SRI LANKA: Workers Rights – Korean Factory Closes in Sri Lanka 


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-08-2003-01
ISSUES: Labour rights,


Complaint Against Young Seok, Song (Y.S. Song).

Tel number in Korea: Tel:+82-2-2272-4340 Tel/Fax:+82-2-545-1031

Name of the factory in Sri Lanka – Young Jee & Ones Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.


Relocation date : June 1, 1999

New Address : 300-9, Yumgok-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea

Tel.(rep) : (82-2) 3460-7114

Fax.(rep) : (82-2) 3460-7777

Information on KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) homepage –

The Complaint Forwarded by Asian Human Rights Commission


Company Goods Disposed of by the Employer’s Friends

Workers Lose Jobs, Contributions to Employment Provident Fund and Employment Trust Fund

To view photographs of the workers:

Fifty-seven workers lost their jobs when a Korean-owned company was closed without any consultation with the workers. After the employer had left Sri Lanka, he informed, by fax, of the fact that the company was now closed. Sri Lankan law requires that the permission of the Commissioner of Labour must be obtained before such a closure takes place. No such permission was obtained. Now a senior police officer attached to the Paliagoda police headquarters is said to be pilfering all the goods in the factory which closed, in Kandana.

The factory is the Young Jee and Ones Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. The Korean investor’s official address is Aniyakandewatte, Nagoda, Kandana. The company produced artificial flowers with man made fibres. The factory started in September 1991, with over 800 people working there. The name of the owner is Young Seok Song (Y S Song). When he started the factory in 1991, he had a Korean partner, Mr K. Choi, but in 1995 they separated and Mr Choi started another factory (which is still in operation) in close vicinity to the original factory. The number of employees at the time of the secret closure was 57. There is a deficit of Rs 450,000 in payments to the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and ETF (Employees Trust Fund) which should have been sent to the Central Bank for each employee.

The factory was closed effective from 4 April 2003. The manager left the country a few months ago, and informed by fax that the factory was closed. This was not done in a legal manner. The Commissioner of Labour’s approval was not sought, nor had the employer informed the other relevant authorities, like the BOI (the Board of Investments) who are directly involved with foreign investment. According to the law of the country, if a factory is closed, then the employees should be informed in due time before the closure, and the reason(s) for the closure given.

There are also over 100 subcontractors who have been affected by this closure and who are troubled that they haven’t received their dues.

The order of closure was delivered to the factory by a friend of Mr Song, a senior police officer living in the area. This senior police officer is now using the company property, such as cars, and even selling some of them. He is Mr Priyantha Jayakody. Even before the closure, he removed vehicles with registration numbers 59- 8880, 57 ?652 and 57- 0413, stating that these vehicles were to be sold to pay the dues.

On 4 April, he paid the monthly salaries for March. He took two other vehicles, numbered 61-5916 and 61-1516, from the factory premises and subsequently removed the power generator, barrels, and equipment used for the production, even raw materials. When some of those who lost employment approached Mr Jayakody, he is reported to have threatened them and stated that he is everything for his Korean friend and he is not afraid of anything. The workers are afraid to lodge any complaints to anyone for fear of this police officer. The workers who toiled for over 11 years are without their EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and ETF (Employees Trust Fund) and gratuity, and have received no compensation.

To view photographs of the workers:


Send letters to:

Republic of Korea:

Mr Chang-Kuk Kim (President)

National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea

16 Euljiro 1-ga


Seoul 100-842


Phone: 82 2 2125 9700



Sri Lanka:

Mr Godfrey Gunatilleke (Commissioner)

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

No. 36 Kynsey Road

Colombo 8

Sri Lanka

Tel: 94 1 694 925

Fax: 94 1 694 924


Thank you.


Urgent Appeals Programme Coordinator

Asian Human Rights Commission


Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D,7 Floor,16 Argyle Street
Mongkok Commercial Centre
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR

Tel: +(852)-2698-6339
Fax: +(852)-2698-6367

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-08-2003-01
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Labour rights,