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27,000 overseas Sri Lanka citizens want to return, 19,000 from Kuwait

ECONOMYNEXT – Over 27,000 overseas Sri Lankans have said they want to return to the country, with 17,000 in Kuwait who had been declared ‘out of status’ Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry quoted Secretary Ravinatha Ariyasinghe as saying.

This number includes over 17,000 migrant workers and dependents, 6,000 students and about 3,000 short term visa holders and tourists.

In Kuwait 19,000 workers were ‘out of status’ and had been given an amnesty, the foreign ministry said.

Sri Lanka was in discussions with Kuwait to extend the amnesty and bring them back when quarantine facilities were available, Ariyasinghe had said.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Kuwaiti Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah have also talked on the phone over the matter.

International organizations such as IOM, Caritas and Red Crescent societies have helped Sri Lanka missions, he said.

(Colombo/Apr27/2020)