Sajith Premadasa pledges to help Tri Star to overcome difficulties

Mr. Sajith Premadasa, Deputy Minister of Health and Hambantota District MP recently said that he will do "everything in my power" to help the Tri Star group to overcome its present problems.

Premadasa was speaking at the Certificate Awards Ceremony of the Tri Star Academy of Apparel Technology held at the BMICH recently where he was the chief guest. Over 250 trainees who underwent training in different disciplines in garment manufacture free of charge received their certificates on this day.

Premadasa said that the Tri Star group had been of immense service to the country playing a major role in setting up garment factories in the villages under President Premadasa’s 200 factories program.

"I know that the Tri Star group had been given step motherly treatment during the past few years. It was branded as an UNP venture and denied quotas and concessions such ventures enjoyed. As a result 15 of the group’s 30 factories now face a serious problem," he said.

"Taking all these aspects into consideration the Tri Star Group deserves to be treated differently from other ventures and helped to get over the problems they faced because of the raw deal they have got during the past few years. I have no doubt that the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will find the solution and provide redress."

Sajith and Jalani Premadasa were greeted on arrival by Tri Star Chairman Kumar Dewapura and Mrs. Shereen Dewapura.

"The names of Tri Star and Premadasa run parallel because I know it was Kumar Dewapura who gave the support and guidance when the 200 garment factories program was formulated. I was also fortunate to be present when the blueprint for the program was drawn up. The first garment factory under the program was opened in Yapahuwa — close to "Udagama," the first village to be set up under Gam Udawa — the Village Reawakening Program," Premadasa said.

In addition to those trained in Tri Star factories itself, the Tri Star group runs a large number of Rural Training Centres. "Even when I was in the opposition, Mr. Dewapura obliged me in setting up 15 training centres in the Hambantota District alone which have to date trained over 5,000 youths who are now gainfully employed," said Premadasa.

He said that the Academy of Apparel Technology which the Tri Star Group has set up to train middle level personnel to the apparel sector is another extension of this noble concept of Dewapura. All those who receive their certificates should be grateful to him as this training is provided free of charge. If these youths were to undergo these training courses at other places, they would each have to spend Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000.

Dewapura recalled how he started his first factory with 10 machines and 15 employees and developed the business to become one of the largest garment manufacturers in the world. "I owe all these to my dedicated employees," he said.

He said that they have set up the Academy of Apparel Technology over a year ago to train middle level personnel. The training was given free of charge and Dewapura said that if they worked hard, they too can emulate his own success story.

The leading industrialist recalled how he went to London for a course in apparel technology much against his mother’s wishes. His first job was at Mayura Garments where he began on a salary of Rs. 200. But with hard work and commitment he had been able to develop his business to its present size.