While tea companies do a lot of good around the planet, maybe just one is working with their native population. Dilmah Tea is working with Sri Lanka’s indigenous people, the Veddha, through the Dilmah Conservation Foundation.
Recently, Dilmah hosted Varigasabha, the Veddah’s first traditional gathering. The event was a meeting of Veddah from across Sri Lanka to discuss issues the people are facing. Veddha history dates back 37,000 years. Although once numbering 17 clans, today only 4 remain.
Varigasabha was held in Vakarai, which, until recently, was the scene of heavy fighting as part of Sri Lanka’s civil war. The gathering focused on the people known as the Sea Veedha’s, who live on the coast, and face extremely difficult social and economic conditions.
Attending the event was the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who indicated that the Veddha would get full recognition in the nation’s society. He also said, ” While protecting their culture, giving them their rightful place in society is our duty. We must strengthen their traditions. What others enjoy, they must also enjoy.”