In a solemn ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning, Minister Mangala Samaraweera handed over compensation and salary dues totaling Sri Lanka Rupees 50 million to the family members of thirty-three deceased Sri Lankan migrant workers who had been employed in the Middle East and in Malaysia.
The funds handed over today were secured in consultation with and through the intervention of Sri Lanka’s Embassies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan.
Apart from the funds disbursed today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of Sri Lanka’s Missions overseas, has already handed over approximately 63 million Sri Lanka Rupees among 58 families as compensation, salary dues and other forms of redress this year.
The Ministry also secured 195 million Sri Lanka Rupees as compensation, salary dues and other forms of redress which were disbursed among 180 families in 2014. A portion of these funds were secured through litigation.
The families for whom the Ministry obtains such compensation are from different parts of the country. The deceased workers, the injured as well as victims of harassment are mainly those who have been engaged in unskilled work.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sri Lanka Missions overseas negotiate with the authorities, sponsors and employers in the countries concerned on a regular basis to obtain such compensation and dues for migrant workers who are engaged in legitimate employment overseas, on valid visas. (Colombo Gazette)