Over 400 Sri Lankans stranded in the UAE return

Over 400 Sri Lankans who were stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a result of the coronavirus, returned to the country today.

Officials said that 420 Sri Lankans arrived at the Bandaranike International Airport (BIA) today.

Most of those who returned had been employed as domestic workers in the UAE.

Meanwhile, although a very small percentage of the Sri Lankan population in the UAE wanted to go back home due to the present health situation, many among them changed their minds thanks to new job opportunities, a top Sri Lankan diplomat has said.

“Of an estimated 300,000 Sri Lankans here, less than ten percent of them – around 25,000 – had registered with the Sri Lankan diplomatic missions a few months ago for repatriation. Now, many of them do not want to go as they have started getting new jobs after the economy opened up here,” Malraj De Silva, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

When the embassy contacted 2,000 registrants last week, only 547 came forward for seats in repatriation flights arranged by the mission, De Silva revealed.

Most registrants are those who have lost their jobs and many of them want to stay back after finding new jobs or at least some sort of job offers. (Colombo Gazette)