- So far around 4,500 migrant workers have returned to the country
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The government was in the process of making arrangements for the repatriation of another 41,000 Sri Lankans in a systematic manner, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.
Due to the current global situation, the government implemented a programme to bring back Sri Lankans from other countries and so far around 4,500 migrant workers have returned to the country, he added.
Minister Pathirana told the media that the cabinet gave the nod to a proposal submitted by Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in this respect.
Accordingly, from May 21st migrant workers and Sri Lankans from Indonesia will be repatriated, students from Russia will be repatriated from May 22 and from May 23rd Sri Lankans at high risk areas in Bangladesh will be repatriated.
On May 26th Sri Lankan migrant workers from Qatar will be repatriated and from May 28th students studying in Belarus will be brought back home, Minister Pathirana said.
“Thereafter, Sri Lankans in the Middle East and the Maldives will be repatriated, said Minister Ramesh Pathirana, adding that around 6,870 Sri Lankans living in the Maldives have appealed to the government to bring them back home.
Hence, he said that the President had his attention focused on bringing these Sri Lankans back home from the Maldives and the Middle East.
Minister Pathirana said that arrangements were being made to repatriate around 11,000 Sri Lankans who are on short term visas in foreign countries, but added that Sri Lanka would not send special aircrafts to bring them back. However, arrangements will be made to bring them back in a systematic manner and Cabinet approval has been obtained for it.