Concerns over social issues in the SP plantation community

29 January 2019 12:05 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Indian origin plantation workers left their kith and kin in Southern India and migrated to Sri Lanka almost 200 years ago.   


Since then they have contributed towards the development of the plantation industries in particular and Sri Lankan Nation at large. This marginalized and underprivileged community lags behind in all the aspects of life. They are increasingly becoming vulnerable to the cost of living rising at an alarming rate in the past years.   


In the above scenario, all right-thinking persons of our motherland should understand the plight this community is undergoing with their hand to mouth existence in the plantations.   

 

I hope and pray that the efforts the Members of Trade Unions and the Regional Plantation Companies and all other stakeholders presently considering/discussing are sincere and realistic and thereby bring about a just solution to the long-awaited wage increase and other social problems of our plantation workers


The cry for a just wage for the fruit of their labour is heard very loud in every corner of the Nation these days.   


The worker’s labour is what allows him to ‘gain access to the goods of the earth.’   


It is what allows him “the means to cultivate worthily his own material, social, cultural, and spiritual life and that of his dependents.’ 

 
“Failure to pay him a just wage shuts him out of this endeavour. It is for this reason that mere agreement between labourer and employer is not an assurance of a just wage.” 

 
There is a rich Biblical Tradition which underlies the Church’s insistence that it is a grave injustice to refuse to pay a just wage or to refuse to give a just wage in due time and in due proportion to the work done. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 302)   


“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbour. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day labourer.” (Lev. 19:13)   


I, as a religious leader from the Southern Province, wish to voice my concern over the prevailing social issues of this vulnerable community.

   
I call upon all those in the decision making and in responsible positions to hear the cry of this community so that their legitimate demands are looked into and met while at the same time, the industries in the Plantations are promoted and protected.   

 

I call upon all those in the decision making and in responsible positions to hear the cry of this community so that their legitimate demands are looked into and met while at the same time, the industries in the Plantations are promoted and protected


We, as the citizens of this country and as Christians have a moral right to stand by this just demand of these innocent/vulnerable people and be the voice of the voiceless.   


I hope and pray that the efforts the Members of Trade Unions and the Regional Plantation Companies and all other stakeholders presently considering/discussing are sincere and realistic and thereby bring about a just solution to the long-awaited wage increase and other social problems of our plantation workers.   
May God bless them all.   

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