Neither the upcountry politicians nor the Sri Lankan government intends to give lands to transform the life of plantation workers, Professor Dr. A.S. Chandrabose said.
“The pressures of the plantation industry are increasing day by day. The companies continue to exploit workers, and workers are paid properly for their labour. Nowadays, the plantation lands are acquired for various reasons,” Professor Dr A.S. Chandrabose explained.
He further said that the Indian-origin people were adversely affected by the Land Reform Act, which Sri Lanka brought in 1972. The act has driven out many workers from plantation areas. But, unfortunately, such land acquisitions are continuing today.
“Not even an inch of the land thus acquired is given to plantation workers. On the contrary, these lands are distributed to the Sinhalese community. As a result of such actions, the plantation lands are gradually falling under the domination of outsiders. Economic pressures are increasing as plantation workers’ working days are reduced due to land sharing,” he added.
Professor Dr A.S. Chandrabose emphasised that land acquisition activities should be stopped immediately in the plantation areas to ensure the existence and identity of the upcountry people.