Colombo, Sri Lanka – September 11, 2023: In a letter addressed to President Ranil Wickramasinghe, Mano Ganesan, the leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), expressed grave concern over a recent violent incident at the Wellandura estate of Kahawatta plantations in Ratnapura.
The letter detailed an alarming incident where a group of around ten individuals, purportedly posing as state security officials in civilian clothing, used violence to vandalize the makeshift dwelling of Mr. Ramesh Udayakumar, the head of a vulnerable plantation family.
What makes this incident even more disturbing is the absence of a judicial eviction order from the Honorable Courts, indicating a blatant disregard for the rule of law.
Ganesan emphasized that such attacks are not isolated events but part of a growing trend across plantation areas in Sri Lanka, involving both state and private enterprises.
He underscored that these violent acts against the plantation community are not only appalling but also shameful for the nation, as the toil and dedication of this sector have significantly contributed to the nation’s development.
The letter highlighted the vulnerability of the Indian Origin Tamils in the plantation sector, as repeatedly pointed out by international agencies.
Ganesan called for immediate action to prevent further deterioration of law and order within the plantations.
In the letter, Ganesan cited his conversations with the district secretary of Ratnapura, who explained the limitations of their authority within the plantations.
While acknowledging the understanding of Public Administration Minister Hon. Ramesh Pathirana regarding the community’s plight, Ganesan expressed concerns about the minister’s difficulties in dealing with plantation managements during such crises.
Mano Ganesan urged President Wickramasinghe to convene an emergency conference involving key stakeholders to address the issue urgently.
His proposal included participation from top government officials, ministers, members of parliament representing the community, district secretaries from relevant districts, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), CEOs of plantation companies, and civil society members working within the plantation community.
Ganesan concluded the letter by seeking immediate action to halt these violent incidents and advocating for a change in the system to integrate plantation affairs into the national public administration mainstream.