The International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s new Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka today presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo.
Sarat Dash, previously served as IOM’s Chief of Mission in Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal and Azerbaijan. He was also IOM’s Special Envoy to India and Bhutan. An Indian national, Dash joined IOM in 1998 with over 15 years of experience in development sector in South Asia.
While acknowledging the strong relationship between IOM and his Government, the Foreign Minister emphasized on IOM’s engagement in reconciliation and peace building (particularly in transitional justice), reintegration programme and counter trafficking issues.
“There is an urgent need for skills development for migrant workers to meet the demands of destination countries”, he added.
Dash assured the Minister of his commitment to work closely with the Government of Sri Lanka, UN system and other stakeholders to serve the migrants and their communities around them during his tenure in Sri Lanka.
As the leading intergovernmental agency dealing with migration, IOM, which has 173 Member States, acts with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management; to advance understanding of migration issues; to encourage social and economic development through migration; and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.
Sri Lanka became an IOM Member State in 1990 and IOM’s first office in the country opened in 2002.
It currently has over 100 staff distributed among its Head Office in Colombo, a Migrant Health & Operations Centre in Colombo, and four Sub-Offices located in Jaffna, Kilinochchi (covering Mullaitivu), Vavuniya (covering Mannar) and Batticaloa. (Colombo Gazette)