An awareness session for the major Religious Superiors of the CMRS on the social issues of the plantation community in Sri Lanka was held Monday 28 November, 2022 at the Good shepherd Vocational Training Centre at Bolawalana in Negombo.
Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson, Director of Caritas Sri Lanka- SEDEC (CSL) delivered a speech on plight of plantation community and Caritas intervention toward betterment of their lives.
“Caritas Sri Lanka has started a program since January 2022, called “Lighting the Lives of the Plantation People-LLPP to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of their ancestors (1823-24) to Ceylon,” said Fr. Luke while addressing major Religious Superiors on his introductory remarks.
Fr. Nelson stated that through the Diocesan network CSL has reached out estate communities over five decades and asked their support in implementing this program.
“CSL has initiated a strong networking, advocacy and lobbying program in order to voice together for the grievances faced by the plantation community,” said, Fr. Luke.
The main session was conducted by Fr. Michael Rajendram, National Animator of “Lighting the Life of Plantation people” program implemented by Caritas Sri Lanka.
Fr. Rajendram explained the plight of plantation community and the intervention of CSL at the Phase-1 of the project.
“Caritas conducted awareness and information sharing sessions for Religious leaders, Youth, Children, Journalists and National Level preparations and discussions on lobbying & advocacy with a right based approach,” said Fr. Rajendram.
He also explained the future intervention of the CSL to enable the plantation community to enjoy a dignified life as equal citizens in Sri Lanka.
“Through Networking, Advocacy and Lobbying we try to bring this marginalised community into the mainstream of Sri Lankan society. These activities will take place National level as well as Diocesan level. “, said Fr. Rajendram.
Most of the CMRS members urged CSL help to identify the real needs of the marginalized community in order to support them. They thanked CSL team for their efforts in creating awareness about this worthy cause, especially among the religious groups like them.