Vedda community customs need change: Chief
Dec 10, 2011

Vedda Chief Uruwarigelage Vanniyale Ettho said the rules and customs of the Vedda community should be relaxed in keeping with modern trends. He told the media that the Vedda community lived freely in a vast area of more than 58,858 acres in the Maguruoya jungles upholding their traditions and depended on hunting and agriculture, but was today struggling for existence against different odds in a strip of land.

“We learn about robberies, frauds and murders from every nook and corner of the country. Many people resort to such misdeeds due to the economic constraints in the households. However, I am pleased that anyone in my community has not been involved in criminal activities despite their hardship. It was unfair by them to be segregated from the developing world. If traditional rules and customs were strictly adhered to, my community would not survive. With this in view I have permitted them to engage in trades as others in society to make a living while upholding the cultural heritage of the race.

Recently, 15 young men of the Vedda community had found employment in the Forest Conservation Department. The government has promised to restore Kandeganwila, Keragoda and Pahurekandiya tanks to irrigate arable land and to provide facilities for the freshwater fishery. This programme was most welcome in the interest of the Vedda community” Vanniyale Ettho said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka