Neither Indian nor any other national visited Minuwangoda facility- Brandix | Sunday Observer

Neither Indian nor any other national visited Minuwangoda facility- Brandix

11 October, 2020
Minuwangoda Brandix factory workers sent for quarantine  Pic: Samantha Weerasiri
Minuwangoda Brandix factory workers sent for quarantine Pic: Samantha Weerasiri

As allegations levelled against Brandix mounted the company issued a press statement refuting them. One of the biggest complaints was that the company had brought down Indian nationals who did not follow quarantine laws.

“We can confirm that no parties from India or any other country have had access to the facility during this period.

We would also like to clarify that our facility in Minuwangoda does not use any fabric from India nor has it taken in any orders from our facility in India as well,” the company said adding that the employees returning to Sri Lanka from India on chartered flights followed due health guidelines.

Brandix operated three chartered flights to bring Sri Lankan employees and their families from Visakhapatnam India.

The company confirmed that all returnees adhered to the protocol for the prevention and control of Covid-19 which includes PCR testing and a 14-day quarantine and a 14-day self-quarantine under the supervision of Public Health Inspectors.

The company statement added, it must also be noted that none of these Sri Lankans nor their family members visited the Minuwangoda manufacturing facility.It was brought to the company’s notice a social media video that was circulating accusing the Brandix management of forcing employees to work despite detecting the first Covid-19 patient within its Minuwangoda facility.

“We have identified that the primary female party is the owner of a hostel, while the two members occupying her hostel and the supervisor being referred to are employed by a third-party cleaning service provider contracted by the Brandix Minuwangoda facility. We confirm that none of these individuals are employees of Brandix,” the company release stated.

Also refuting allegations levelled against Brandix, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva said the claims made on social media accusing the company of housing 20 Indians at the Brandix facility in Minuwangoda were baseless.


However, the Public Inspectors Association said none of the Brandix employees who arrived in Sri Lanka from India was quarantined under the supervision of Public Inspectors.

Fabric and Apparel Accessory Manufactures Association (FAAMA) called the incident ‘unfortunate’ and said that Brandix was a key contributor to the country’s apparel and textile industry.

“On October 4 a Brandix employee from a facility in Minuwangoda was confirmed positive after she was subjected to a PCR test. Based on this finding as a responsible corporate entity Brandix engaged with the relevant authorities to conduct PCR tests for the entire workforce and their immediate family. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, there was a rise in Covid-19 positive cases in Sri Lanka,” FAAMA’s President Pubudu De Silva said.

This is an unfortunate incident, he said adding that no company or industry will intentionally put their workforce or people at risk.

The apparel sector is one of the country’s largest exporting arms, generating an income of over USD five billion a year while providing employment to over 1 million Sri Lankans.

The sector has always been recognised globally by leading brands as an industry that complies with global standards in social, environmental and governmental or international regulations.

This track record has given prominence to Sri Lanka on the global platform. The Industry is fervently committed to continue complying with these standards in the future.

“As a nation we owe much to the apparel and textile sector workers, who even during the height of the pandemic, have discharged their duties to bring in the much needed foreign exchange to the country.

They have also manufactured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and medical gowns for our very own healthcare workers and armed forces,” FAAMA said.

Donating funds

It added that the apparel and textile industry also stepped-up during the peak of Covid-19 by donating funds, equipment and lending certain facilities to be used as quarantine centers by the Government of Sri Lanka.

FAAMA urged the public to be empathetic and respectful towards all families affected by this situation.“We urge people to work together with the relevant authorities as well as to be responsible in dealing with social media to protect the image of our industry and country during these trying times. Let’s stand together as one nation and pull through this with dignity and respect for one another,” FAAMA’s president added.

Brandix is yet to address several other allegations made against it with regard to disregarding of health and safety of workers.