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    About Us:

    It is a well known fact that the Upcountry Tamils of Indian Origin (UTIO) are one of the most marginalized people in the world. They are a group who have been, mislead, rudderless and virtually forgotten by the rest of society. It is our divine duty to help them in whatever small way we can. It is unquestionable, a strong foundation in education is a key to their betterment, and hence this formation of the trust to uplift the youths of upcountry with the simple and still effective tools. Education, education and education is the theme. Root of all evils is ignorance and fear.

    Up-counrty Tamils of Indian Origin in Sri-lanka:

    A Short history

    The Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka is Tamil people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka. They are also known as Hill country Tamils, Up-country Tamils or simply Indian Tamils.

    They are partly descended from workers sent from South India to Sri Lanka in the 19th and 20th centuries to work in coffee, tea and rubber plantations. Some also migrated on their own as merchants and as other service providers. These Tamil-speakers mostly live in the central highlands, also known as the Malayakam or Hill Country yet others are also found major urban areas and in the Northern province.. They are instrumental in the plantation sector economy of Sri Lanka.

    In general socio economically their standard of living is below that of the national average. In 1964 a large percentage were repatriated to India, but left a considerable number as stateless people. By 1990’s most of these have been given Sri Lankan citizenship. Most are Hindus with a minority of Christians and Muslims.

    The Hill Country Tamils derive their origins from a British colonial era project. , Workers came from around the Tamil Nadu cities of Thirunelveli, Tiruchi, Madurai and Tanjore were recruited from 1827 by Governor Sir Edward Barnes on the request of George Bird, a pioneering planter.

    There is also a TRADING community of Indian Tamils who were not part of the plantation economy. [They live and run businesses in the major , towns and citites. At present they number........ In Colombo.

    As soon as these migrant workers were brought to Mannar, the port at which they landed on their arrival by boat from South India, they were moved via Kurunegala to camps in the town of Matale. There they were quarantined for a period of a week or more, examined for infectious diseases.

    such as small pox, cholera or typhoid and vaccinated them against these diseases before they were sent to Kandy, from where they were dispersed to locations where they would either work on estates already established by a previous gang of workers or clear land to establish new ones. Many died during their first few months of employment.

    They were instrumental in the establishment of tea, rubber, coffee and coconut plantations. They formed the bulk of the labour force of the plantation sector.

    Also were the main labour force in building the, roads and railways :

    Census operations started in Sri Lanka in 1871. The Census of 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 had lumped together Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. Since 1911, Indian Tamils have been shown as a separate category. The population statistics are revealing. In 1911, Indian Tamils constituted 12.9 per cent of the population, whereas Sri Lankan Tamils formed 12.8 per cent; in 1921, 13.4 per cent and 11.5 per cent; in 1931, 15.2 and 11.3; in 1946, 11.7 and 11.0; in 1953, 12.0 and 10.9; in 1963, 10.6 and 11.0; in 1971, 11.6 and 11.2; and in 1981, 5.5 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively.[6]

    The statistics reveal a more than 50 per cent fall in the Indian Tamil population between 1971 and 1981. The main reason for the fall was the repatriation of Indian citizens to India. Another fact is that that many Indian Tamils, after acquiring Sri Lankan citizenship, declared themselves as Sri Lankan Tamils. Some Tamils who migrated to urban areas and also to the North and the East also followed this same example.[6]

    Politics :

    Community Development :

    The community was a closed community confining themselves to the plantations, while they actively contributed and contributes to the economic well-being of this country but the socio economic indicators of the community was amongst the worst in the country. The community in general was ISOLATED, living in ghettoes within the central region as well as linguistically isolated from the majority Sinhalese villagers who live in the valleys. They were captive labor whose life in its entity was decided by the employers. Any social relationship or cultural ties were only among themselves or with South India. In the 1940s the trade union movement had galvanized the plantation workers into a militant working class. They joined hands with the Lanka Sama Samaja (or Socialist) Party, which carried the message of a working-class struggle for liberation from the exploitation by mostly British plantation companies.

    Sri Lanka became independent in 1948 and the community believes that it became the first community marked out for discrimination by the new state of Ceylon in 1948. In the elections to the first parliament of Ceylon, seven Indian Tamil representatives were returned to Parliament. The plantation workers voted either for Indian Tamil candidates or for Lanka Sama Samaja Party candidates. Dr.N.M.Perera was the leader of the opposition in the 1st parliament and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party was the second largest party after the United National Party.

    Community Development :

    The community was a closed community confining themselves to the plantations, while they actively contributed and contributes to the economic well-being of this country but the socio economic indicators of the community was amongst the worst in the country. The community in general was ISOLATED, living in ghettoes within the central region as well as linguistically isolated from the majority Sinhalese villagers who live in the valleys. They were captive labor whose life in its entity was decided by the employers. Any social relationship or cultural ties were only among themselves or with South India. In the 1940s the trade union movement had galvanized the plantation workers into a militant working class. They joined hands with the Lanka Sama Samaja (or Socialist) Party, which carried the message of a working-class struggle for liberation from the exploitation by mostly British plantation companies.

    Sri Lanka became independent in 1948 and the community believes that it became the first community marked out for discrimination by the new state of Ceylon in 1948. In the elections to the first parliament of Ceylon, seven Indian Tamil representatives were returned to Parliament. The plantation workers voted either for Indian Tamil candidates or for Lanka Sama Samaja Party candidates. Dr.N.M.Perera was the leader of the opposition in the 1st parliament and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party was the second largest party after the United National Party.

    Disenfranchisement :

    Tea is one of the highest earners of GNP of Sri Lanka.

    The first Prime Minister, D.S. Senanayake of the conservative United National Party reacting to the possibilities of losing power to leftist political parties, commenced the task of weakening the leftist parties and their associate organizations. Indian Tamil labor had overwhelmingly supported these organizations. According opposition parties he was also influenced by segments of the majority Sinhalese population who felt their voting strength was diluted due to Indian Tamils. He introduced the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948, the Indian-Pakistani Citizenship act of 1949 and amended the parliamentary elections act and disfranchised the Indian Tamils along with many persons of Indian and Pakistani ancestry.

    As they had no means of electing any one to the Parliament they ceased to be the concern of parliamentary politicians. The plantation workers were thus forgotten from 1948 - 1964. They were unable to profit by any progressive legislation. The housing, health and education of the plantation workers were neglected. Infant mortality was highest in the country. Although since the introduction of universal franchise in 1931, strong traditions of social welfare in Sri Lanka have given the island very high indicators of physical well-being. Impressive national statistics tended to hide the existence of deprived pockets within the population and the most deprived population group has been the plantation labor, which had been economically, politically and socially deprived.[8]

    Donoughmore Commission :

    The Donoughmore Commission of 1928 recommended universal franchise, and this was also meant to include the plantation workers as well. Page 57 of the report proposed.

    "In the first place we consider it very desirable that a qualification of five years residence in the Island (allowing the temporary absence not exceeding eight months in all during the five years period) should be introduced in order that the privilege of voting should be confined to those who have an abiding interest in the country or who may be regarded as permanently settled in the Island.... this condition will be of particular importance in its application to the Indian immigrant population. Secondly, we consider that the registration of voters should not be compulsory or automatic but should be restricted to those who apply for it...".

    However, the very concept of Universal Franchise was anathema to most of the political leaders of that era. Ponnambalam Raman than, a highly respected leader, opposed universal franchise as he felt that the caste system was an integral part of the Hindu way of life(,[13] p16), and led a delegation to London seeking to legally enshrine the caste hierarchy, and dethrone universal franchise. The Kandyan Sinhalese also objected to the enfranchisement of the Indian estate workers as they feared that their electoral base would be diluted by a large influx of Indian Tamil votes. They also argued that the Tea estates were land plundered by the British, and that the Kandyan peasants have been driven from their traditional lands and those injustices would be compounded if the Indian workers were legitimized. Governor Stanley, by an order in Council introduced restrictions on the citizenship of Indian workers to make the Donoughmore proposals acceptable to the Ceylonese leaders. Thus the first state council of 1931, which consisted of many Tamil and Sinhalese members, agreed to not to enfranchise the majority of the Indian estate workers. (p 36 [13]),

    Soul bury Commission:

    A decade later, the Soul bury Commission, which paved the way for the independence of Ceylon recognized the "anxieties arising out of the likelihood of large-scale enfranchisement of the Indian immigrants".

    , The Commission, therefore, left the existing basis of franchise in Sri Lanka undisturbed ([14] .D. S. Senanayake had led the 1941 talks with Sir G. S. Bajpai of India and had reach agreement on modalities of repatriation and citizenship, although they were finally not ratified by Indian prime minister Nehru.

    D. S. Senanayake had expressed the wish to "EMBRACE all Indian workers who integrate into the country as members of the Ceylonese nation" and had been relatively sympathetic, as early as 1928, and as late as 1941,to the granting of citizenship to Indian workers who wished to become permanent residents of the Island.

    The Soulbury constitution came into effect in 1946. In trying to cobble an all-party cabinet inclusive of the Tamils, led by G. G. Ponnambalam, the Sinhalese nationalist groups led by S. W. R. D Bandaranaike, the Kandyan Sinhalese, Senanayake had to find a compromise formula.

    The 1947 elections had returned 6 representatives from the Ceylon Indian Congress (CIC), based on the votes of the franchised Indian workers and hill-country Tamils. Although this worried the Kandyans, the main reason for Senanayake and others to review their attitude to Indian workers was the growing threat of Marxist infiltration into estate TRADE unions. In this he had won the concurrence of G



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    • Organising seminars & conferences

    • library services

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NEWS & Events

  • 01-AUG-2014 Our official website to make a public awareness about upcountry education situation. Through this website we hope to support the socioeconomic and educational needs of this community in Sri-Lanka.
  • 01-SEP-2014 Kasin Foundation is a charitable Trust. The  Trust is constituted by Trust deed and its property shall be administered and managed by the Trustees Under the name of Kasin Foundation or by such other name as the trustees from time to time decide with the approval of the Charity  Commission for England and Wales.
  • 01-JUL-2014 The Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka is the Tamil people of Indian origin living in Sri Lanka. They are also known as Hill country Tamils, Up-country Tamils or simply Indian Tamils. They are mainly descended from workers sent from South India to Sri Lanka in the 19th and 20th centuries to work in coffee, tea and rubber plantations and building the roads and railways.
  • 01-JUN-2014 It is a well known fact that the Upcountry Tamils of Indian Origin (UTIO) are one of the most marginalized people in the world. They are a group who have been, mislead, rudderless and virtually forgotten by the rest of society.
  • 03-MAY-2012 It is unquestionable, a strong foundation in education is a key to their betterment, and hence this formation of the trust to uplift the youths of upcountry with the simple and still effective tools. Education, education and education is the theme. Root of all evils is ignorance and fear.
  • 01-JUL-2014 The Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka is Tamil people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka. They are also known as Hill country Tamils, Up-country Tamils or simply Indian Tamils. They are partly descended from workers sent from South India to Sri Lanka in the 19th and 20th centuries to work in coffee, tea and rubber plantations. Some also migrated on their own as merchants and as other service providers.
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