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Minuwangoda Brandix InQube to be closed

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Discussions are being made for the temporary closure of the InQube factory in Minuwangoda owned by the Brandix company, it was reported.

According to internal sources, there is a risk of nearly 1,000 employees losing jobs due to the closure of the factory.

The management of Brandix previously closed the factories located in Kahawatta and Welisara.

Meanwhile, industry sources said that Brandix Group Chief Executive Officer Ashroff Omar has recently told the media that the garment industry is facing frequent challenges and that there will be a major loss of jobs in the short and medium term.

The managers of garment factories in Sri Lanka closed down the factories citing lack of orders for garment products, and the instability of the US Dollar caused by the US economic crisis and Sri Lanka’s financial crisis.

In Asia, several factories owned by Brandix are located in countries like India, Bangladesh and Cambodia and they are said to be operating successfully.

The Brandix company founded in 1969 by M.H.Omar has been considered as one of the leading local organizations that have earned profits for more than five decades.

It is said that Mr. Omar received the foundation for this business through Martin Trust, a forward-looking businessman from the US, who is considered to be the father of the modern garment industry in Sri Lanka.

Brandix was established in 1969 with his support.

Then around 1972, Brandix became a group company with Omar Group.

Later, under the leadership of renowned businessman Deshmanya Ken Balendran, Brandix Company rose to the top of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry.

Ashraf Omar is the Director and CEO of Brandix following the retirement of Mr. Balendran.

Brandix is also among the top companies in the list that have enjoyed GSP plus tax relief.

The European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) is a system that allows exports from developing countries to the European Union to pay a minimum tariff or to be fully duty-free.

Mihintale MAS on life support

Meanwhile, MAS Holdings Group which has amassed a large amount of wealth for almost 36 years as one of the largest garment exporters in Sri Lanka has decided to temporarily close down its Mihintale factory for a period of 4 months from yesterday (10).

It was said that this month’s salary is the last salary given to the employees of the factory with all allowances.

In the coming months, the employees will receive only the basic salary.

It was reported that there is a plan to assign the skilled workers from the factory to the local and foreign factories owned by the company.

However, sources said that after the closure of this factory, nearly 1,000 people will lose their jobs.

Jobs still unsafe

When inquired, Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said that the temporary closure of a factory directly affects the job safety of its employees.

Mr. Marcus said that when a factory is temporarily closed, only the basic salary is given to the employees.

“In addition to the basic salary, attendance allowance, incentive allowance and low-cost or free meals are also important for the employees,” he said.

If only the basic salary is paid after the closure of the factory, he said the employees will leave their jobs since they cannot live only on the basic allowance.

He said that this company implemented the same strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of employees without giving compensation.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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Scholarship exam, GCE O/L, A/L dates released

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The Examination Department has announced the schedule for several key examinations for the year 2024.

Accordingly, the GCE (O/L) Examinations 2023 is scheduled to take place from May 6th to May 15th while Grade 5 Scholarship Examinations 2024 is set for September 15th, 2024.

In addition, the GCE (A/L) Examinations 2024 will run from November 25th to December 20th, 2024.

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