Veddhas protest against new restrictions



By Norman Palihawadana


The Veddhas have been playing cricket for a long time in their habitats and their teachers had coached them on the finer points of the game introduced by the country’s colonial masters, Veddha linguist Uruwarige Wimalaratne told The Island yesterday.


He was responding to a comment made by Cultural Affairs Minister T. B. Ekanayake to The Island last week that it was against the Veddah culture and traditions for them to play cricket.


Uruwarige Wimalaratne said, "Veddhas have been playing cricket for a long time in their habitats and our teachers coached us on the finer points of the game introduced by the colonial masters but we never wore trousers or shoes when playing the game."


Wimalaratne said the Veddha community was today facing numerous problems which were a threat to their very existence.


"In the good old days our ancestors used to go to the jungle at the crack of dawn and return the next day after hunting, but today we are forced to return at dusk," the linguist said.


Complaining of new restrictions they now had to face, he said, "We are not allowed to take a box of matches in to the jungle when we go hunting and such stringent laws would force the Veddhas to give up their identity.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...