18 September, 2021

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“Let NGOs Operate Freely” US Tells Sri Lanka

The United States is concerned by reports that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence has ordered registered Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups to cease their media engagements and activities.

Jen Psaki

Jen Psaki

Issuing a statement the US department of state spokesperson Jen Psaki, has today said; “This order undermines Sri Lanka’s longstanding and proud democratic traditions, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.  We strongly urge the Government of Sri Lanka to allow civil society organizations and NGOs, which play a vital role in supporting Sri Lanka’s democratic values, to operate freely.”

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  • 9
    16

    USA pretend to be the world’s ‘police’. Their latest misadventure has left Ukraine in tatters. Their crusades into Iraq has left the entire region in turmoil.

    Although when John Kerry speaks there seems to be a genuine concern for world peace. Sampantha powers behaves condensendingly like a spoilt child inside the security council towards other members.

    I suspect however, the genuine concern is not enough. When only 15% of USA citizens hold a passport I suspect what is lacking is real intelligence of other people and nations. Overly simplistic and lame “bad and good guy” view of the world is woefully inadequate.

    In such a background the less they meddle the best for all concerned.

    • 8
      8

      “In such a background the less they meddle the best for all concerned. “

      Unfortunately, for lanka and its begging bowl it cannot choose.
      Even Japan would be forced to pull out giving aid.

      “Sampantha powers behaves condensendingly like a spoilt child inside the security council towards other members. “

      Samantha Powers is a cut above the rest Professor Law Harvard and Yale and her husband is even more senior therefore the inferiority complex of stupid political appointees like GL Peiris is understandable.

      Vibu the free education lout go do the kangaroo strut because on invitation the American war machine has landed at Darwin.

      • 4
        11

        Hard to leave those Malabar habits behind eh? Now that you have been freed from slavery learn never to take anything on face value.

        That should be true even if she looks like the tobacco landlady who had a harness around your neck.

        • 6
          2

          Sihala speaking Demala (Malabari)
          You never had your bearings right.
          Once a slave always a slave.
          down under the thieves (white rulers) call you the black beasts for a good reason.Peter Tosh agrees!!
          We have ruled that island and defended it during the yellow pigs bombing.
          As white commonwealth we still rule.
          Passa is fearful of the commonwealth games Why So? ?

      • 4
        7

        Wasn’t George W Bush a product of BOTH Harvard and Yale, the two premier educational institutes in the USofA. The whole world is aware of his abilities. I doubt that Samantha Power could even reach up to tie his shoe laces.

        • 4
          1

          yes we all do know… On a lighter note. I saw 2 bumper stickers in Washington DC while BUSH was President..

          one read..

          A VILLAGE IN TEXAS IS MISSING AN IDIOT..

          THE OTHER..

          FOR A TREE(USA) TO GROW YOU HAVE TO CLEAR A BUSH…

          Democracy and freedom of expression at its best… wonder if someone had a bumper sticker like those in sl involving Mahinda..

        • 7
          2

          stupid No! he was just Ivey league.

          To become a Professor at both one needs to be above average.
          Her students have spoken for her.

          • 1
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            ” Her students have spoken for her. “

            Well that isn’t a complement, if the students are like GWB. She quickly moved on into politics and her ONLY calling seems to be to promote death and destruction among Arabs in the ME at which she excels.

            • 4
              1

              If you ever had a professional education at university you will understand what I mean. Students generally have respect for staff who can balance the theory with real life practice examples.

              She is a former journalist who has seen things in the field and can decide for self.

              Go fetch!!

              • 0
                1

                Who are you to assume that I didn’t ? In the West the students don’t give damn about their teachers at any level. Go fetch yourself as they would say.

                • 2
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                  Sihala Buddhist and Oligoneuronal Ram here is your balm.
                  BBS =Banana Brothel Sprouts!

                  You are not a european but kalu pukka with no class yes or no??

                  So how come you think on behalf of whites??

                  I live in the west and travel regularly and am aware who is a good professor and who is not because I have a niece studying there at present.
                  ░ ▒▓▓█D ░ ▒▓▓█D ░ ▒▓▓█D ░ ▒▓▓█D ░ ▒▓▓█D

                  I got into journalism not to be a journalist but to try to change American foreign policy. I’m a corny person. I was a dreamer predating my journalistic life, so I got into journalism as a means to try to change the world.
                  Samantha Power
                  I think I would like the sort of job where you can work away in obscurity to try and improve things, without being caught up in the political maelstrom.
                  Samantha Power

      • 5
        8

        Don’t talk bullshit. EU gives GSP+ like subsidies to poor countries with tricks and ploys attached as a means to undermine the sovereignty of that country. Five years back, EU threatened to take away the GSP+ to Sri Lanka on flimsy matters irrelevant to trade. Sri Lanka didn’t bulge. EU didn’t renew their GSP+. Have we gone bankrupt? No. Sri Lanka has increased its trade with EU without GSP+. We should do our best to increase our trade outside the western block.

        • 7
          2

          Banda

          Here is some information for you:

          GSP+ Withdrawal Strips Off Sri Lanka’s Garments
          Despite government’s claims that the withdrawal of the GSP Plus facility in 2010 would bear no severe impact on the country’s economy, the EU’s decision to withdraw the facility has been estimated to cost the government billions, and has had a huge impact on the garment industry, which was at the time a thriving sector in the country.

          However, despite government’s claims that it would not affect the garment trade many factories have been forced to close down, while thousands have been rendered unemployed. This situation has recently forced the government to rethink its stance on the EU’s trade concession.

          The GSP Plus trade concession most certainly assisted the country’s industrial exports and its withdrawal has affected export income and the trade balance adversely, as the economy is deeply dependent on industrial exports.

          Profit decline

          The overall income from apparel exports in 2011 was US$ 4100 million, while it had declined to US$ 3850 million in 2012.
          A senior Manager of Unilak fashion who did not wish to be named said that not everyone was affected by the withdrawal of the GSP Plus, while around 70% of exports were to the European Union which was affected by the GSP withdrawal, 30% including his company were exporters to the US.

          “Only those exporting to the EU are affected by the GSP Plus. After the withdrawal of the GSP Plus concessions many markets moved to countries like India and Bangladesh. The affected apparel manufacturers by this measure also tried to work their way into the US market to sustain and also cut down on profits,” he said.

          Hit from three corners

          According to him, the apparel industry has been hit from three corners.
          “One is that the lack of Sri Lankan labour. Most of the people here are educated and they are reluctant to join the apparel industry and rather prefer to further their education and enter university etc, which has had an impact on the sector. Currently there are over 25,000 vacancies in the apparel sector, but no labour force to fill these vacancies. The other factor affecting the apparel market is the removal of the GSP Plus and the duty for the US market and also the pricing structure. All these factors have a negative impact on the apparel sector and it has also made it harder for us to compete with other apparel manufacturing countries. There are certain countries like Jordan, Egypt and Oman that offer duty exemption for apparel exporters, which makes it more profitable. Due to these factors, if we are to be competitive we are forced to reduce our profit margins, which in turn makes it less lucrative.

          “The third factor is that the government knows about all our problems, but has failed to support the apparel industry. If the government was to help us out by at least providing us some concessions with either electricity, water, duty or tax deductions, then we would be more competitive in competing with the other apparel manufacturing countries,” he said.
          Elaborating on the shortage of labour, he said that very soon Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers would be compelled to import labour to fill the existing vacancies.

          Short of people

          “We are running short of people in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan labour is also getting too costly. It would be cheaper for us to import labour from other countries,” he said adding that another option would be to move the factories to other countries that provide cheap labour.

          “More than a dozen companies have already moved their factories to countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. Most of the larger apparel manufacturers have moved out and set up branches in more const effective countries. The buyers don’t want to come to Sri Lanka but are happy to go to Bangladesh or Vietnam. This clearly shows that it is not due to any issue with these companies, but it’s because they have a problem here in Sri Lanka,” he added.
          However, he said that even though the apparel manufacturers exporting to the EU had been affected by the GSP Plus, those supplying to the US market too have their own issues. The US market was also hit badly in 2005 when the quota system was abolished and made it an open market. With the abolition of the quota system apparels from countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh and Vietnam flooded the US market. “It is difficult to compete with them as they spend only around half the wage of what we pay our workers. The average Sri Lankan worker receives around Rs. 12,000 per month, while in China, Bangladesh or Vietnam they are paid only around half that amount or even cheaper,” he lamented.
          Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union, Anton Marcus said that from 2003 Sri Lanka was enjoying the benefits of the GSP Plus concession.
          “So as a result of this from the year 2000 there were about 835 garment manufacturing factories in the country, employing a huge workforce, but now there are only around 314, employing only around 283,000 workers. Even in 2003 when the GSP was given there was a road map given by the EU with regard to the labour rights. Therefore in order to obtain the GSP the BOI even amended their industrial relations guidelines and they included trade unions instead of employees’ councils. However what happened after they obtained the GSP was that almost all the employers failed to adhere to those stipulated conditions. Hence the government and the employers were not ready to face the review that was scheduled for 2004, but because of the Tsunami the European commission extended the GSP+ facility on sympathetic grounds even without a review. As a result the garment industry was the most favourable industry because of the GSP+ facility at the time,” he said.

          Government’s high-minded attitude

          He observed that 28 conventions were attached to the GSP+ when it was given, and the government agreed to implement those conventions by law and by practice.

          “Most of the conditions were related to human rights as well as labour rights and environmental. Unfortunately subsequent to obtaining the GSP+ the employers and the government did not adhere to those conditions. Instead of participating at these reviews the government took up a very political and high minded attitude, and as a result Sri Lanka lost the GSP+ facility. At that time even the joint apparel exporters forum was of the stand that they did not mind the removal of the GSP+ facility claiming that they could manage without it. When the EU gave us the GSP+ facility what they hoped was those benefits would be given to the workers, but unfortunately that’s not what happened. During that time the employers earned profits of about 30%, but they did not share this profit with the workers. The working conditions and living conditions of the workers was deplorable. Their salaries were very low and according to a survey done by in 2008 on the women workers in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone it showed that 66% of these female workers were suffering from anaemia. This is a clear indication that the benefits have not been given to the workers,” he added.

          At one time the majority of the 50 richest persons in this country were garment industry owners, he said adding that while the factory owners were enjoying the good life, their poor workers were suffering from lack of proper nourishment.
          He refuted claims that there was a shortage of workers in the country, adding that if proper facilities were given to them these workers would be willing to work. He said that most of the larger factories have shifted its operations to other countries seeking cheap labour. “But the main factor is that our Sri Lankans are educated and it is easy to train them into turning out high fashion garments, which most of the cheap labour markets cannot produce,” he said.

          According to Marcus, there is speculation that the government is planning on applying for the GSP Plus facility. However he added that without adhering to the conditions stipulated by the EU there is no possibility of obtaining this facility.

          Protest against importing foreign workers

          Meanwhile, the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union had written to the president asking for a tripartite discussion (government, employers and apparel workers union) to address the issue of importing foreign labour, but said that the president had not even acknowledged receiving it.

          On Wednesday they had sent another letter giving the government 15 days to respond as they had heard that the employers are trying to import workers from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar as they cannot find workers here.

          “We protested against that and wrote to the president on Wednesday, and if it is not addressed we are going to take it up very seriously. We are going to mobilise the young people against this move and the whole trade union movement is going to take up this matter,” he added.

          The vice president of the Inter Company Employees Union B. Abdeen said that the overall income from apparel exports in 2011 was US$ 4100 million, while it had declined to US$ 3850 million in 2012.
          “According to forecasts it is estimated that the income from apparel exports will decline by a further 13% to 15% this year, but my opinion is that the figures will plunge by around 15% to 20% this year to around US$ 3200 million. The future of apparel exports in Sri Lanka is facing a bleak future, and several factories have already closed so far this year. Two factories employing around 800 staff each have terminated operations in Colombo while another factory in Ratnapura had also shut down. In one group three of its companies had to terminate operations due to it not being able to operate,” he added.

          He further added that leading apparel manufacturers such as the Brandix chain is planning on shifting several of its factories to India, while even the MAS group is said to be shifting some of its factories out of Sri Lanka due to the lack of orders.

          Meagre salaries

          Meanwhile, K. Priyanthi who works on the production line for Cupid Garments in Ratmalana said that the salary she receives was totally inadequate to survive and feed her family.
          “Currently we have around 200 employees working at the factory, while earlier the figure was over twice the current amount. However due to the meagre wages that the garment industry offers, many of the workers seek other employment and move out. I receive around Rs. 14 to 15 thousand per month including all the allowances if I work the whole month without any absenteeism,” she said.

          Another employee of Cupid garments A. Wasanthi, a helper in the ironing line, receives only around Rs. 9000 per month. According to her the smaller apparel manufacturing companies are struggling to survive as most of the employees are leaving due to low wages. She said that once she paid her boarding fees of around Rs. 4000 there was nothing left for her.

          “We don’t have the proper mentality to carry out our duties as we are very depressed and dejected. As for me I am in my thirties and even if I can work, most of the larger companies prefer to take the younger employees and we are forced to remain where we are with these low salaries. Our factories lack even the modern machinery and we have to work with dilapidated equipment. However when we complain the management tells us to work with the available machinery,” she added.

          While other countries, which are dependent on the garment industry, are providing their industrialists with concessions and incentives, the Sri Lankan government is taking on an arrogant attitude and refusing to accept that the apparel sector is in turmoil. The rising cost of living and the meager wages will only put more pressure on the industry and make it less competitive with other countries. Unless the government takes measures to address this issue and at least provide some concessions to revive this sector, the Sri Lankan apparel industry, a thriving venture in the past will remain as a thing of the past.

          http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2013/03/24/gsp-withdrawal-strips-off-sri-lankas-garments/

          • 1
            2

            @N/V

            You are wasting time Native. This D.A.L.U Banda can’t understand anything you said.

            • 3
              1

              Lapatiya

              “You are wasting time Native. This D.A.L.U Banda can’t understand anything you said.”

              All information I paste here are for fellow forum sharers and not for Banda, OTC, Mechanic, sach, Nuisanse, Ravi Perera (Sinhala speaking Demela), Navin, wathie, Maveeran, ……………………….

  • 5
    1

    Say you are kidding lady. Are trying to dictate terms to mighty GORA?
    You will soon find a white an in front of your house!!!!!

  • 0
    0

    Vibhushana,

    Your thoughts are completely devoid of reality, perception and judgement. After the WWII was over the world blamed USA for allowing the emergence of an evil leader like Hitler and not prventing the destruction from happening because USA was considered to be the unofficial policeman even at that time too. Human beings need a leader to function and live orderly and without chaos. That is why even the village funeral aids society is not without a chairman/secretary/treasurer etc. That is why the countrie of the world hold elections and elect their leaders. The same applies to the wold too. The world needs a leader and a policeman to descipline and behave itself orderly. Historically this role was filfilled by America whether we liked or not.

    Iraq was becoming a problem to world under Sadam, In Ukrain the problem lies in geopolitics and Russia. USA cannot be justified in everyting they do but these countries themselves prepare the ground work for USA to invervene. Had Sri Lanka honoured its obligations under human rights USA/UN would not have anything to do here. There is no use blaming USA for the ills and issues created by the budding despoits like MR and the ignorant racist people following and supporting such despots. Just imagine the plight of people in this country had USA/UN not intervened on behalf of the people and their rights and good governance! The humbug himself would have sprayed the innocent people with bullets and killed them all to solve the problems in the country! In the context of Rajapaksha Sri Lanka what the people is not less meddling but more and more meddling and interference and intervention. Your ideas do not hold water.

  • 1
    3

    This morning, as far as I can tell, the ebullient Gota was NOT quacking in his well-shined shoes, and in fact was looking forward to getting through a busy schedule. Dammit! he has a country to run, while his brother perambulates through the land, kissing babies and soothing furrowed brows. After all Gota has carte blanche to do all that is needed to ensure the security of our thrice-blessed island paradise. The US has, of course, the right to voice their concerns, and Karu Jayasuriya has already picked up the opposition cudgel here. So, let’s see who will fall in behind him?

  • 6
    5

    The US citizens also, though unwillingly it seems, ‘enjoy’ the Freedom to be Spied upon at every turn, and the Freedom to be ‘droned’ when abroad without judicial involvement, and many other such, which ‘freedoms’ we Sri Lankans are more than willing to forego.

    The ‘NGOs’ willing to sell our country, culture and traditions, for a few dollars more, (Yankee of course), needed to be knee-capped and they have been.

  • 6
    3

    US is ordering Sri Lanka to let the NGOs plant the seeds of Arab Spring in Sri Lanka.

    What a great way to change govts in the world.

    I can understand why all these LLRC, human rights are needed for all these special interest groups.

  • 4
    3

    US State Department is asking Anarchy in Sri Lanka.

    Solution is become a cuba aligned with China

  • 2
    2

    We don’t want the viceroy of the US to tell us what to do and what not to do.

    • 0
      2

      This is what i am also telling always. We are a proud nation that has 2600 something years of civilized history and the only country that has Pure Sinhala Buddhism. (Ninasara Nikaya-Madamulana Chapter) Also our country is Nidahs, Niwahal, sovereign country with Bahumika Akandathawaya(Territorial Integrity)

      They should not dictate terms to our Boss and his US Citizen Brother as they are the Heroes who has liberated our Country from enemies.

  • 3
    1

    How genuine are the US threats? Or is it not that, what the US too want implemented is to get all NGOs out, to give Gota and the Rajapaksas a free hand like how everyone was removed from the War front, including the UN for the Rajapaksas to decimate all opposition as happened in the War without witnesses?

    • 0
      0

      and then kill the last man passa. This is how the brits captured east india company- they sold arms to one party to beat the other and finished the last out. Iran Iraq is similar story.

  • 3
    2

    We strongly urge the Government of the United States to close the Guantanamo ‘detention facility’ as promised by the President and allow alleged criminals to be judged by civil courts, which play a vital role in supporting the United States’ democratic values.

    Now do your worst to us you two faced bastards.

  • 0
    0

    i cannot understand one thing. if you do not listen to the usa, india or the so called international community what will happen? srilanka has not been listening and sometimes abusive of these countries which includes even the uno.
    inter. community was at the receiving end for sometime. even people like mervin silva and wimal weeravansaa have been very happily doing it without any reluctance.i request the experts to give an answer to my above question.
    -sundaram

    • 2
      1

      Sundaram,

      This is all theatrics for public consumption. Do you seriously believe that MR can defy the world powers and survive? This trading charges at each other is all bluff.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Madam Jen Psaki,

    When you write a letter to a fellow citizen there should be a proper and correct address to make sure it goes to the right party . Please note the correct address for further communication.

    Grease Piya – Jathiye Aadambarakara Bappa,
    C/O Jathiye Aadambarakara Thatha,
    US Citizen,
    Offence Secretary – (Aparada Aarakshaka Lekam)
    Ministry of Defense and Urban Development and Unofficial Controller of all Ministries,
    Colombo.

  • 1
    1

    Dear Madam,
    I think you raised a wrong finger. It should have been a Middle finger i suppose.

  • 2
    3

    Just yesterday, a Russian visitor to the Maldives was illegally forcibly abducted by the freedom-loving US. Was there any connivance on the part of the Maldivian government ? This is the kind of freedom of action that the US demands for it’s agents from countries like Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

    NGO are profit-oriented for few middle class persons. Name is non-profit by NGO but indeed working on mission of few interest. NGOs are type of Unofficial Govt. s manage by Elites who are left-out from system of capitalism and some are few left-learn ex-revolutionaries and rebellions and anarchist. They have live and let live. That under the name of Human Rights and Democracy!

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