The Executive Director of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Mr. Senthil Kumar visited CODESEP ( Community Development Service for Plantation) in the Ratnapura Dioceses on a fact-finding mission from 5th and 6th December 2022. Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson , Director, Caritas Sri Lanka , Rev. Fr Lasantha Fonseka, Director ,Caritas Sed Galle and Rev. Fr. Anthony Jesuthasan, in-charge of CODESEP accompanied Mr. Senthil Kumar.
He visited the Anningkanda Tamil School in Deniyaya and met the students and teachers of the school to learn about their educational difficulties. It was a fruitful discussion as many students and teachers expressed their real experiences. Later he visited the Hansord Estate in Deniyaya to see the line houses and was able to observe the pathetic plight of the plantation community and the living conditions of the line-houses of the estate.
Later, he came to the CODESEP Centre. The Plantation people welcomed him as per their Tamil tradition and he was able to meet the members of Southern Province Civil Society Forum formed under the project titled, “ Lighting the Lives of Plantation People” LLPP started in 2022. The members explained that many difficulties they face constantly when working alone while addressing the rights of the plantation people and shared their gratitude to CRS for coming forward to form a Civil Society Forum. They explained to Mr. Senthil, how the forum has given all of them a platform to come together to share their experiences and to find synergies while working for the betterment of the plantation community, especially at juncture where they commemorate 200 years of the arrival of their ancestors from India to Sri Lanka in the 19th century.