China’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao lauded the Economic Development Ministry’s efforts to uplift the living conditions of about 1000 handloom textile weavers in Upper Madampella, Divulapitiya. This village is well-known for the handloom textile industry.
Ambassador Jianghao said this when he addressed a ceremony held in connection with the distribution of handlooms among 57 weavers who completed their training at the Upper Madampella Liya Abhiman Handloom Textile Designing Development and Service Centre yesterday.
They were the second batch to be trained by the centre. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa presided over the event. The Chinese Ambassador expressed his appreciation of the Minister’s contribution to strengthen to historic ties between China and Sri Lanka.
Having noted the immense difficulties traditional handloom textile weavers in Upper Madampella faced several years ago in the past, Minister Basil Rajapaksa launched a special program jointly with the Liya Abhiman organisation to motivate and encourage them in building up the industry.
It was for this purpose that the Liya Abhiman Handloom Textile Designing Development and Service Centre were set up. The first batch of 65 weavers trained by the centre received handlooms and other facilities last 14 December. They are now successfully engaged in their business.
New designs and new technology were introduced to manufacturers under the program. The Liya Abhiman Organisation renovated with the Economic Development Ministry’s assistance a dilapidated building at Ihala Madampalle to house the Centre for training the textile weavers to manufacture textiles of high value. Handlooms for the second batch were provided with funds from the Chinese Ambassador. The third batch was recruited during the same ceremony.
The Handloom Textile Industry in Sri Lanka has a centuries-old history, going back to the Vijaya-Kuveni era. This tradition of handloom weaving has been brought down from generation to generation in the country. These weavers succeeded in creating a distinct identity of their own by transforming the traditional woven patterns and colour schemes into the beautiful textile designs.
Liya Abhiman Organsation’s Chairperson Attorney Pushpa Rajapaksa, MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Western Provincial Council members Chandana Jayakody, Chandrika Sakalasuriya, Nelum Mallawa and Sandhya Siriwardena, Industrial Development Ministry Secretary Anura Siriwardena and Coconut Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Somaweera were among the large number of people present at the event.