Former JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti today questioned the government on its policy on Sri Lankan expatriates stranded in countries such as Kuwait, Maldives, Dubai and Qatar because of the COVID-19 outbreak and asked whether funds have been allocated to our embassies overseas to provide welfare facilities to the stranded Sri Lankans.
He told a news conference that thousands of Sri Lankan expatriates were stranded in UAE, Middle Eastern countries and Maldives without jobs and other facilities and that they were even without food.
“The government promised to bring down Sri Lankan expatriates in stages under the quarantine laws. But now it has stopped bringing them back. Most of them had even purchased air tickets. Now they are helpless,” Mr. Handunhetti said.
He said they had proposed to the government to use Kuwait Fund to provide facilities to those stranded in Kuwait but it has not been done so yet.
“This fund can be used to provide food and other facilities to those stranded there. Sri Lankan embassies in those countries are helpless. They cannot do anything without funds. Government has no policy on expatriates,” Mr. Handunnetti said.
He said the government had given priority only to bring down selected groups of people and asked who gave the approval to bring a group of Seychelles nationals to Sri Lanka while Sri Lankans were still stranded there.(Ajith Siriwardana)