Sri Lanka to revive handloom craft

Aug 03, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to revive its handloom textile industry in the war-torn north-east with a project modelled on the Rwandan Peace Collection where baskets woven by war-widows were sold at Macy’s department stores. “Local handloom producers need to develop and use natural dyes, such as spices, flowers and wood chips. The project by the Minister of Industry and Commerce is meant to help revive livelihoods of families in the north-east after the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

“The number of this socially vulnerable group including widows in the North and East was 49.000 in 2002 but increased to 82,000 in 2009,” a ministry statement said.

“The initiative plans to support a portion of the female headed households in the north-east provinces with livelihood support while assisting towards their responsibility of looking after the needs of nurturing their families.”

The project will be implemented through existing weaving centres in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullathivu, Killinochchi, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Ampara.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiutheen said a ‘Cross Functional’ special division is to be formed to fast-track the ˜Sri Lan