SJB to protest treatment of migrant workers

Nalin Bandara

A protest will be staged outside the President’s Secretariat tomorrow to protest the unjust treatment of Sri Lankan migrant workers who remain stranded, Opposition Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara said yesterday.

Speaking at press conference held at the Opposition Leader’s office, Bandara charged that the Government has mismanaged the repatriation process of migrant workers who are in a vulnerable situation following the impact of COVID-19. He was joined by fellow Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Mujibur Rahman.

“The Government has been unjust with our migrant workers when planning their repatriation. They have been forced to pick hotel quarantine if they want to return home. In other countries, citizens are allowed to quarantine at home,” Bandara charged, alleging that the motive behind pushing vulnerable migrant workers to quarantine in hotels is because persons close to the Government profit from the program.

The Opposition MP explained that many migrant workers are out of jobs and find it hard to make the necessary payments to quarantine in hotels for 14 days, pointing out that there were nearly 1.2 million Sri Lankans working overseas, with many of them wanting to return home.

“What this process does is rob those workers of about two months’ pay. This should stop,” he charged. Bandara urged the Government to reconsider the process and allow those affected Sri Lankans to return home.

He called on the public to join the protest against the mistreatment of migrant workers tomorrow afternoon.

(Source: Daily FT – By Asiri Fernando)