National Language Policy implemented to benefit the Plantation Community
One of the NLF Partners we were privileged to visit on our field visit to Nuwara Eliya was the Plantations Rural Education and Development Organisation (PREDO). PREDO works in the DS Divisions of Nuwara Eliya, Ambagamuwa and Dambulla to strengthen the practical implementation of the Official Languages Policy amongst the plantation communities living in these areas. PREDO interventions to promote Language Rights seek to equip and empower these communities to effectively, efficiently and productively engage in the National, Social and Political spheres in Sri Lanka.
PREDO recognizes that building awareness about the Official Languages Policy is important to help these communities understand their fundamental language rights as mandated by the National constitution. This understanding is critical to building the community engagement in driving the Official Languages Policy. How this awareness of ones rights can empower a community to act as driving agents was demonstrated powerfully as the team listened to testimony after testimony from Community Leaders sharing their insights and experiences of how the awareness they gained helped them not to only identify what their rights were and recognize the gaps, but also what legally mandated mechanisms were in place to highlight such gaps to the relevant authorities. What was evident was how understanding of their rights had empowered them to become advocates of the languages rights of their communities.