Foreign Secretary Aryasinha says “future footprint of foreign employment Sri Lanka will provide the world, though probably smaller, could be smarter and more sustainable

1 july 2020 foreign secretary mr ravinatha aryasinha final 

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that despite its immediate gloom, the present situation has been an eye opener in many respects that could help correct structural, procedural and human interface incongruities in Sri Lanka’s labour migration. It also presents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to re-orient foreign employment in a post-Covid-19 world, sensitive to the ground realities in both Sri Lanka and the migrant labour receiving countries, so that the future footprint of Foreign Employment Sri Lanka will provide the world – though probably Smaller, could be Smarter and more Sustainable.

The Foreign Secretary made these observations when he addressed the 33rd Annual Session of the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) via a video link, on the theme “The Role of Foreign Employment in the Economic Revival of Sri Lanka; Challenges and Opportunities”.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated this year’s Annual OPA Session held on 27-28 June 2020 as a Digital Conference,on the theme ‘Bounce Back–Disasters and Opportunities”.

Secretary Aryasinha said the Covid-19 crisis had exposed the significant number of Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad who are undocumented/irregular, and as a result are ineligible to avail of medical and other benefits in their host countries, and are also vulnerable to deportation if identified. Also many of them non-registering with the SLBFE was a matter of concern. It is believed that some, who might have originally registered at the point of leaving the country, might not have subsequently renewed their registration. He urged that they register so that they enjoy the benefits of an expanded social safety net, as successfully practiced by migrant workers in countries like the Philippines, where the percentage of registered migrant workers is 96.8%.

He said, even for those who are legal, a consequence of Covid-19 has been the shrinking of the employment market, particularly with the increasing cases of unemployment, loss of contracts, non-extension of work permits and halting of temporary freelance work, which have left many of them largely destitute. It was noted that this could lead to a serious shortfall in the numbers of migrant workers who will leave for work this year and in turn a drop in worker remittances. In 2019, migrant worker’s remittances to foreign exchange earnings was 25.5 %, while its contribution to Sri Lanka’s GDP was approximately 8%.

Secretary Aryasinha said, the present situation could help in building more forward looking and resilient policies and strategies that can ensure ‘sustainable and just economies’. He noted thatSri Lanka which has had the opportunity to design and provide input on certain crucial regional modalities within the Colombo Process and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue – which brings together the Asian migrant labour sending countries, and also connects them with the labour receiving countries in the GCC, could together with the ILO and IOM, also play a greater role in the post-COVID scenario for the benefit of the migrant workers, as well as the sending and receiving countries. This would include;

ensuring the outward flow of a better trained and skilled migrant worker, one who will while able to earn more, is less likely to face the vulnerabilities presently encountered by the average Sri Lankan migrant worker, particularly the unskilled workers,

combine market research platforms to generate vocational training programmes that will serve future job markets and economic demands in countries post Covid-19, and recalibrate to inspire a work force that meets that demand,

re-formulate our education systems, and re-orient students to be a rich human resource pool for future labour markets,

expedite action in enhancing cheaper, safer and faster modes of remittance flows,

ensure that ‘migrant health’ becomes a cornerstone in the management of migrant populations.


  • The Foreign Secretary emphasized that the recent crisis has helped break the silos and ensure better intra-governmental coordination in dealing with matters concerning migrant workers – both in Colombo, as well as in the destination countries. He said, “this augurs well for future collaborative efforts as an essential element that has helped us to thrive in this unprecedented circumstance to deliver as one. We should now look forward to further strengthening and build in a strong protocol for the ‘whole of government’ approach on issues concerning foreign employment”.

Ministry of Foreign Relations
Colombo
01 July 2020


The Full text of the speech as follows:


The Role of Foreign Employment in the Economic Revival of Sri Lanka;
Challenges and Opportunities

By all accounts, it is widely acclaimed that Sri Lanka did exceptionally well in facing, managing, and since 1st May ensuring that not a single case of social transmission of Covid-19 has emerged.As at 27 June 2020 while there have been 2033 Covid-19 positive detections, only 313 (16.40) have been through social transmission.947 (46.58%) was from the ‘Navy Cluster’, and 773 (38.02%) was from imported cases. According to the Health Ministry, as we speak, with 1661 recovered, the recovery rate of Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 patients stands at 80.55 %, which is considerably higher than the world recovery rate of 56.39%. With only 11 deaths, the last on 01 June 2020, the fatality rate of Sri Lankan Covid-19 patients is only 0.55%, which is also significantly lower than the global fatality rate of 5.2%.”[1]

This success has largely been due to the leadership of President GotabayaRajapaksa who through the early appointment of a Covid-19 Task Force and constant monitoring, had prepared for all contingencies, along with the health authorities, security forces, other emergency services, as well as the public services, which marshaled their officers to adapt to and deal with the emerging challenges.

While catering to the protection and needs of those within the borders of Sri Lanka, the government was confronted with the important parallel task of addressing the ramifications of the pandemic on Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs). Around 10% of Sri Lanka’s population is overseas at the given moment, which formed anything between2 – 2.5 Million. A bulk of this number was migrant workers, estimated to be approximately 1.5 Million. According to the Central Bank report of 2019, based on those registered with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE),30% were domestic workers, 25.2 % unskilled workers, 1.5%Semi-Skilled Labour, and 30.9%Skilled Labour. The rest non-Labour category constituted – Professional 4.9%, Mid-level 2.8%, Clerical and Related 4.5%[2]. They mainly reside and work in countries in the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).

I believe your invitation to me to lead off the discussion in today’s programme, is an acknowledgement of the relevance of the Ministry of Foreign Relationsand its Missions abroad in facing the challenges presented in catering to the protection and needs of this significant category of OSLs – the Migrant Workers, under the leadership of Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who also holds the portfolio as the Minister of Foreign Employment under which comes the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE).

As a starting point, I would like to note that through a series of five ‘Notes to Cabinet’, commencing on 08 April 2020, and the most recent three days ago (on 24 June 2020), we have endeavored to anticipate the needs of Overseas Sri Lankans amidst Covid-19. These have been developed in consultation with our Missions abroad, and bilateral and group consultations with Colombo based Diplomatic representatives particularly from labour receiving countries, and also direct conversations by Sri Lankan leaders with leaders of those host nations, seeking to differentiate the categories seeking redress and to lessen to the extent possible their vulnerability.

Today, my remarks will initially focus on theimmediate twin challenges we faced over the past 5 months and continue to, in repatriatingthose who want to return home, and meeting the existential needs of the bulk of our Overseas Sri Lankan (OSLs) across the world who chose to remain where they were. However, what is more telling are the deeper lessons learnt in the process of taking care of our people overseas – which I would like to approach as Challenges and Opportunities in the realm of foreign employment, brought in to sharper focus in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. I would argue, that despite its immediate gloom, the present situation has been an eye opener in many respects that could help correct structural, procedural and human interface incongruities in labour migration. It also presents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to re-orient the opportunities of foreign employment for our people in a post-Covid-19 world, sensitive to the ground realities in both Sri Lanka and the migrant labour receiving countries, so that the future footprint of ‘Foreign Employment’ Sri Lanka will provide the world – though probably Smaller, could be Smarter and more Sustainable.

2. of those who want to return home

From the perspective of the Foreign Ministry, no doubt the biggest challenge in recent months has been to address the concerns and demands of a rather distressed OSL population wishing to return to their motherland.

In enabling repatriation of OSLs, the Foreign Ministry closely coordinateswith the Presidential Secretariat and the Covid-19 Presidential Task Force which decidesas to which flights are to be operated and the respective modalities.The SriLankanAirlines collaborates on the travel logistics, the Security Forces are responsible for quarantine and the Health Authorities prepare for medical checks and contingencies.

Sometimes this has included need to reconcile contending institutional priorities, and on occasion even requiring course-correction. This reconciling and priority settinghas been done based on feedback of the 67 Missions/Posts of Sri Lanka spread across the globe with the coordination of the Foreign Ministry. Of these Missions/Posts, we were also supported by dedicated units of the SLBFE in 16 capitals in the major migrant labour receiving states.

As of 25 June 2020,10,355 Overseas Sri Lankans have been evacuated onrepatriation flights undertaken beginning1 February 2020 when 33 students were evacuated from the danger zone in Wuhan, China. This number also includes the pilgrims who were stranded in India and other intermittent groups of workers from Italy, Republic of Korea and Europewho returnedbefore the airport closed for all arrivals on 22 March 2020. Since the opening of the airport to repatriation flights from around the worldon 21 April 2020,approximately 2,360 (22.79%) of the repatriations have been from the category of migrant workers.

However, we must be mindful thatbased on the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ web portal of the Foreign Ministry and Mission records, as was reported to the Cabinet of Ministers this week, 52,401 OSLs from 117 countries remain to be repatriated as of 16 June 2020. Students awaiting to return are 2,590 (4.9 %), short-term visa holders 5,825 (11.12%) while of the rest, 39,001 are migrant workers (74.43%), of which 26,321 (50.23%) are living in the Middle East.

From the outset, as the institution responsible for the welfare of all categories of OSLs, the Foreign Ministry’s representations to Government on repatriation have been based on bringing relief to the most vulnerable categories –i.e.students, those with medical emergencies, and the migrant workers who are out of legal status/have lost employment/in non-receipt of salaries, and are not in a position to maintain themselves in a foreign country. In all instances of repatriation flights involving migrant workers, the Foreign Ministry received guidance from the SLBFE on the ground, to prioritize those who were most vulnerable. Since mid-May, the Ministry has also been quite vocal in requesting migrant workers (as we did students and parents), to carefully weigh thepossible impact of sudden repatriation at this time on their jobs and education, before availing of the limited flights being operated by the Government for those facing compelling circumstances.[3]

The Foreign Ministry has also worked mindful of the key limiting factor, the availability of quarantine facilities. While student evacuations commenced on 21 April from South Asia, pertinent to our topic under discussion, the first batch of migrant workers repatriated was on 17 May from the UAE. The progression of the latter, hit an early difficulty following the very high rate of infection, when from those returning from Kuwait on 19 May, 372 out of 466tested positive to Covid-19. This was at a time the Sri Lanka Navy cluster was also at its height. This required a revising of the evacuation plans in the context of not only less dense quarantine facilities, but also possible increased demands on medical treatment. The need for rotational selection of destinations for repatriation – with high risk as well as low risk destinations interspersed was necessary, in order to prevent a fresh threat from emerging within the society from any repatriated person who is infected.

It is in this context that commencing 4 June the Government insisted that all passengers arriving in the country obtain PCR tests prior to boarding. Repatriation from migrant worker centric destinations was to resume on 13 June from the Maldives. As of now, according to plans laid out by the government, by the 7 July, there would have been at least one flight to all destinations which have a large migrant worker presence, with multiple flights to Male, Dubai, Qatar,Dhaka and Singapore.

Apart from large concentrations of migrant workers in the Middle East region that continue to seek to be repatriated, it is noted that there are also small pockets of migrant workers, as well as short term visa holders, dispersed in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, parts of Europe and Asia and in cities spread across USA and Canada, that have not been directly accessed through the recent/planned flights. The vulnerability of these groups is being taken into consideration when future flights are earmarked. In parallel,the allowance for use of fully paid special charter flights and group quarantine is also under consideration, outside the repatriations presently done on a strictly first come first serve basis by Sri Lanka Missions abroad.

3. Meeting the existential needs of OSLs who have chosen to remain

The Foreign Ministry’s ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Web Portal

-This serves as a virtual ‘help desk’ for the benefit of OSLs. Since its launch on 26 March 2020, to-date, 86,613 Sri Lankans have registered on the Portal and a dedicated team operating effectively 24/7, have answered 12,912 questions posed by OSLs from across the globe – mainly on assistance on repatriation and consular issues, but also relating to other operational and policy matters.

-The portal has been able to direct Sri Lankans to the nearest Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission, especially where there is no Sri Lankan representation in the countries concerned, and also to help connect vulnerable categories of Sri Lankans who are in need of food and also face medical emergencies, with provision of dry rations, medicines and in some occasions facilitating arrangements for shelter. It has also prompted streamlining issues pertaining to transfer of funds by migrants to Sri Lanka and to short term travelers and students from Sri Lanka. Some Missions have also helped students who faced issues in educational institutions and those whose employment contracts have expired to secure new employment agreements through Missions, so that they are not compelled to return due to unemployment.

Providing relief assistance

– In offering relief to vulnerable segments in the Middle East and other locations, the Ministry has disbursed over SLRs 42.6 Million to Sri Lanka Missions Abroad to provide dry rations, basic medicine, protective gear, as well as internal transportation to affected Sri Lankans to move to safer locations.

-It is noted that in destinations where procurement of dry rations is a challenge and costly due to shortages, the Ministry had procured necessary basic survival/sustenance goods and airlifted these items as per the ground requirement in each city. At present, a total of 5000 packs of dry rations/ready-to-eat food items and medicine amounting to SLRs. 15.5 Million have been dispatched to the Maldives, UAE and Qatar. SriLankan Airlines has carried these goods on a gratis basis.

Incentives in remitting foreign exchange

– Given the difficulties particularly migrant workers encountered in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19 in remitting funds to families back in Sri Lanka, and also the drastic downward trend in the inflows to the Current Account of the country, since mid-April the Foreign Ministry took steps to liaise closely with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to look at ways to promote the Special Deposit Accounts introduced by CBSL to attract foreign remittances. This was done through getting the Sri Lanka missions abroad to provide adequate publicity and encourage the Sri Lankan expat community. The other was looking at ways to encourage foreign remittances, particularly from the Middle East, for migrant workers in the Middle East to send money through established financial systems, by providing an additional payment for every dollar transferred.

-This was to see fruition recently with the government, through the central bank and state banks including the regional development bank, advocating an incentive payment scheme to all those who remits foreign currencies to Sri Lanka mainly to benefit migrant workers, in order that they get some extra money. It entails giving Rs. 10 per US Dollar equivalent to that amount, depending on the currency of remittance over the standard bank buying rate, so that inward remittance is further incentivized.We are confident that this measure will result in the increase of remittances in the short term.

Diplomatic Representations on behalf of the interests of Migrant Workers

In addition to the above efforts, Sri Lanka Missions abroad have proactively engaged in assisting a number of Sri Lankans in distress and in need of assistance with regard to their status as given below:

– Under a Special Amnesty (Sanatoria) introduced by the Italian Government, the Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome and the Consulate General in Milan have facilitated to provide consular assistance to over 10,000 Sri Lankans in the process of regularizing their visa status.

– The Sri Lanka Embassy in Beirut has successfully managed to seek PCR testing to be conducted by the Government of Lebanon for the Sri Lankans seeking to be repatriated. The Missions has been able to obtain a full waiver of the requirement of a payment of USD100 per head. Pursuant to representations made by the Sri Lanka Mission in the United Arab Emirates, the UAE and Qatar have conducted free PCR testing, for Sri Lankans seeking to be repatriated.

– With the active campaigning of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, the Romanian Government intervened and arranged to safeguard employment for 36 Sri Lankan workers stranded at the Bucharest Airport in Romania.In Jordan the Sri Lanka Embassy in Amman, has negotiated with apparel companies and had secured 46 new job opportunities for Sri Lankans who lost their jobs due to closure of their Apparel factories due to Covid-19 pandemic. Rotation of migrant workers has already commenced to the Republic of Korea.

– Initiated by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Havana, a Cuban medical team attended to the medical needs of 100 Sri Lankans employed in Haiti enabling the factory owners to continue operations under the supervision of the Cuban doctors.

Mitigating the economic impact to Sri Lanka due to the Pandemic and supporting the revival of the economy

– The Foreign Ministry has continued its engagement with key Government Economic Agencies and the private sector to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Exports which accounted for US$ 277 Million in April 2020 had increased to US$600 Million in May, and it is likely that this upward trend will maintain the momentum in the coming months in line with revised projections.

– Sri Lanka has also been able to promote new products through the assistance of the Missions’ network, particularly to find markets for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and rubber based products (face masks in 12 markets, protective gowns in 17 markets, rubber gloves in 12 markets, hand sanitizers in 12 markets). Trade facilitation efforts of the Ministry assisted in consignments of 344 MT and 220 MT of Ceylon Tea being exported to Turkey and Egypt, and 30 MT of frozen food exported to Oman, despite these challenging circumstances.

– The Ministry together with the Export Development Board additionally identified 15 potential sectors with a view to capturing new markets and also strengthening the demand in existing markets. These sectors are now being mapped out taking into account the current constraints, challenges, as well as opportunities.

– The Missions abroad and the private sector are working in collaboration with SriLankan Airlines which continues to operate cargo flights to several key destinations of economic importance to Sri Lanka. These cargo flights are also used for the purpose of repatriation of OSLs, which helps reduce the operational costs.

– The Ministry is also presently engaged with efforts led by the Tourism authorities to open the country to foreign tourists in a healthy way.

4. Challenges

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a number of vulnerabilities which have been associated with Sri Lanka’s practice of Foreign Employment, ever since it began in the 1970s.

i. Of an estimated 1.5 Million migrant workers abroad, the limited number that continues to be registered with SLBFEat the time of Covid-19 struck, is a matter of concern. It is believed that some, who might have originally registered at the point of leaving the country, however might not have subsequently renewed their registration. Effectively, they had no safety net as Covid-19 struck.


ii. Recent weeks have also exposed the significant number of Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad who are undocumented/irregular, and as a result are ineligible to avail of medical and other benefits in their host countries, and are also vulnerable to deportation if identified. In Kuwait alone, where it is estimated that there are over 110,000, there are said to be 18,000 who are out of status, according to the Kuwaiti authorities.


iii. Even for those who are legal, a consequence of Covid-19 has been the shrinking of the employment market – increasing cases of unemployment, loss of contracts, non-extension of work permits and halting of temporary freelance work, which have left many of them largely destitute. For instance in Saudi Arabia where there are an estimated 130,000 OSLs, evidence suggest that the jobs of those employed in the Domestic Sector, which includes housemaids, house drivers, gardeners, housekeeper etc.(approx. 35% of Sri Lankan migrants), has been relatively more secure. The main sector which has been affected due to Covid -19 pandemic was the ‘semi-skilled’ sector, which includes most of the service sector staff, i.e. waiters, petty chefs, baristas, cab drivers etc. 72% of the job losses were reported from the ‘semi-skilled’ sector, compared to only 9% from the domestic sector.[4]

iv. Given the contraction of the economies in the major labour receiving countries of relevance to Sri Lanka mainly in the Middle East, this could lead to a serious shortfall in the numbers of migrant workers this year. From an average of 17,000 departures per month,of those who migrated overseas for foreign employment from Sri Lanka, the numbers have virtually come to a halt at present. BileshaWeeraratnefrom Institute of Policy Studies notes that “from mid-March to end May, the missed foreign employment opportunities for Sri Lankans amount to around 37,500 jobs[5]”.


v. Correspondingly overall, the World Bank predicts that remittances to South Asia are projected to decline sharply by 22%[6].This could mean a drop in workers’ remittances from $ 6.7 Billion in 2019 to possibly around $5.23 Billion in 2020. According to the Central Bank, in April 2020 alone, remittances declined by 32%[7] which would imply a considerable gap in the contribution from migrant workers to foreign exchange earnings which in 2019 was 25.5 %,also to Sri Lanka’s GDP, which was 8% (7.8%)[8].

vi. An additional challenge or rather a realization, from a sociological and humane perspective has been the considerable disconnect between the high expectations in the mindset of the migrant workers of their relative importance within the Sri Lankan polityin terms of their contribution to the economy which has been reflected in the term “rata wiruwo”, when juxtaposed with the reality of relatively low sensitivity and attention demonstratedto their plight among the average Sri Lankan, who may have harbored concerns that an influx of those from abroad would swell the numbers of those infected domestically. If one were to read the social media posts and comments to articles on the issue of repatriation by the contending parties, this constitutes a challenge not only to those who seek to return and others who resist it, but also has a broader sociological impact on the families, including the children of those employed overseas.



5. Opportunities

Consistent with the webinar theme ‘Bounce Back – Disasters and Opportunities’, it is important that we remind ourselves, that historically, with global crisis of this magnitude, there comes certain opportunities. However, it is only those who are smart and quick to recognize the opportunity presented to re-imagine their present, and are ready to adapt and dare to look out of the box, who are able toemerge from the crisis, stronger than they were before.

i. A first step in this endeavor is to understand that it will not be possible to returnto ‘normalcy’ anytime soon, and that we will have to adjust to a ‘new normal’. Based on candid and realistic assessments on challenges we have faced, we should, individually and collectively, build up more forward looking and resilient policies and strategies that can ensure ‘sustainable and just economies’[9].

In this new beginning, individual citizens, the private sector, as well as governments, will need to work more in tandem to help economies adjust and adapt to serve the needs of the people.

ii. From a humanitarian perspective, the Covid-19 crisis could be deemed to have had the unintended consequence of having helped ease out those who were at the receiving end of the more troubled aspects of our foreign employment processes,that made migrant workers more vulnerable and exploited, but were unable to break away from it.

In fact, using this occasion, we must develop policiesto help those prospective returnees to leave their vulnerable and precarious existence, in order that they do not become even more exploited by remaining in their host countries.

iii. Through the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Web Portal’, we have also received feedback from migrant workers in some of the most fragile environments, due to the spread of Covid-19 virus. In this process, the unethical recruitment practices, loopholes in cross border migration management, lapses in welfare systems, are some issues of concern that were most exposed during the crisis. It is not that these issues were not known previously, both in labour sending and receiving countries. However, the extent of vulnerability that has been exposed is particularly concerning.

Broadly speaking, even as we promote exporting migrant labour, it is important to evolve sustainable solutions that would be needed for us to face up to future global crises, which cannot be discounted. These could range from wars and internal armed conflict, to the ramifications from climate change, challenges to food and water security and the next pandemic.

iv. Despite much discussion and pronouncements for over a decade on developing an integrated approach and surmising about the importance to have both horizontal and vertical coordination among institutions involved in migration management for better governance, ensuring a ‘whole of government’ approach has remained an aspiration. Even agreeing on updating the ‘Foreign Employment Manual’ remains unfinished business.[10]

However, the present crisis has given us the opportunity to change that and walk the talk. It has helped break the silos and ensure better intra-governmental coordination in dealing with matters concerning migrant workers – both in Colombo, as well as in the destination countries. This augurs well for future collaborative efforts as an essential element that has helped us to thrive in this unprecedented circumstance to deliver as one. We should now look forward to further strengthening and build a strong protocol for the ‘whole of government’ approach on issues concerning foreign employment.

v. The present crisis has also forced the government machinery to address migrant workers through an even more humanitarian prism, keeping the rights and wellbeing of the migrant workers at the center, irrespective of their status. While previously while all 67 Sri Lanka Missions/Posts remained responsible for the broader welfare of Sri Lankan citizens, only those registered with the SLBFE was their prime responsibility. The present crisis has seen the relaxation of this policy, to make available resources from the SLBFE’s Workers Welfare Fund, to all migrant workers irrespective of their registration status through the SLBFE units within Sri Lanka Missions abroad in 16 stations.

In turn it is hoped that this will also encourage migrant workers to register with the SLBFE, and also to continue their membership, so that they enjoy the benefits of an expanded social safety net, as successfully practiced by migrant workers in countries like the Philippines, where the percentage of registered migrant workers is 96.8%. To incentivize the continuation of registration, the migrant worker should feel the benefits of the same, with the improvement of this social benefit schemes through better insurance cover, compensation schemes, benefits for those families remaining in Sri Lanka, reintegration projects including supporting the returnees to wisely utilize their savings particularly in setting up suitable start-ups etc.

vi. We realize that almost all economies are going to continue contracting for a period, before they return to their pre-Covid-19 trajectory of growth. Pay cuts, layoffs, freeze on recruitments, using more AI related technologies to replace man power needs etc. will be part of the ‘New Normal’. In grabbing the opportunities in the post-Covid-19 situation, and ensuring sustainable growth of the economy to its full potential, which are vital to reduce inequalities in our societies, we must act collectively – internationally and regionally.

Having served as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva from 2012-2018 during which time Sri Lanka successively chaired the Colombo Process[11] (2013-2017),and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue[12] (2016-2018), Sri Lanka has had the opportunity to design and provide input on certain crucial regional modalities that could play a greater rolein the post-COVID scenario, for the benefit of the migrant workers, as well as the sending and receiving countries.[13]

– It presents an opportunity on the part of Governments, to focus on ensuring the outward flow of a better trained and skilled migrant worker, one who will not only be able to earn more, but also is less likely to face the vulnerabilities presently encountered by the average Sri Lankan migrant worker, particularly unskilled workers. This should be guided at the policy level, by defining clearly our niche markets in terms of skills,perhaps under the auspices of ILO’s decent work agenda.

– We should also combine our market research platforms to generate vocational training programmes that will serve future job markets and economic demands in countries post Covid-19, and recalibrate to inspire a work force that meets that demand. We should then work through our bilateral mechanisms to get mutual recognitions for those qualifications. This is going to be a triple win situation, to the qualified labourer, and to both sending and receiving countries, or to the private sector employer.

– We should also urgently re-formulate our education systems, and re-orient students to be a rich human resource pool for future labour markets, thus reducing the unemployment rates in the country. Besides generating a qualified and skilled labour force, it will enable agreeing on a ‘minimum wage’, and could add to our efforts in reducing inequalities and discrimination in labour markets, particularly the gender based wage gaps and gender stereotypes in work.

– Another important aspect we need to focus on is to expedite action in enhancing cheaper, safer and faster modes of remittance flows, considering them as private funds.

– In retrospect, speaking regionally, had we followed through on the issue of ‘migrant health’, which Sri Lanka added to the focus areas of the Colombo Process agenda in 2016, I believe we might have been able to manage the Covid-19 crisis in the region better.[14]This is less so with respect to those coming back, but more with respect to those stranded in host countries, particularly with regard to undocumented workers whose access to medical facilities is limited. If we are truly committed to Universal Health Care (UHC), it cannot be achieved by leaving this segment of migrant workers vulnerable. We must ensure that ‘migrant health’ becomes a cornerstone in the future management of migrant populations.

I am confident that these are matters that are presently receiving the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Employment and the SLBFE, along with the UN agencies working in Sri Lanka – particularly the International Labour Organization (ILO) and also the International Organization on Migration (IOM).The Ministry of Foreign Relations and its network of Missionswill continue to critically engage with these bodies, to ensure that the benefits of these efforts accrue to our people. (ENDS)

[1]COVID-19: Live Situational Analysis Dashboard of Sri Lanka- Health Promotion Board of Sri Lanka, https://hpb.health.gov.lk/covid19-dashboard/

[2]Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Annual Report 2019 (Vol.1) pg 159

[3]https://www.mfa.gov.lk/osls-to-rethink-repat/

[4]Based on information from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia, 26 June 2020.

[5]https://www.ips.lk/talkingeconomics/2020/05/14/repatriation-and-replacement-of-lost-foreign-jobs-handling-labour-migration-in-sri-lanka-during-covid-19/ (14 May 2020)

[6] COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens. Migration and Development Brief,no. 32;. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33634 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO, pg 25

[7] Central Bank of Sri Lanka, External Sector Performance – April 2020 https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/press/pr/press_20200622_externl_sector_performance_april_2020_e.pdf

[8] https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33634 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO, pg25

[9]https://www.unescap.org/announcement/discussing-accelerating-transformation-asia-and-pacific-amidst-covid-19-outbreak

[10]http://193.168.195.227/mfa2019/address-by-foreign-secretary-ravinatha-aryasinha-at-the-symposium-on-the-updating-the-operational-manual-for-labour-welfare-sections-of-sri-lanka-diplomatic-missions-in-destination-countries-18-20-se/

[11]The regional organization of Asian Group of migrant sending countries

[12]The regional organization brings together the Asian migrant sending countries and migrant receiving countries in the GCC.

[13]http://lankamission.org/migration/1980-iom-chief-commends-sri-lanka-s-dynamism-and-perseverance-as-the-chair-of-the-colombo-process-2.html

[14]http://lankamission.org/migration/1966-the-colombo-statement-first-ever-political-commitment-agreed-by-countries-to-advance-the-migrant-health-agenda-2.html

The full text of the speech can be downloaded via the following link: http://www.mfa.gov.lk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Speech-SFR.pdf
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මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය

“අනාගතයේ දී ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් ලෝකයට ලබා දෙන විදේශ රැකියා පිළිබඳ පියසටහන, බොහෝ විට කුඩා වුවත්, වඩාත් දක්ෂ හා තිරසාර විය හැකිය” යි විදේශ ලේකම් ආර්යසිංහ මහතා පවසයි

දැනට එහි පවතින අ‍ඳුරු ස්වභාවය මධ්‍යයේ වුව ද, වර්තමාන තත්ත්වය බොහෝ ආකාරවලින් ඇස් අරවන්නක් බවත්, එය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශ්‍රම සංක්‍රමණයේ ව්‍යුහාත්මක, ක්‍රියා පටිපාටික සහ මානව අතුරු මුහුණත් පිළිබඳ නොගැලපීම් නිවැරදි කිරීමට උපකාරී වන බවත් විදේශ ලේකම් රවිනාථ ආර්යසිංහ මහතා පැවසීය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සහ සංක්‍රමණික ශ්‍රමලාභී රටවල භූමි යථාර්ථයන් පිළිබඳව සංවේදී වන පශ්චාත් කොවිඩ්-19 ලෝකයක, විදේශ රැකියා නැවත දිශානත කිරීමට ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට මඟින් අවස්ථාවක් සපයන අතර, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් අනාගත ලෝකය වෙත සපයන විදේශ රැකියා පිළිබඳ පියසටහන – බොහෝ විට කුඩා වුවත්, වඩාත් දක්ෂ හා වඩාත් තිරසාර විය හැකිය.

“ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ආර්ථික පුනර්ජීවනයේ දී විදේශ රැකියා නියුක්තියේ කාර්යභාරය; අභියෝග සහ අවස්ථා” යන තේමාව යටතේ වීඩියෝ සබැඳියක් ඔස්සේ වෘත්තිකයන්ගේ සංගම් සංවිධානයේ (OPA) 33 වැනි වාර්ෂික සැසිවාරය අමතමින් විදේශ ලේකම්වරයා මෙම ප්‍රකාශය කළේය.

‘ප්‍රත්‍යාගමනය – ආපදා සහ අවස්ථා’ යන තේමාව මත 2020 ජුනි 27-28 දිනවල දී ඩිජිටල් සම්මන්ත්‍රණයක් ලෙස පවත්වන ලද මෙම වසරේ වෘත්තිකයන්ගේ සංගම් සංවිධානයේ වාර්ෂික සැසිය අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මැතිතුමා විසින් සමාරම්භ කරන ලදී.

කොවිඩ්-19 අර්බුදය හේතුවෙන්, එතෙර සිටින ලේඛනගත නොවූ/අක්‍රමවත් එමෙන්ම, එහි ප්‍රතිඵලයක් ලෙස ඔවුන්ගේ සත්කාරක රටවල දී වෛද්‍ය සහ වෙනත් ප්‍රතිලාභ ලබා ගැනීම සඳහා නුසුදුසු, එසේම අනාවරණය වුවහොත් පිටුවහල් කරනු ලැබීමේ අවදානමට ද ලක්විය හැකි ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සංක්‍රමණික ශ්‍රමිකයින් සැලකිය යුතු සංඛ්‍යාවක් පිළිබඳව හෙළිදරව් වී ඇති බව ලේකම් ආර්යසිංහ මහතා පැවසීය. එමෙන්ම, ඔවුන්ගෙන් බොහෝ දෙනෙකු ශ්‍රී ලංකා විදේශ රැකියා නියුක්ති කාර්යාංශයේ ලියාපදිංචි නොවී තිබීම සැලකිල්ලට භාජනය විය යුතු කරුණකි. සමහරු, ආරම්භයේ දී රටින් පිටව යන මොහොතේ ලියාපදිංචි වූ නමුත්, පසුව ඔවුන්ගේ ලියාපදිංචිය අලුත් නොකරන්නට ඇතැයි විශ්වාස කෙරේ. ලියාපදිංචි සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයින්ගේ ප්‍රතිශතය 96.8% ක් වන පිලිපීනය වැනි රටවල සංක්‍රමණික කම්කරුවන් විසින් සාර්ථකව ක්‍රියාත්මක කරනු ලබන පරිදි, පුළුල් සමාජ ආරක්ෂණ ජාලයක ප්‍රතිලාභ භුක්ති විඳීම පිණිස ලියාපදිංචි වන ලෙස ඔහු ඔවුන්ගෙන් තරයේ ඉල්ලා සිටියේය.

නීත්‍යානුකූල අය සම්බන්ධයෙන් වුවද, කොවිඩ්-19 හි ප්‍රතිඵලයක් ලෙස රැකියා වෙළඳපොල සංකෝචනය වෙමින් පවතින අතර, විශේෂයෙන්ම, ඉහළයමින් පවතින විරැකියාව, කොන්ත්‍රාත්තු අහිමිවීම, වැඩ බලපත්‍ර දීර්ඝ නොකිරීම සහ තාවකාලික නිදහස් රැකියා නතර කිරීම වැනි සිද්ධීන් හේතුවෙන් ඔවුන්ගෙන් බොහෝ දෙනෙක් බොහෝ දුරට අසරණ වී ඇත. මෙම වසරේ දී රැකියාව සඳහා පිටත්ව යන සංක්‍රමණික සේවක සංඛ්‍යාවේ බරපතල හිඟයකට මෙය හේතු විය හැකි බවත්, එමඟින් සේවක ප්‍රේෂණ පහත වැටෙනු ඇති බවත් සඳහන් කෙරිණ. 2019 වසරේ දී සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයන්ගේ විදේශ විනිමය ඉපැයීම් සඳහා වූ ප්‍රේෂණය 25.5% ක් වූ අතර, ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දළ දේශීය නිෂ්පාදිතයට එහි දායකත්වය දළ වශයෙන් 8% ක් විය.

වර්තමාන තත්ත්වය ‘තිරසාර හා සාධාරණ ආර්ථිකයන්’ සහතික කළ හැකි වඩාත් ඉදිරි දැක්මකින් යුතු හා ඔරොත්තු දෙන ආකාරයේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති සහ උපාය මාර්ග ගොඩනැගීමට ඉවහල් වන බව ලේකම් ආර්යසිංහ මහතා පැවසීය. ආසියානු සංක්‍රමණික ශ්‍රමය සපයන රටවල් එකට එකතු කරන සහ ඒවා ගල්ෆ් සහයෝගිතා කවුන්සිලයට අයත් ශ්‍රම ලැබීමේ රටවල් සමඟ සම්බන්ධ කරන කොළඹ ක්‍රියාවලිය සහ අබුඩාබි සංවාදය තුළ ඇතැම් තීරණාත්මක කලාපීය ක්‍රමවේදයන් සැලසුම් කිරීමට සහ ඒවා සැපයීමට අවස්ථාව ලබා දී පැවති ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට, සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයන්ගේ මෙන්ම යැවීමේ හා ලැබීමේ රටවල ප්‍රයෝජනය සඳහා පශ්චාත් කොවිඩ් තත්ත්වය තුළ ජාත්‍යන්තර කම්කරු සංවිධානය සහ සංක්‍රමණිකයන් සඳහාවූ ජාත්‍යන්තර සංවිධානය සමඟ එක්ව විශාල කාර්යභාරයක් ඉටු කළ හැකි බව ඔහු සඳහන් කළේය.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සාමාන්‍ය සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයා, විශේෂයෙන් නුපුහුණු ශ්‍රමිකයින් මුහුණ දී ඇති අවදානම්වලට මුහුණ දීමට ඇති ඉඩකඩ අඩු, එමෙන්ම, වැඩි ආදායමක් උපයා ගත හැකි, වඩා හොඳ පුහුණුව ලත් හා පුහුණු වූ සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයන්ගේ පිටතට යන ප්‍රවාහය සහතික කිරීම,
කොවිඩ්-19 න් පසු රටවල අනාගත රැකියා වෙලඳපොලවල් සහ ආර්ථික ඉල්ලීම් සපුරාලන වෘත්තීය පුහුණු වැඩසටහන් ජනනය කිරීම සහ එම ඉල්ලුම සපුරාලන ශ්‍රම බලකායක් දිරිගැන්වීම සඳහා නැවත සකස් කිරීම පිණිස වෙළඳපොළ පර්යේෂණ වේදිකා ඒකාබද්ධ කිරීම,
අපගේ අධ්‍යාපන ක්‍රම නැවත සකස් කිරීම සහ අනාගත ශ්‍රම වෙළඳපොළවල් සඳහා පොහොසත් මානව සම්පත් සංචිතයක් ලෙසට සිසු සිසුවියන් දිශානත කිරීම,
ලාභදායී, ආරක්ෂිත සහ වේගවත් ප්‍රේෂණ ප්‍රවාහයන් වැඩි දියුණු කිරීමේ ක්‍රියාවලිය වේගවත් කිරීම,
සංක්‍රමණික ජනගහනය කළමනාකරණය කිරීමේදී ‘සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍යය’ මුල්ගලක් බවට පත්වීම සහතික කිරීම
යන කරුණු මෙයට ඇතුළත් වනු ඇත.

මෑතදී ඇති වූ අර්බුදය හේතුවෙන්, කොළඹ මෙන්ම ගමනාන්ත රටවල ද සංක්‍රමණික කම්කරුවන් පිළිබඳ කාරණා සම්බන්ධයෙන් කටයුතු කිරීමේ දී විවිධ මතවාදයන් බිඳ දමමින්, වඩා හොඳ අන්තර් රාජ්‍ය සම්බන්ධීකරණයක් සහතික කිරීමට ඉවහල් වූ බව විදේශ ලේකම්වරයා අවධාරණය කළේය. “මෙය පෙර නොවූ විරූ තත්වයක් තුළ දියුණුවක් ලබා ගැනීමට ඉවහල් වූ අත්‍යවශ්‍ය අංගයක් ලෙස අනාගත සහයෝගීතා ප්‍රයත්නයන් සඳහා ඉවහල් වේ. විදේශ රැකියා සම්බන්ධ ගැටලු පිළිබඳ ‘සමස්ත රජයේ’ ප්‍රවේශය සඳහා තවදුරටත් ශක්තිමත් කිරීම හා ශක්තිමත් සංධානයක් ගොඩනැගීම අපගේ අපේක්ෂාව විය යුතුය” යි ඔහු පැවසීය.

විදේශ සබඳතා අමාත්‍යාංශය
කොළඹ
2020 ජූලි 01 වැනි දින
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ஊடக வெளியீடு

‘சிறியதாக இருப்பினும், புத்திசாலித்தனமானதும், அதிகம் நிலையானதுமான வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்பின் எதிர்காலத் தடத்தினை இலங்கை உலகிற்கு வழங்கும்‘ என வெளிவிவகார செயலாளர் ஆரியசிங்க தெரிவிப்பு

இலங்கையின் தொழிலாளர் குடியேற்றத்தில் கட்டமைப்பு, நடைமுறை மற்றும் மனித இடைமுக முரண்பாடுகளை சரிசெய்ய உதவும் பல விடயங்களில் ஒரு கண் திறப்பாளராக தற்போதைய நிலைமை இருந்து வருவதாக வெளிவிவகார செயலாளர் ஆரியசிங்க தெரிவித்தார். இலங்கை மற்றும் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களைப் பெற்றுக்கொள்ளும் நாடுகளிலுள்ள கள உண்மைகளை உணர்ந்து, கோவிட்-19 தொற்றுநோய்க்குப் பிந்தைய உலகில் வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்பை மீண்டும் திசை திருப்புவதற்கானதொரு வாய்ப்பை இது இலங்கைக்கு அளிப்பதுடன், அதன் காரணமாக சிறியதாக இருப்பினும், புத்திசாலித்தனமானதும், அதிகம் நிலையானதுமான வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்பின் எதிர்காலத் தடத்தினை இலங்கை உலகிற்கு வழங்கும்.

‘இலங்கையின் பொருளாதார மறுமலர்ச்சியில் வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்பின் வகிபாகம்: சவால்கள் மற்றும் வாய்ப்புக்கள்‘ என்ற தலைப்பில், தொழில்வாண்மையாளர்கள் சங்கங்களின் அமைப்பின் 33வது வருடாந்த அமர்வில் வீடியோ இணைப்பினூடாக உரையாற்றியபோது வெளிவிவகார செயலாளர் இந்த அவதானிப்புக்களை மேற்கொண்டார்.

இந்த ஆண்டு 2020 ஜூன் 27 – 28 ஆந் திகதிகளில் டிஜிட்டல் மாநாடாக, ‘மீண்டெழுதல் – பேரழிவுகளும், வாய்ப்புக்களும்‘ என்ற தலைப்பில் நடைபெற்ற தொழில்வாண்மையாளர்கள் சங்கங்களின் அமைப்பின் வருடாந்த அமர்வை பிரதமர் மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷ அங்குரார்ப்பணம் செய்து வைத்தார்.

கோவிட்-19 நெருக்கடியானது, பெற்றுக்கொண்ட நாடுகளில் மருத்துவம் மற்றும் ஏனைய சலுகைகளைப் பெறுவதற்கு தகுதியற்றவர்களாகவும், அடையாளங்காணப்படின் நாடுகடத்தப்படுவதற்கான அதிக வாய்ப்புக்களையுடைய பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்களாகவும் விளங்கும் வெளிநாடுகளிலுள்ள கணிசமான எண்ணிக்கையிலான இலங்கையின் ஆவணப்படுத்தப்படாத / ஒழுங்கற்ற புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களை அம்பலப்படுத்தியுள்ளதாக செயலாளர் ஆரியசிங்க தெரிவித்தார். அவர்களில் பலர் இலங்கை வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்புப் பணியகத்தில் பதிவு செய்து கொள்ளமை கவலைக்குரிய விடயமாகும். சிலர் நாட்டை விட்டு வெளியேறும் சந்தர்ப்பத்தில் முதலில் தம்மைப் பதிவு செய்திருப்பினும், பின்னர் தமது பதிவுகளை புதுப்பிப்பதில்லை என நம்பப்படுகின்றது. பதிவுசெய்யப்பட்ட புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் சதவீதம் 96.8% ஆக இருக்கும் பிலிப்பைன்ஸ் போன்ற நாடுகளில் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களால் வெற்றிகரமாக பின்பற்றப்படுவதைப் போன்று, விரிவாக்கப்பட்ட சமூகப் பாதுகாப்பு வலையமைப்பின் நன்மைகளை அனுபவிப்பதற்காக தங்களைப் பதிவு செய்து கொள்ளுமாறு அவர் கேட்டுக்கொண்டார்.

கோவிட்-19 தொற்றுநோயின் விளைவுகளால், குறிப்பாக தொழிலின்மை, ஒப்பந்தங்களை இழத்தல், பணி அனுமதிகள் நீடிக்கப்படாமை மற்றும் தற்காலிக ஃப்ரீலான்ஸ் பணிகளை முடிவுறுத்தல் போன்ற விடயங்கள் சட்டபூர்வமாக தம்மைப் பதிவு செய்துகொண்டவர்களுக்கும் கூட அதிகரித்து வருவதுடன், அது அவர்களில் பலரை பெரும்பாலும் ஆதரவற்ற நிலைக்கு உள்ளாக்கியுள்ளது. இது இந்த வருடம் தொழில்களுக்காகச் செல்லும் புலம்பெயர் தொழிலாளர்களின் எண்ணிக்கையில் கடுமையான பற்றாக்குறையை ஏற்படுத்தி, தொழிலாளர்களால் அனுப்பப்படும் பணத்தில் பாரிய வீழ்ச்சியைத் தோற்றுவிக்கும் என குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களினாலான அந்நிய செலாவணி வருமானம் 2019 ஆம் ஆண்டில் 25.5% ஆக இருந்த அதே நேரத்தில், இலங்கையின் மொத்த உள்நாட்டு உற்பத்தியில் அதன் பங்களிப்பு சுமார் 8% ஆகும்.

‘நிலையான மற்றும் நியாயமான பொருளாதாரங்களை’ உறுதிப்படுத்தக்கூடிய முன்னோக்கு மற்றும் நெகிழ்ச்சியான கொள்கைகள், உத்திகளை உருவாக்குவதற்கு தற்போதைய நிலைமை உதவுவதாக அமையும் என செயலாளர் ஆரியசிங்க தெரிவித்தார். ஆசியாவின் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களை அனுப்பும் நாடுகளை ஒன்றிணைத்து, அவற்றை ஜி.சி.சி.யில் தொழிலாளர்களைப் பெற்றுக்கொள்ளும் நாடுகளுடன் இணைக்கும் கொழும்பு செயன்முறை மற்றும் அபுதாபி உரையாடல் போன்ற சில முக்கியமான பிராந்திய முறைமைகளை வடிவமைத்து வழங்குவதற்கான வாய்ப்பைப் பெற்றுள்ள இலங்கை, சர்வதேச தொழிலாளர் அமைப்பு மற்றும் இடம்பெயர்வுக்கான சர்வதேச அமைப்பு ஆகியவற்றுடன் இணைந்து, புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் அனுப்பும், பெற்றுக் கொள்ளும் நாடுகளின் நலன்களுக்காக கோவிட் தொற்றுக்கு பிந்தைய சூழ்நிலையில் அதிகமான பங்கினை வகிக்க முடியும் என அவர் குறிப்பிட்டார். இதில் பின்வரும் விடயங்கள் உள்ளடங்கும்:

அதிகமாக சம்பாதிக்கக் கூடிய மற்றும், சராசரி இலங்கையின் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளி, குறிப்பாக திறமையற்ற தொழிலாளர்கள் தற்போது எதிர்கொள்ளும் பாதிப்புக்களை எதிர்கொள்ளும் வாய்ப்புக்கள் குறைவான ஒரு சிறந்த பயிற்சி பெற்ற மற்றும் திறமையான புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளியின் வெளிப்புறப் பாய்வை உறுதிசெய்தல்,
கோவிட்-19 க்குப் பின்னர், நாடுகளில் நிலவும் எதிர்காலத் தொழில் சந்தைகள் மற்றும் பொருளாதாரத் தேவைகளுக்கு அமைய பணியாற்றும் வகையிலான தொழிற்பயிற்சித் திட்டங்களை உருவாக்குவதற்காக சந்தை ஆராய்ச்சித் தளங்களை இணைத்து, அந்தத் தேவையை பூர்த்தி செய்யும் ஒரு பணிக்குழுவை மீள சீரமைத்தல்,
எமது கல்வி முறைமைகளை மீண்டும் வகுத்தல், மற்றும் எதிர்கால தொழிலாளர் சந்தைகளுக்கான உயர்ந்த மனிதவளக் குழாமாக மாணவர்களை மறுசீரமைத்தல்,
மலிவான, பாதுகாப்பான மற்றும் விரைவான பணம் அனுப்பும் முறைகளை மேம்படுத்துவதிலான நடவடிக்கைகளை விரைவுபடுத்துதல்,
புலம்பெயர்ந்த மக்களை நிர்வகிப்பதில் ‘புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர் ஆரோக்கியம்’ ஒரு அடிப்படை விடயமாக மாறுவதை உறுதிசெய்தல்.
அண்மைய நெருக்கடியானது, கொழும்பிலும் ஏனைய நாடுகளிலும் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்கள் தொடர்பான விடயங்களைக் கையாள்வதிலான குழப்பங்களைத் தகர்ப்பதற்கு உதவுவதோடு, அரசாங்கத்திற்குள் சிறந்த ஒருங்கிணைப்பை உறுதிப்படுத்தவும் உதவியுள்ளது என வெளிவிவகார செயலாளர் வலியுறுத்தினார். ‘எதிர்பார்க்கப்படாத இத்தகையதொரு சூழ்நிலையில் ஒன்றாக விருத்தியடைவதற்கு எமக்கு உதவிய அத்தியாவசியமானதொரு காரணியாக கூட்டான எதிர்கால முயற்சிகளுக்கு இது உதவுகின்றது. வெளிநாட்டு வேலைவாய்ப்பு தொடர்பான பிரச்சினைகள் குறித்த ‘முழு அரசாங்கத்தின்’ அணுகுமுறைக்கான வலுவான நெறிமுறையை மேலும் வலுப்படுத்தவும் கட்டமைக்கவும் இப்போது நாம் முயற்சிக்க வேண்டும்’ என அவர் தெரிவித்தார்.

வெளிநாட்டு உறவுகள் அமைச்சு
கொழும்பு
01 ஜூலை 2020

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