-colonial regime.

  • Manithadr

    With no monitors its not possible to measure the quality/professionalism of the pluckers work and it has not changed much from the time it all started years ago,there is also a factor of corruption with the monitoring staffs and the politics with the neighbouring India /Pakistan/China were not properly administered by both Tamils; the Sinhalese who came to rule using the left overs of the British rulers, then came the bright idea of Language change to educate the underprivileged working (not honestly workers) The history goes on and on They are happy and living fine except for those few real honest workers. Nice to read these points you have given to the light Thanks

  • Chandi Jayatilleke

    Just a comment on the statement that 700,000 Tamils were disenfranchised by the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948.The reason for this is ,in addition to the Indians Tamils brought in by the British there were thousands of illegal immigrants from South India coming into the country They were referred to as Kalla Thonis.It is to separate the 2 categories that the proof of the father’s birth in the country was mandatory for Citizenship.

  • Dr Srilal Fernando

    Exploitation is an emotionally loaded term . The estate workers have been “exploited” over many years first by Commercial establishments both British and local, by politicians , by trade unionists , and by a new breed who are researching for a PhD or fly in fly out journalists.

  • Dr. Induka Werellagama

    Dear Vindhya, Thanks for an interesting article. IMHO a tiny start on Tourism by any operator is good. It will show how much tourism money can be made to these humble people and hopefully we may see some entrepreneurs among them offering even Air BNB type accommodation, which may attract a low budget tourist. The advertising by the 5 star operator will help to create awareness. An example of converting slums to 5 star is from Italy. Please see
    Also your statement “19th century to carry out the gruelling tasks the locals were unwilling to take on” has to add the fact local Sinhalese were unwilling to work in tea plantations because their land was stolen to create tea estates. If someone steals your house and starts a business there, you will not go to work there, even if you are have no other work. Please read the notes by Colonial British administrators from Badulla who in 19th century were angry at self sufficient Sinhalese villagers who they have written “should be made hungry, so that they come to work in tea estates”.

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