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Sri Lanka: Precarious work conditions in fireworks' factories reported

Author: Smriti Daniel, AlJazeera, Published on: 4 July 2016

Kimbulapitiya...village in the south of the island is known all over Sri Lanka as rathinna gammanaya - literally, the "fireworks village"...However, when Kimbulapitiya makes headlines, it is rarely good news. Each year, on average, four or five people die in this rural community, says Lorrence, the founding chairman of the Fireworks Manufacturers Association of Sri Lanka and its current vice chairman... Disregarding government regulations, people take the work into their bedrooms and kitchens. Labour laws are more strictly enforced than they used to be, but even children help with simpler tasks...KPN Jayatilaka and his wife, Lashika, own Jayahanda Firecrackers....They say their business is precarious due to unreliable labour. Also, when accidents happen, it is the owners who bear the full cost of compensating workers and their families. They are desperately in need of mechanisation, training and support from the government, which they hope will lead to safer chemicals being imported.

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