Nearly 5,000 Lankans brought back | Daily News

Nearly 5,000 Lankans brought back

Higher Education, Technology and Innovation and Information and Media Minister Dr Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday that around 5,000 Sri Lankan expatriates have been brought to Sri Lanka by now. 

Addressing a special media conference at the Government Information Department Minister Gunawardena said that more than 41,000 Sri Lankan expatriates are waiting to return Sri Lanka and the Government will take measures to bring them back gradually.

The Minister urged all Sri Lankans abroad to understand the current situation of the country and be patient since the Government is taking all possible measures to bring them bring them back gradually. 

He said the Government has been going ahead with its programme of repatriation of students of Sri Lankans who wanted to return to Sri Lanka on the basis of maximum vulnerability. Accordingly Sri Lankan students have been prioritized and around 3,000 students have already been bought back to the country.   

The relevant authorities convene every Wednesdays under the patronage of Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to decide on the priority list.           

He said Government has already taken measures to increase quarantine facilities and apart from the quarantine facilities provided by the government, after discussing with the University Grant Commission and the vice chancellors of respective universities, the Ministry of Higher Education has already taken measures to provide quarantine facilities for the Sri Lankan students coming from abroad in the hostels of University of Moratuwa, Faculty of Technology and University of Sri Jayewardenepura Faculty of Technology, University of Faculty of Technology in Pitipana, Homagama and Godagama Technical College. . 

"But there is a limit of providing quarantine facilities. So Sri Lankans abroad should understand this situation. The Government cannot complete this process overnight," he added.  

He further added that around 2.6 million Sri Lankans currently live in 143 foreign countries and 1.5 million of them are on employment and the other on education and business purposes. But we have only 67 foreign missions. 

Foreign Relations Ministry, East Asia, South-East Asia and Oceania Division Director General Kandeepan Balasubramaniam said that around 10,000 Sri Lankans abroad contacted the Foreign Ministry via 'Contact Sri Lanka web site' and the Ministry has already given relevant instructions to them. 

Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau Additional General Manager, W.M.V. Wanasekara said that Rs 9.5 million have already been allocated to 16 embassies to provide facilities including dry rations, health and sanitary facilities for Sri Lankans in those countries.  

Meanwhile, a special Myanmar airline flight carrying Sri Lankan workers who were on leave will leave from Mattala airport to South Korea on May 26. "It is compulsory for all Sri Lankan workers to obtain a special quarantine certificate from the director of South Korean human Resource management office before return to South Korea," Wanasekara added.       



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