Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tea Plantation Workers

Recently I heard an interview about Tea and the plantations in Sri Lanka. The words used to describe the workers were beautiful, happy, the area was romantic and misty. They couldn't believe Sri Lanka was so beautiful.... Unfortunately very few people know about the plight of the tea plantation workers or their history. The women who work on these estates were from South India (Tamil Speaking workers). The Sinhalese did not want to work in the plantations so workers were brought in from South India. Just as the Africans were moved from their tribal homelands to work on cotton and sugar plantations, Indian workers were brought to Sri Lanka to work as laborers on estates. These workers travelled by foot from India to Sri lanka in 1824. Many perished and died when they crossed the mannar gulf. Those who survived then had to walk through jungles, some were attacked by wild animals and others died from malaria. It was no better for those workers once they reached the plantations. They were exploited and permanently settled within these tea plantations and houses were built for them. The Tea industry brings in a significant revenue to Sri Lanka. Therefore they still economically depended on the sweat and blood of these plantation workers........

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