Thursday, January 17, 2013

International Tea Deay

We celebrated the international tea day for the fifth consecutive year in a grand scale at the Parish Hall of Holy Cross Church, Hatton on the 15th December 2012, with the theme "Let us raise our voice to gain our housing and land rights".  About 350 plantation leaders took part in this event.

Rev. Fr. Camillus D. Jansz, the Director of Caritas Kandy (SETIK), Rev. Fr. Director of CaritasSEDGALLE, Rev. Fr. Leslie Perera, the Parish Priest and the Asst. Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church -Hatton were among the participants. 

Mr. Vijaysandiran, Senior Lecture-University of Peradeniya and the Honorable Chairman, Urban Council - Hatton, too were present on this occasion.

Mr. J. Sri Ranga, Honorable Member of Parliament, Nuwara Eliya District, was the Special Guest on this event.

Rev. Fr. Camillus, the Director of Caritas Kandy (SETIK) gave a brief introduction of this event.  This was followed by a lecture delivered by Mr. Vijaysandiran, who explained the significance of Tea Day and the necessity of distributing the uncultivated land among the plantation youths.  After the conclusion of his address.  A memorandum prepared in this regard was handed over to Mr. Ranga, the Honorable Member of Parliament by Rev. Fr. Camillus. the Director of Caritas Kandy (SETIK), who requested Mr. Ranga, to take up this matter in the Parliament.  Mr. Ranga, in his address explained the pathetic situation prevailing in the plantation sector and assured the gathering that he will take up this matter in the Parliament.

After his address Hon. Ranga and the Rev. Fr. Director of Caritas Kandy (SETIK) were honored by draping golden shawls, which followed the awarding of certificates to those who followed the first aid training course.

Posters, Banners and Notices delivering the housing and land rights, employment status and sufficient wages were displayed for telecast through TVs.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Medical Camp

A free Medical Camp was organized by commission for Justice Peace Human Development Human Rights Secretariat (Caritas Kandy - SETIK), was conducted through the Plantation Unit, at the Holy Rosary School, Bogawanthalawa on the 25th of July 2010.

There are poor medical facilities in the up country area, especially in the Nuwara Eliya District, which has a population of over 700,000 people belong to three ethnic groups. They use to take their treatment at the Nuwara Eliya, Lindula, Kotagala, Watawala, Kilangan, Walapane, Kotmale, Maskeliya and Bogawanthalawa rural hospitals.

For special treatment they have to go to Kandy, which is about 100 Km away, as there are no Specialist Doctors or Laboratory facilities in those rural hospitals.

Kandy 'SETIK' organization after considering these difficulties of the Plantation people, organized this free medical camp.

Eight (08) Specialist Doctors with 15 Assistants took part in this service which commenced at 9.30 a.m. About 800 people received treatment for various aliments as follows;

  • Dental 260
  • Eye 145
  • General 350
  • Consultation 45
  • Total 800

People and the Parish Priest of Bogawanthalawa fully appreciated the service rendered through this medical camp and wish that this service will be continued even in the future.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Better Life Style for Tea Plantation people.

“Safe Environment in Tea Estates” is a project implemented by SETIK in selected tea estates of the Matale District of Central Province. Under this project we were able to renovate and reconstruct the line rooms of the estates and provide them with better water and sanitation facilities. Meantime the beneficiaries were made more aware about how to uplift their life pattern with the present context. With the help of awareness, education and self employment training programmes we were able to help these marginalized tea plantation people to stand on their own.

We covered the estates of Rattotamale, Asgiriya, Nagala and Wewelmada under this project funded by the Catholic Relief Services of America. On 15th November 2008 the above mentioned facilities were handed over to the beneficiaries by Rev. Fr. George Sigamoney - the Director of Setik and Rev. Fr. Camillus Janz who were accorded a warm welcome by the people of the estate.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mobile Programme in the Plantation Sector

Currently we are in a period of time when the National Identity card is most essential. Though the situation is such, still most of the plantation people are unable to obtain their identity cards due to various reasons. This problem is not only for their identity cards but also for birth certificates, death certificates and documents needed to recover their Employees provident and Employees trust funds. Taking this issue into consideration the Plantation unit of Setik together with the Ministry of Law and Justice Reforms organized a mobile camp on 1oth and 11th October 2008 at Talawakelle Sinhala Vidyalaya to collect the relevant documents from the plantation people to claim their identity cards, birth certificates, death certificates, etc.

Divisional Secretariat staff of Nuwara Eliya District and volunteers attached to Setik carried out prominent roles at this programme. There were over 8000 plantation people present there to obtain their certificates and documents. We are happy that we were able to obtain 750 birth certificates on the spot and the rest of the claims handed over to relevant authorities to obtain the required documents.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plantation Forum

On the 8th June 2007 the Setik organized a Dialogue Session on the issues of the Plantation Sector people. The programme was held at the Setik auditorium at 10.00 a.m and went on for about four hours. The main objective of this forum was to get the ideas and views of the organizations that work for the Plantation Sector people and prepare a policy document to be submitted to the Government and to relevant authorities. There were six resource persons on the panel from different organizations who work for the marginalized people in the Plantation.

At the Panel:

Rev. Fr. George Sigamoney – The Director of Setik
Rev. Fr. Guy Fontgalland – Leo Asharam
Mr. Jayarathna Maliyagoda - Labour Union of Public Service
Mr. P. Muthulingam – Institute of Social Development
Mrs. Shobana Rajendram – Senior Lecturer of Peradeniya University (HR Education Unit)
Mr. Anthonymuthu – Public Relations Officer – Caritas Sri Lanka

About 60 District Steering Committee leaders of the Plantation Sector (Districts of Nuwaraeliya, Matale and Kandy) actively participated at this Dialogue. The resource persons contributed their views about the present status of the Plantation sector and their organizational experiences in working with these groups. They spoke about basic rights, social issues, health conditions, safety and education of the Plantation people and also they gave their suggestions to uplift the lives of these people. From the audience many issues were raised with regard to their Rights, policies of the Government and about their future. The discussion was quite fruitful and many issues were cleared at the floor. The programme terminated with the decision to prepare a memorandum and hand it over to the government.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Plantation Workers Present Situation

Plantation workers carried out a strike of 15 days requesting to increase their day’s wage from Rs. 135/- to Rs. 300/-. These wages increments is included in the collective agreement signed on 19/12/2006 at the Presidential Secretariat by the His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, between the Federation of Plantation employers and the leaders of Plantation trade unions. Mr. Lalisth Obeysekara has signed in this agreement on behalf of the Federation of Plantation employers. The following Plantation trade unions leaders signed on behalf of their unions.

Ø Mr. Arumugn Thondaman - Ceylon Workers Congress
Ø Mr. K. Velayutham - Lanka National Estate Trade Union
Ø Mr. S. Ramanthan - Federation of Plantation Trade Union

The wages structure accepted in these agreement as follows.

Basic Wage per day - Rs. 170.00
Cost of living allowance per day - Rs. 20.00
Allowance for 75% attendance - Rs. 70.00
Total - Rs. 260.00

Allowance for additional leave per day - Rs. 9.00 per Kilo Gram.
(Earlier rate was Rs. 7.00)

Though the Plantation workers requested to increase their day’s wage as Rs. 300.00 the collective agreement accepted only Rs. 260.00

Friday, December 15, 2006

Plantation Children's Programme

Because of the poor economic condition plantation sector childrn got lot of difficulties to carry out their education successfully. To hlep these children we were able to establish free evening classes with the help of volunteer teachers in the Estates and in the Rural villages.

These children are realy tellented. We belive we have prepared a better situation for them to restart their lives.