'Air tickets ready to bring them home' | Daily News

'Air tickets ready to bring them home'

Allegation on stranded workers in Kuwait:

Parliamentarian Manusha Nanayakkara dismissed claims made by MP Namal Rajapaksa that stranded Sri Lankans in Kuwait did not have sufficient funds to buy air tickets to return home, adding that the government had completed all visa and consular matters prior to Namal’s visit to Kuwait.

He made these observations at the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau on Wednesday.

“As a member of Parliament, I am disappointed and disheartened to see MP Namal Rajapaksa trying to gain political mileage from woes and sorrows of Sri Lankan migrant workers. I ask the workers not to allow anyone to exploit or take advantage of their situation in such a manner,” he said.

Nanayakkara, while showing proof of the purchase of the air tickets said that the Sri Lankan government, as it did in the past for migrant workers who have had issues with their employers, had already paid for their return air tickets.

“We had already made plans for them to return home, there was no need of MP Rajapaksa to collect money on their behalf. The MP has made this request on Twitter to another person called Senani. We wonder whether this is the same person who is embroiled in a controversy over a money laundering case.”

He added that if MP Rajapaksa was referring to the same person, requesting that person to collect money would amount to a form of corruption.

He added that the number of migrant workers seeking assistance from the Bureau over welfare issues has drastically reduced over the years.

In 2010, around 10,970 migrant workers had sought assistance following various conflicts with their employers.

The figure has reduced to 2,382 in 2018, he revealed adding that the number was declining due to the many initiatives taken by the government over the last few years.

He added that there were 13 Sri Lankans, out of whom 12 had gone on visit visas and sought employment. He said that all 13 would be brought home.

In addition, the Bureau would also ascertain the claims that issues faced by Sri Lankan migrant workers in Saudi were not being looked into by officials.

Meanwhile, UNP MP Hector Appuhamy said that he would travel to Saudi Arabia on March 1, along with two other officials from the Foreign Employment Bureau to ascertain these claims.

‘There are only 211 Sri Lankans in all of our welfare centres in the Middle East. The government, as it did in the past, will ensure their matters are resolved. We will try to find them alternative employment, if not they will return home,’ he said.


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