Veddas  or Wanniyalaetto of Sri Lanka

Advantages and Benefits

The plan's elegance lies in its simplicity, since by allowing for the phased return of Wanniyalaeto families to occupy and manage their ancestral habitat as they had been doing for uncounted millennia, it will:

  • create a sanctuary for the preservation of Wanniyalaeto culture
  • redress longstanding social injustice
  • foster self-reliance and participation in democratic decision-making
  • enhance indigenous nutrition, self-respect, and social cohesion
  • reduce the need for welfare subsidies and food stamps
  • ensure vigilant protection of the forest against rampant commercial game poaching, fire-setting, tree-felling and plunder of resources
  • encourage the identification and protection of useful plant species
  • serve as a natural laboratory for the study of sustainable development
  • promote understanding and respect for Sri Lanka's indigenous culture
  • preserve the holistic relation of the Wanniyalaeto to their habitat
  • enhance Sri Lanka's environmental and human rights record
  • preserve indigenous wisdom traditions of environmental management
  • Sri Lanka would set an example by complying with International Labour Organisation Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries
  • serve as a working model for similar sanctuaries around the world.