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The Flavor of Slavery! : Story of the Bitter Brew by K. Sunil Shanta translated by Hemasiri Perera

The Flavor of Slavery! : Story of the Bitter Brew by K. Sunil Shanta translated by Hemasiri Perera

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This historical novel narrates the story of the South Indian immigrant workers, the injustices and the oppression in the "kangani system" under which they were enticed to relocate to further the interests of Colonial Capitalism in British Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. To this day this group of people continue to contribute significantly to the national economy of the country.

 It forcefully articulates how these workers, frustrated with their living and working conditions, started agitating against the plantation Raj. The pioneers of the trade union movement in this novel are all historical personalities well represented in the archival record except those of Meenachchi, Gopal, Peria kangani and minor personalities that come on stage. Here the author has had to depend on the oral tradition of their descendants to glean reliable facts for the narration.

 The author, who has studied Social Science at the University of Peradeniya and later obtained a Masters Degree in International Law from the Kiev State University in the Soviet Union, was drawn to the life of the tea plantation workers growing up and living in Passara.

The translator has had experience with the said categories of workers as a working tea planter who commenced in the mid-1950s, when the relicts of the old system continued to linger on. This book is a result of his multi-linguistic excellence and dedication to the faithful workers he has had the privilege to know over many decades.



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