200 workers recruited to non-functioning factory
June 5, 2012
Sugarcane farmers in Sevanagala yesterday charged that though the factory was not functioning yet 200 new employees had been recruited to the Sugar factory, which was acquired by the government last year.

The farmers asked the authorities to handover the factory to a foreign company if there was no other way of reopening it. A sugarcane farmer said the work at the factory had stopped from the time it was acquired in November last year.

He said their livelihood had come to a standstill as a result. Besides he said the newly recruited 200 employees who were mostly labourers were paid salaries but were not doing any work.

This farmer said the factory should be handed over to the private sector as the government was unable to start to run it effectively.

“The best option in such a situation is to hand it over to a foreign investor who had the ability to reopen it and run it effectively if the government is not willing to hand it over to the previous owner Daya Gamage,” he said. This farmer also stressed the need for convincing the other farmers who had given up growing sugarcane and gone for alternate crops instead to take up sugarcane farming again. He said Banana and other crops had been grown in approximately 2000 hectares of land which comes under the Sevanagala Sugar Industries Ltd. Sugarcane farmers have decided to fight for justice and hope to start up a new association named ‘Movement to Safeguard Sevanagala Sugar Industries’.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka