Stranded Sri Lankans in Seychelles seek presidential mediation | Daily News


Stranded Sri Lankans in Seychelles seek presidential mediation

A high number of Sri Lankans have been undergoing untold hardships in the Republic of Seychelles since they have not been facilitated to return to Sri Lanka even though many of them have booked air tickets in March and April for the purpose, a member of the ‘Seychelles Lankika Api’ Association said.

He said the tourist industry that is the main revenue of Seychelles has been inoperative for many months now because of the COVID 19 and a high number of Sri Lankans who have been employed in the sector are now jobless. They do not have money even for their basic facilities. Those who are on vacations too have been stranded in Seychelles without ways to return, he said.

Therefore, those stranded Sri Lankans request the President of Sri Lanka to take suitable steps as soon as possible to get them back in Sri Lanka since they are facing severe hardships amidst the threat of COVID infection.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Relations last week said the government is making early arrangements to facilitate their return to Sri Lanka .

“Considering the many Sri Lankans residing and working in Seychelles who have registered their interest in returning to Sri Lanka, the Government is making arrangements to facilitate their return to Sri Lanka in compliance with the existing regulations and availability of quarantine facilities in the country,” a Ministry release said.

Excerpts from the release: The Sri Lanka High Commission in Seychelles has been liaising with the Sri Lankan community members and has taken the initiative to appoint a Joint Committee under the leadership of the Mission which includes the Sri Lankan Association, Seychelles Buddhist Association, and the Lakstar Cricket Club, to render support to Sri Lankans who are in need of assistance. The Mission has also distributed food supplies to the community upon their request and has se up a 24-hour hotline through which Sri Lankans can constantly reach the Mission.

The Mission has continuously maintained communication with the many Sri Lankans who have registered at the Mission conveying their interest in returning to Sri Lanka having already bought air tickets, due to loss of employment, termination of employment contracts and the need for urgent medical treatment. Many are scattered among the five islands in Seychelles.

There has been only one active case of COVID-19 as of May 11 in the Seychelles and the country has not recorded any COVID-19 cases since May 11. The positive case was detected on April 6.

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