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April 22, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

2023 marks the 200th year anniversary of the coerced migration of Tamil plantation workers by the British Empire from Southern India to the upcountry region in Sri Lanka. To mark this event, plantation workers’ organizations are marching, tracing their 19th century route from Mannar in Northwestern Lanka to Matale in the upcountry region. This march marks their protest against their still marginalized and precarious status.

SALAM and Maynmai will commemorate the protest march by upcountry Tamils in Sri Lanka by hosting this Rice and Resistance event to discuss their demands and history on plantations. Through this, we also hope to build progressive linkages across Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, and build solidarities across communities with histories of indentured labor, from Sri Lanka to the Caribbean.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at 5 pm at The People’s Forum, New York City. You can register here.


  • Mythri Jegathesan, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, Santa Clara University.
  • Yogeswari Krishnan, General Secretary, Working Women’s Front.
  • Vasuki Nesiah,  Associate Professor of Practice, New York University.

Recorded testimonials:

  • Fr. M. Sathivel, Convener, Organisation to Protect the Dignity of the Upcountry Community.
  • M.S. Selvaraj, Convener, Vivasayigal Thozhilalargal Munnetra Sangam (Farmers and Workers Progressive Front)

SALAM is a political organization that works towards building a coalition of South Asians from the left. We work with South Asian and internationalist left organizations, to politically bolster immigrant-led movements in the diaspora, and support people’s movements in the subcontinent.

Maynmai is a Tamil-led feminist, caste abolitionist, multi-racial and multi-ethnic formation that has been collecting funds for redistribution in Ilankai/Lanka for the past year.

Rice and Resistance is a series of casual dinner events featuring discussions on issues facing the South Asian left today. As we continue with the series, we hope to build out a larger South Asian coalition of organizations, and, together, co-articulate a leftist South Asian politics that engages with ongoing movements in the region. Emphasizing the fact that these situations are far from isolated, we also hope to situate the specific South Asian issues in a global context, and partner with international solidarity organizations.