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workers suffering in Sri Lanka

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  • max ediger
    Friends: The following email was received by CJPA in Hong Kong a few days ago. Please respond to it if you feel so led. max An Appeal for Solidarity from Two
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2005
      Friends:  The following email was received by CJPA in Hong Kong a few days ago.  Please respond to it if you feel so led.

      An Appeal for Solidarity from Two Groups of Victimized Workers in Sri Lanka.


      This story is about two worker groups at Ekala, Jaela. The first is a group of 73 workers at Orex Factory. The owner is Mohamed Mohamed Izzath of 34A, 33 Lane, Bagatale Rd , Kollupitiya. His wife’s name is Nurul Wasira Izzath and the son is Shabrin Izzath.


      The various products of this factory were plastic items such as ballpoint pens, tooth brushes, combs and various household items.


      All incidents of social ills committed by M.M. Izath cannot be produced in one page. But permit me to mention here at least one which will reflect what an evil person he is.


      Having profited millions of rupees from blood and sweat of the workers for twenty long years, he arbitrarily closed down the factory three and half years ago without any reference to the legal procedures normally adopted by any employer in such instances or paying dues to the workers.


      The immoral and anti social character of this man has driven 73 workers and their dependents on to the streets. Further, this employer has deprived the ETF and EPF fund made available by law for the benefits of the workers at a time of their need. He has robbed also the March and April salaries, from year 1993 and their gratuity and compensation payments.  


      On complaints made by the workers through the labour department, the court of Law has given orders to this person to appear before it for cases No 9804, 9559, 5245, 16897, 20393, 36015, 39439, 43206, 5846, 45207, 20393, 98265 filed against him. He has 15 impending cases against him.


      Because of his absence at courts the magistrate has given orders to the Inspector General of Police to produce him before court. But until this day he has failed to carry them out.


      The second is a worker group of a garment factory by the same name ‘Jewel Arts International’ which was established in 1970, by M.M. Kaleel the elder brother of Izzath of OREX, in a 10 acre land, at Ekala Jaela.


      More than 1000 workers were employed in this factory. Its main office is located on the 5th floor, 324 Galle Rd, Kollupitiya, Colombo. In 1994, he terminated the services of 311 workers who have been employed for 15 long years. Also, the ETF and EPF, gratuity and compensation have not been paid to the workers.


      Although the labour department has filed a case against him, he does not appear before court of law and as a result this case is been dragged on for last 11 years.


      Thus the two brothers have done a great injustice to these workers. We trust no right thinking man or woman will approve such evil acts.


      We are very much puzzled how Izzath with such infamous records, the owner of Orex, can escape police arrest? 


      Request of Solidarity


      In solidarity, we kindly ask you to send a fax message to the Inspector of Police asking why he ignores the court order to produce Izzath the owner of Orex Company, before court?


      We ask also to write to the Minister of Labour and Commissioner General of Labour why he takes no action against M.M. Kaleel the owner of ‘Jewel Arts International’ who avoids appearing before the court of law? 


      The Fax Numbers:


      The Inspector General of Police: (+94) 11 224 6174

      The Minister of Labour:                 (+94) 11 258 8950

      The Commissioner of Labour:     (+94) 11 258 1145


      We thank you in advance for taking action of solidarity with victims of above mentioned groups of workers. The affected workers shall very much appreciate if the copies of letters sent to the above numbers, be emailed to siddamal@...


      Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda.

      Human Rights Circle,

      Ekala, Jaela, Sri Lanka.



      Visit my web page at http://daga.dhs.org/max

      People tend to think of nonviolence as a choice between using force and doing nothing. But the real choice takes place at another level. Nonviolence is less a matter of "not killing" and more a matter of showing compassion, of saving and redeeming, of being a healing community. One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path, or to do him evil. To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him. To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually. To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill. Andre Trocme

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