Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Lebanon crisis hits Lanka by $ 9m in remittances per month

As a result of the Lebanon crisis Sri Lanka will lose nearly US$ 9 million in foreign remittances per month, according to the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB). This is nearly 10% of the total remittance from Middle East countries. Sources said that there are nearly 90,000 Sri Lankan employees in Lebanon and most of them are housemaids.

The average monthly salary of a Sri Lankan worker in Lebanon is around US$ 150 and they send around 70% of their savings to the country.

However, the figures are vague because there are no accurate records of Sri Lankan returnees. Departure details are available with the FEB but arrival figures are rough estimates, an FEB official said. It is difficult to forecast how many Sri Lankans in Lebanon would return to the country due to the crisis because Israel attacks are intensifying day by day and there is no sign of the conflict ending.

By Friday 2,300 Sri Lankan workers had returned and there were around 3,000 awaiting at the Sri Lankan embassy in Lebanon to return. A team of officials led by FEB chairman Jagath Wellawatte is now on a rescue mission in Syria. They have chartered a Qatar Airways flight to bring them to the country. It was scheduled to bring around 250 persons daily during the week starting from Thursday, August 3.

According to sources less than 1% of Sri Lankans have rushed to return. Officials have no idea about the condition of all Sri Lankans in Lebanon.

They are spread across the country and officials at the Sri Lankan embassy in Beirut find it difficult to reach them.

Roads have been destroyed and communication networks are not functioning. There is a fuel shortage in the country and this would create further obstacles in the rescue mission, officials said. If Sri Lankan employees are willing to stay in Lebanon it would not be easy. After the Israel attack ceases there will be more vacancies for construction workers but not for domestic workers. There is no way to send them from Lebanon to other Middle East countries.

The FEB said that the impact of the crisis would end within two to three years because the demand for domestic workers from other Middle East countries is still high. Returnees from Lebanon can easily find similar jobs because they have experience and the knowledge of the culture in the Middle East.

The Government has not yet decided to provide any assistance for the returnees.

We are working on the rescue mission at present and compensation and other assistance will be worked out later, an official said.



| News | Editorial | Money | Features | Political | Security | PowWow | Zing | Sports | World | Oomph | Junior | Letters | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright � 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor