Up-country Tamils: Charting a New Future


The International Centre for Ethnic Studies organized a conference Up-country Tamils: Charting a New Future on the 2nd and 3rd of August, 2017. The conference featured local and international academics and practitioners who spoke about issues of identity, citizenship, gender, justice, politics and governance relating to the Up-country community. Dr. Daniel Bass, P. Muthulingam, Dr. A.S. Chandrabose, Prof. M. Mayilvaganan, Kalaimagal Thangavelu, Gowthaman Balachandran and P.P. Sivapragasam were among the panelists.

The conference highlighted the following:

  • The importance for consensus among the Up-country community on a distinct national identity (reconciling different articulations of this identity) and the need for the community to be recognized as an important ethnic group by the State.
  • The need for reform in policies related to the management of plantations, ownership of land and laws which legitimize the exclusion of the Up-country community.
  • The need for further research on the transformation of the dynamics of this community due to mechanization and migration