July 30, Colombo: The indigenous people in the eastern Sri Lanka commonly known as Vedda community in command of their leader Wanaspati Uruvarige Vanniyalatto are to sign a historic agreement with the state on Sunday 31st July, the day that will mark the World Indigenous People’s Day.
The Vedda community will hold a special event to mark the Indigenous People’s Day in Vakarai a town in the Batticaloa District of Sri Lanka, located about 65 km, where Veda community live.
The Director General of Wildlife Department will sign the agreement on behalf of the government.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also expected to participate in the event held to celebrate the culture of the Vedda community.
According to the agreement, the state will engage the services of aboriginal people in many spheres. Five veddas will be appointed as guides at the Maduru Oya National Park.
Also all aborigines will get an Identity card under the signatures of the Vedda Leader and the Wildlife Director to facilitate them to enter the National Parks.
The Veddha community in Dambana would be allowed to use their lands located within the Maduru Oya reserve, while they would be allowed to get raw material for construction of traditional houses from the park itself. Fishing in the lakes of the Maduru Oya is also allowed for the Vedda community, according to the Wildlife Department.
Veddas are traditionally known as hunter-gatherers. The traditional life of Vedda people is also upheld and supported through the agreement.