Foreign ministry seeks additional funds for expatriate Sri Lankans

Foreign ministry seeks additional funds for expatriate Sri Lankans

Foreign ministry seeks additional funds for expatriate Sri Lankans

Written by Staff Writer

16 Apr, 2020 | 2:32 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it has sought additional funds from the treasury to meet the requirements of expatriate Sri Lankans.

In a statement, the ministry noted that these funds will be used to distribute dry rations and to assist difficulties faced by Sri Lankans stranded overseas owing to travel restrictions in place due to COVID – 19.

“This is in addition to funds already allocated by the foreign ministry and services provided by missions,” the statement read.

Treasury documents seen by News1st show that Rs 3.6 million has been allocated to the foreign relations ministry from the Consolidated Fund for its expenses from March until the end of May.

In a statement, the ministry said it has also allocated grants from the Workers’ Welfare Fund to all migrant workers irrespective of their registration status.

In addition, foreign secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha during a meeting with Sri Lankan envoys on Wednesday had also discussed issues faced by migrant workers due to violation of contracts and loss of employment.

The ministry said it had “instructed Sri Lankan missions to commence negotiations with local authorities and respective labour ministries to reach possible settlements” regarding these matters.

Meanwhile, more than 59,000 Sri Lankan expatriates have registered with the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ online portal, among which 21,575 are from the middle-east region.

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