Terry Hawkins Industries, a rural manufacturer of Victorian replica bath fittings, is expanding production and expects to hire 30 new employees over the next five years. The Office of Economic Development is providing a $160,000 repayable loan towards the $700,000 expansion. New equipment and improved facilities will allow the company to widen its product line to include replica Victorian bathtubs and other specialty items. “The additional production means new jobs for local workers,” said Economic Development Minister Richard Hurlburt. “We are pleased that we can help this company expand in an area where skilled workers who are looking for employment can train for these new jobs.” The company began operations in 2005 and has 11 employees. It has steadily increased its client base, and now has a North American distributor. “This expansion is important to the company’s continued growth,” said company president Terry Hawkins. “With the financial assistance provided by the province, we will be able to win new contracts and expand our markets.” Terry Hawkins Industries has secured orders and expressions of interest for replica Victorian products and a new pultrusion machine, used for the manufacture of composite fibreglass materials, has been installed. The company expects to ramp up production once the expansion is complete and employees are trained. In addition to the distribution deal, the company is considering developing a catalogue and an e-commerce website so they can sell directly to consumers. Construction on the expansion has begun and is expected to be complete by the end of February 2007. The provincial funding is a repayable loan by the Industrial Expansion Fund. With a return on investment of three dollars for every dollar spent, the fund has helped create or maintain more than 3,000 jobs in the province over the past two years.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) has raised serious concerns about the statement made in Parliament by Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe MP, Minister of Justice about the Muslim community.MCSL noted that the Minister has implied that 32 Muslims have joined the ISIS recently. MCSL said it strongly objects to the misplaced statement. “The Thableeq Jamath, Sunnath Jamath, Thowheed Jamath and Jamaithe Islam and several other organizations are all Muslim religious and social service organisations. They do not promote any form of violence as implied by Hon. Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Certain parts of his statement are verbatim of the hate speech spewed by the extremist priest Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. The Muslims of Sri Lanka has a long history of peaceful co-existence and have stood with the Sri Lankans at good times and at times of adversity. The entire Muslim community has condemned the un-Islamic comments of the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, Abdul Razick. Twenty-three Muslim Religious and Civil Society organizations headed by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema issued a statement condemning the speech made by SLTJ’s,” MCSL said.MCSL also said that a little known fact that did not attract any media attention in July 2013 was that the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema and Muslim civil society intervened in court in support of Ven. Soranathota Chandrarathana Thero who filed action and pleaded with the magistrate to sentence Abdul Razick and six others with maximum punishment. MCSL also noted that as alleged by the Minister, no Muslim international school invites extremists to indoctrinate its children with fundamentalism.MCSL urged Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to provide the evidence and take immediate action against anyone may have violated the laws of the land irrespective of ethnicity or religion. (Colombo Gazette) “The facts given by the Honourable Minister were reported in the media more than one year ago when a Sri Lankan combatant died fighting with ISIS. There have been no new reports of any others involved since this was reported last year. It is believed that one family had gone to Syria to provide humanitarian support to the war wounded and refugees. Some of the men are alleged to have joined or forced to join the fighting forces of ISIS. The Muslim community, including the Muslim Council, Jamiathul Ulema and other organizations cooperated with the government in identifying the families to provide the necessary support for the intelligence agencies to investigate. Those who have gone to Syria as quoted by Hon. Rajapaksa include women and children,” MCSL said. MCSL said Rajapakshe’s statement comes at a very opportune time to certain extremist elements bent on tarnishing the image of the Muslim community for reasons only best known to them.