Saturday, May 5, 2007


1st May 2007

“ Labourers are the Foundation of the Economy of a country. It is our duty to protect them.”

Venue :- Asgiriya Estate, Matale

Participants :- 250 Plantation Labourers

Resource Persons:-
Mr. Trini Gordon Rayan - Att-at-Law
Mr. A.C.S. Crooz - Co-ordinatior Plantation Programme (SETIK)

The Human Rights Unit of SETIK organized a seminar under the theme of “Human Rights of the Tea Plantation Workers”. The seminar was to provide an opportunity for labourers to understand and to clarify matters pertaining to the work. This was something different for them from their routine May Day rallies and protests.

In organizing this programme the people of Asgiriya Estate had a share in the planning. The programme commenced with the formal welcome given by the people of Asgiriya estate to the Resource Persons & the SETIK Team. The traditional oil lamp was lit and introductions were made before the commencement of the seminar.

The contents of programme of the Seminar

Introduction: How a “Labour Day” came into existence.

- Human Rights
- Issues labourers face - how to seek solutions
- Legal aspect of Rights of Labourers.
- Issues that Plantation Labourers face with managements.
- The Labour Department and the Labourers.
- Employment Provident Fund & Employees Trust Fund.
- Citizenship and Plantation Labourers
- Steps to be taken when a Labourers meets with an accident while on duty.

A very enlightening and instructive talk on the above points was followed by questions and opened discussion.

This programme was facilitated by the Human Rights Unit of SETIK; Mr. Asela Bandara, Mrs. Yamuna Hettige and Mr. Bandara Darmapriya.