nation.lk :::

Govt. strives to evacuate Sri Lankans

Rate this story
(0 votes)
Members of Saudi border guard patrol the area surrounding of the Ashiq island, in the southern Jizan province near the border with Yemen on April 1, 2015. The Saudi-led coalition bombarded rebel positions in Yemen’s main southern city Aden in a seventh night of raids that also targeted the capital and other areas AFP Members of Saudi border guard patrol the area surrounding of the Ashiq island, in the southern Jizan province near the border with Yemen on April 1, 2015. The Saudi-led coalition bombarded rebel positions in Yemen’s main southern city Aden in a seventh night of raids that also targeted the capital and other areas AFP

Crisis in Yemen

The recent conflict in Yemen has made the migrant workers from the other countries to flee Yemen to their homelands. The Nation queried about the situation of the Sri Lankan migrants in Yemen since the situation in Yemen was reported to be worsening as air strikes were launched by Saudi Arabia while the Iran-backed group of rebels, Houthis were attempting in overthrowing the Yemen government.

By Wednesday evening, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially informed the attempts taken by the government to ensure the safe return of the Sri Lankan migrant workers in Yemen.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith P. Perera admitted that there was a serious delay in the process of bringing back the Sri Lankan migrant workers currently living in Yemen. He added that the government has sought the assistance of the Indian government saying, “Indian government has already agreed to evacuate the Sri Lankans in Yemen.” According to the Foreign Ministry, the Sri Lankan government also sought the assistance of the UN Office in Sana’a and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Colombo in the evacuation efforts.

According to Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, there are 63 Sri Lankan migrant workers in Yemen. He further stated, “Sri Lankans who are in Yemen are reported to be safe. Since almost all the airports in Yemen have been closed, we asked for the assistance of the Indian Navy for the purpose.”

In relation to this, the current number of Sri Lankans stranded in Yemen remains uncertain. The Foreign Ministry says that there are around 63 to 67 registered migrants but the Foreign Employment Bureau says there are around 70 individuals.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has been reported that there are around 75-100 Sri Lankan expatriates, including students in Yemen. It is also reported that they are residing in cities of Sana’a, Hodeida, Aden and Mukalla in Yemen.

Deputy Director of Foreign Employment Bureau, Mangala Randeniya said that there are nearly 70 Sri Lankan migrant workers who are stranded in Yemen. He added that since there is no Sri Lankan Embassy in Yemen, they would coordinate with Indian Embassy in Yemen. He also added that the Sri Lankan migrant workers who are currently in Yemen are reported to be safe. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that in coordination with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Muscat, which is concurrently accredited to Yemen, it had explored all possible avenues to ensure the safe return of the Sri Lankans. The Sri Lanka Mission in Muscat is in contact with some Sri Lankans in Yemen, who are directly monitoring the welfare of the Sri Lankans in their present locations. 

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, too has issued directives to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Kenya and the Charge d’ Affaires in Muscat in Djibouti to  support the operation in coordination with the Indian officials. 

 Meanwhile, the Indian Government has promptly acceded to the request of the Government of Sri Lanka to bring back the stranded Sri Lankans along with Indian nationals in Yemen, who are to be evacuated by air and sea in special planes and ships.
The individuals range from foreign employment workers to students. According to reports, while the people are still in safe places, papers are still being issued for their arrival back to Sri Lanka. The Foreign Affairs Ministry says that as most of these people are taking shelter in the cities of Sana’a, Hodeida, and Aden it will take time to bring them down to Sri Lanka.

The ministry has also taken steps to contact the Indian High Commission in Yemen. According to reports there is an estimated 3500 Indian workers in Yemen. The Indian Government has made arrangements to bring back their people through ships which will travel to Djibouti with the help the Kenyan Embassy. It is believed that when evacuation modalities are confirmed Sri Lankan Officials will also be flying to assist matters.

Further assistance has been asked from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations.

Speaking with Deputy Minister of Social Services, Welfare and Livestock Development, Ranjan Ramanyake, he said that it is the responsibility of the Sri Lankan government to bring down the workers from Yemen as soon as possible. He emphatically said that their safety should be ensured.

On March 26, Saudi Arabia along with other regional states launched an air strike known as Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen against Houthi positions held in the country. The Houthi, which is a rebel group, took hostage of the presidential palace of Yemen on January 22 forcing the President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his ministers to resign.

The impending attacks to the country have made expatriates and other foreign individuals in Yemen to leave the country. Among the countries scrambling to bring back their people are India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged the next of kin of the Sri Lankans in Yemen to provide the contact details of their relatives to the Ministry by e-mail or telephone, - MFA, Consular Division – 0115839414 / 0112323015 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Even the migrants in Yemen can provide the information to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Muscat, - Charge d’ Affaires/Oman 0096 895863739/ 0096 899898836, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://www.nation.lk/edition/images/2015/04/05/Main/yeman.jpg
A Pakistani family, evacuated from Yemen, is greeted by relatives on their arrival in Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on March 30, 2015 AFP

http://www.nation.lk/edition/images/2015/04/05/Main/yemain1.jpg
Members of Saudi border guard patrol the area surrounding of the Ashiq island, in the southern Jizan province near the border with Yemen on April 1, 2015.

Last modified on Friday, 03 April 2015 17:09

Copyrights protected: All the content on this website is copyright protected and can be reproduced only by giving the due courtesy to www.nation.lk' Copyright © 2011 Rivira Media Corporation Ltd., 742, Maradana Road,Colombo 10, Sri Lanka. Web Solution By Mithila Kumara | All rights reserved.