Sri Lanka indigenous community to get electricity

June 17, 2014 (LBO) – A remote area where indigenous original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are living will get electricity later this month, as plans are on track to electrify the entire island, the power ministry said. Sri Lanka’s indigenous people are known as Veddah’s while they refer to themselves as Wannielaaththo or people of the forest.

Inhabitants of Rathugala are believed to have moved on to simple cultivation after leaving their caves in the last century. They were believed to have been displaced to their current location by the building of the Senanayake Samudra, an irrigation reservoir.

Sri Lanka has a more famous indigenous community in Dambane, also in the same district.

The power distribution scheme in Rathugala, Moneragala will be switched on by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on June 23.

“The Rathugala project will illuminate the lives of indigenous people and their living standards will also be improved,” the power and energy ministry said.

According to reports the inhabitants of Rathugala, trace their ancestry to Kuweni, a leader of indigenous people who was said to have been taken as wife by a visiting Indian prince and later driven to the jungles along with her children.

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