2023 August 12

Malayaha Makkal Walk Concludes, Commemorating 200 Years of History

The momentous Malayaha Makkal Walk, organized by the Malayaha Makkal Society, National Christian Society, and various social activists, concluded on the 12th of August, marking a remarkable journey of awareness, history, and advocacy. The event saw participation from religious leaders, including Bishop Rt. Rev. Nishantha Fernando representing the Diocese of Kurunagala and Rt. Rev. Bishop Dushantha Rodrigo from the Diocese of Colombo.

This year's walk held special significance as it celebrated the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the upcountry estate community from India to Sri Lanka. The walk, covering a total distance of 248 km, retraced the challenging route that the estate workers undertook two centuries ago, starting from Thalaimannar and concluding in Mathale. The journey took more than 15 days to complete, a testament to the enduring spirit of the participants.

Bishop Rt. Rev. Nishantha Fernando, along with several other religious leaders, walked side by side with the participants, demonstrating unity and support for the estate community. The estate community, which has played a crucial role in the country's economy, particularly through its contribution to the tea export industry, has often faced challenges in terms of equal rights and opportunities.

At the conclusion of the walk, a significant event took place as The Mathale Declaration was presented. This declaration advocates for equal rights, opportunities, and livelihood development for the estate community. It underlines the importance of recognizing the community's historical significance and addressing their ongoing concerns.

The event was a display of religious harmony and social solidarity, with participants from diverse backgrounds coming together to honour the history and advocate for a more equitable future. As Sri Lanka's famous Ceylon Tea brand has gained international acclaim for its quality, the walks shed light on the vital role the estate community has played in shaping the nation's identity and economy.

As the Malayaha Makkal Walk concluded on a note of unity and hope, the nation looks forward to a future where the estate community's rights and aspirations are met, and their historical significance is duly acknowledged.