New garment factory in Vavuniya
Omega Line Ltd, owned by Italy's Calzedonia Group,
responding to calls from the Sri Lankan government to help support
the once conflict-affected north of the country has opened its
seventh factory in Sri Lanka's northern town, aiming to provide
employment to 3,000 war-affected youth. So far, 350 youths from the
Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities have been recruited.
Along with economic opportunity, the factory has
opened avenues for harmony among different communities. Unlike most
towns in the north, Vavuniya remains a multi-ethnic society.
The factory, which will manufacture garment
products to be sold in 11,000 outlets worldwide, represents a
foreign investment of SLRs 19.8 billion ($150m). Calzedonia group
founder Sandro Veronesi said.
At the factory's inauguration, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa said the government's focus was to rebuild northern
infrastructure and develop all areas of the country equally.
He said several other large scale local and
international business ventures were nearing completion in the
North. "These too will be opened shortly, heralding new livelihood
opportunities for the people of the north," the Sri Lanka Daily News
quoted him as saying.
He noted that at 22%, the north's economic growth
rate far exceeds the national average (8%).
Investment Promotion Minister Lakhsman Yapa
Abeywardane said the government has invested SLRs 47 billion ($355m)
for post-war northern development.
"We want to improve the quality of life of people
affected by the war. There is an industrial zone being put up in
Jaffna," Abeywardane told Khabar. "The railway line is being
reconstructed. By mid next year, all the railway projects will be
A 43km stretch of the northern rail network, from
Medawachchiya to Madhu (Mannar) was inaugurated May 14th. Work to
extend the Kilinochchi line up to Jaffna and Kankesanturai is
expected to be completed in mid-2014.
"Unlike the war time, people have better
connectivity with the south and better access to healthcare. Also,
there is electricity to bring benefits to industrialists in the
area," Abeywardane said. "This factory in Vavuniya will boost the
local economy. Youths will get jobs, addressing a major area
"It is always better for them to have jobs in
their own localities rather than seeking employment in shops and
factories in Colombo amid difficult living conditions," Abeywardane
said. "Our aim is to take development to the village."
Courtesy : Department of Government