The repatriation of Sri Lankan migrant workers who are stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic will continue, the Government said today.
Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa said the repatriation of Sri Lankans will remain a top priority of the Government.
“The Government has assured all those who want to return back home that they will be brought back. There will be no changes in the repatriation process moving forward,” he said in a blog post.
He tweeted separately saying Sri Lanka is committed to assure the safe return of all migrant workers.
He said that a total of 59,377 migrants have returned as of today adding that the Government must oblige to international border regulations and consider the local capacity in Sri Lanka while adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.
Rajapaksa said that COVID-19 is a disease seen like no other and the world now has accepted the severity of it and are adapting to a new COVID-19 world, to the “new normal”.
The Minister said Sri Lanka has reopened for tourism under a pilot project as its borders have remained shut for far too long and it is time to re-open the country adhering to strict health guidelines.
Pointing out that many sectors including tourism were worst affected due to the pandemic, Minister Namal Rajapaksa said the Government has been searching for ways to kick start the economy and reopen borders.
As the first step Sri Lanka reopened the country to tourism in nine months by welcoming the first batch of tourists from Ukraine, under a trial and error basis.
Minister Rajapaksa said despite many seeing the tourist arrivals as posing a risk to local citizens, in a world where the pandemic shows no signs of leaving, Sri Lanka, too like other countries has to move forward. (Colombo Gazette)