Diplomatic talks underway to evacuate SL expatriates in Yemen (Watch report)

Diplomatic talks underway to evacuate SL expatriates in Yemen (Watch report)

Written by Staff Writer

29 Mar, 2015 | 10:03 pm

Inquiries made by News1st have revealed that diplomatic talks are still underway to secure the evacuation of Sri Lankan expatriates trapped in the Yemeni Capital Sanaa, amid heightening tensions in the country.

A joint force led by Saudi Arabia, carried out air strikes for a fourth continuous day on Sunday March 29, against Iran backed Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Foreign media reports say that the airstrikes have targeted Houthi positions and military infrastructure in and around the cities of Aden and Sanaa.

Reports indicates that at least 120 Sri Lankans are in the capital Sanaa and surrounding areas. News1st made inquiries from the Foreign Employment Bureau, regarding steps that have been taken to evacuate Sri Lankan nationals from Yemen.

Deputy General Manager of Foreign Employment Bureau Mangala Randeniya said that all preparations have been made to relocate all Sri Lankans working in Yemen, to Saudi Arabia, unharmed and are engaging in the task of rescuing them in coordination with the Embassy in Oman and the Yemeni authorities.

Although News 1st made several attempts to contact officials at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman to make further inquiries, our attempts were not successful.

We also contacted the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

Head of Chancery in Riyadh U.L. Nihaz noted that Oman has not informed them. Speaking further he added:

It cannot happen without us knowing either. We are also looking into the situation. We too are waiting for instructions. Oman hasn’t said anything. We need to look into it too.

Inquiries revealed that there is no diplomatic process underway to evacuate the Sri Lankan workers in Yemen.

As of this evening however, the stance of the Foreign Employment Bureau had changed.

Deputy General Manager of Foreign Employment Bureau Mangala Randeniya said that Acting Sri Lankan Ambassador in Oman has held talks with the Pakistani and Indian Embassies in Oman. He went onto note that discussions revealed that since all of these people are secure, there is no immediate need to evacuate them to another country.

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