Only a small number of migrant workers want to return to Sri Lanka – Cabinet Spokesman
ECONOMYNEXT- Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said 9,580 Sri Lankans from 38 countries who wanted to return has been brought back to the country so far.
Speaking this morning at the Cabinet briefing, he said that Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena has informed the cabinet that due to various reasons only a small number of Sri Lankans migrant workers have notified their respective embassies that they want to return home.
“We believe there are about 1.3 million Sri Lankans employed abroad but only 53,401 have requested to return home,” he said.
Gunawardena said that migrant workers from a total of 117 countries had requested to return home and from that 9,580 Sri Lankans from 38 countries have been brought back to Sri Lanka so far and 10 flights have been scheduled in the month of June to bring more Sri Lankans from 10 countries.
However, he said since most of the returnees were tested positive for COVID-19 and since there is limited facilities in hospitals and quarantine centres to accommodate them the repatriation process will take time.
And he added as no COVID-19 patients were found in the country for months the repatriation process will also be done carefully to avoid a second wave within the country.
Further, he said that Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has said at the Cabinet meeting that his ministry is continuously working with the Sri Lankan embassies around the world for the security and healthcare of the Sri Lankan migrant workers. (Colombo, June 25, 2020)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe