Repatriation of Lankans will continue - Minister | Daily News


Repatriation of Lankans will continue - Minister

There seems to be a sinister move to create unrest among Sri Lankans living overseas who yearn to return to the country with a view to bringing the Government into disrepute, Industrial Exports and Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday.

The Opposition’s attempt at inciting unrest among overseas Sri Lankans seeking return to motherland is gaining cheap political mileage by putting the government into trouble,” the Minister added.

We have never underestimated the valuable support given by Sri Lankans living abroad specially migrant workers for present President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the previous Presidential election in 2019. Migrant workers are now considered the principal source of foreign exchange earnings in Sri Lanka and they have the clear vision of the future of the motherland. ,” he added.

Over 38,983 Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs) in 143 countries were seeking to return home. This comprises 3,078 students, 4,040 short term visa holders, 27,854 Migrant workers, 3527 dependents and 484 dual citizens and others. Meanwhile since April 21, up to now, 10,000 OSLs have been repatriated from 21 countries, largely comprising foreign students and government officials on training, as well as their dependents. Most of all have successfully undergone the quarantine process while some of them are still in the quarantine centers.

The Government intends to bring down every last Sri Lankan who wishes to return to the Motherland at this difficult time.We will not give up the programme of repatriation of migrant workers under any circumstances. Although it is the government’s responsibility to repatriate every Sri Lankan citizen, it should be done in a manner that does not pose an issue to the health of the general public.

He added that the the government is not ready put the lives of the people in Sri Lanka as well as migrant workers at a risk. It is the responsibility of government to protect all. Therefore, we request the Sri Lankans living abroad especially migrant workers to understand this situation and stay patiently. We urge them not to deceived by any narrow political campaigns by the Opposition and stay patient.

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