By Indika Sri Aravinda
The Government will resume repatriation flights from 31 July to bring down Sri Lankans who were stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional Secretary to the President Admiral Jayanath Colombage said two flights have been scheduled for 31 July and 01 August to repatriate Sri Lankans from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Nearly 600 Sri Lankans are expected to return via the two flights.
The next few flights have been scheduled predominantly focussing on the Middle East, especially countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Admiral Jayanath Colombage further said close to 50, 000 Sri Lankans stranded overseas have registered with their relevant embassies requesting to be repatriated.
As a majority of these Sri Lankans have lost their jobs and places of residence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the responsibility of the Government to assist them and repatriate them, he said.
Colombage further said once they are repatriated attention will be focused on creating and granting jobs for these Sri Lankans, adding that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been notified and briefed in this regard.
The Government has at the moment permitted selected passengers to return to Sri Lanka despite repatriation flights that operated earlier during the coronavirus pandemic being temporarily halted. (Colombo Gazette)