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Based on a field visit to a collective of Women Farmers in Sri Lanka, called the Uva-Wellasa Women's Federation, the session will feature a panel of women representing different districts, all sharing the history, ongoing efforts and strategies for social-economically and environmentally sustainable food production, distribution and consumption.
Ms. Elangeswary Arunasalam (Suriya WDC)
T.K.Somalatha (Uva Wellassa Women's Organisation)
This session will comprise of a field visit to a collective of women farmers called the Uva-Wellasa Women's Federation, housed in the primarily Sinhala-speaking southwestern district of Monaragala, which is also one of the poorest districts in Sri Lanka. The field visit will involve members of various collective food production initiatives from the Tamil-speaking, war-affected women in the northeast of Sri Lanka from Tamil and Muslim ethnic communities.
The field visit will enable the war-affected women to learn from an established ten-year-old collective of women farmers who are pursuing organic sustainable farming practices that have proved their economic viability. Sinhala women farmers from Monaragala will also be exposed to the histories and realities of women from the war-torn regions of their country, an experience that they may not have had otherwise. Both objectives will bring together crucial knowledge sharing on farming which will make for a creative approach to transitional justice and reconciliation.
The field visit will end with a recorded panel comprising women representing the northern and eastern districts as well as Monaragala, all sharing the history, ongoing efforts and shareable strategies with regards to socioeconomically and environmentally sustainable food production, distribution and consumption. They will also reflect on the relationship between these processes and macroeconomic policies in Sri Lanka.
The panel will be trilingual - Tamil, Sinhala and English - with translations and facilitation by scholars who work on the subject, in solidarity with these movements. The panel will also include reflections on the field visit and suggest possible strategies for the future on building solidarity with regards to macroeconomic policy relating to food in Sri Lanka.
Sinhala and Tamil interpretation will be available.