By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The public hearing by the US State Department on alleged violations of labour rights in Sri Lanka will be held in Washington on Tuesday,government sources said today
Statements from representatives of the Sri Lankan government and Trade Unions would be recorded, Free Trade Zone Workers Union (FTZWU) President Anton Marcus who complained to the State Department said he would also be testifying at the inquiry.
Labour Ministry Secretary Mahinda Madihahewa said a six-member team comprising of Commerce Director General Gomis Senadheera, Deputy Director Gothami Indikadahewa; External Affairs Ministry Acting DG Varuni Muthukumarana, Labour Ministry Senior Legal Advisor Poshitha Perera, External Affairs Ministry Assistant Director R.P.Wimalasena, Labour Ministry Senior Assistant Secretary U.S. Athukorala of would represent Sri Lanka at the public hearing.
The State Department had initiated action against Sri Lanka based on a petition to America Free Labour Council of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) by the FTZWU. The matter has serious implications since it could put the United States GSP concessions to Sri Lanka in jeopardy.