By Thilini De Silva
A group of Sri Lankan expatriates in the United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates, Maldives and other countries has requested the Sri Lankan government to help them return to the island due to the global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many expatriates have taken to social media to recount their experiences and request the government to help them return. A greater number of these Sri Lankan citizens abroad include university students residing in India.
Over 600 Sri Lankan students are currently following higher education programmes in India. Taking to social media these students said the currently enforced curfew in India being extended until May 3 by the Indian government has caused them great difficulty. “Although we are safe at the moment, as we do not reside in a hostel, it has been extremely difficult to source food and drinking water. Despite the Sri Lanka High Commission providing us with drinking water, we fear that it may be difficult for us to source food in future,” Miyesi Dissanayake and Chilini Bhagya, two students in New Delhi said.
Meanwhile 85 Sri Lankan medical doctors who are currently engaged in a government sponsored specialist training programme in the UK have written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stating their wishes to return to Sri Lanka, sources said. The group of doctors has stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly in the UK, adding that they are willing to return to Sri Lanka funding their own airfare and will voluntarily subject themselves to the state quarantine programme upon return
Many expatriates have taken to social media to recount their experiences and request the government to help them return