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Category: English
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Oman and Sri Lanka will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on foreign employment, according to Dilan Perera, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Sri Lanka.

Speaking at a meeting organised for manpower recruitment agencies in Oman at Al Falaj Hotel, Perera said, “The draft of the historic document has been finalised during my meeting with Minister of Manpower H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah al Bakri and will be signed in the next two months.”

The MoU will benefit both the countries, Sri Lanka will send well-trained manpower to the sultanate, he said.

The minister elaborated on the measures taken by his government to train people in various skills. “In 2011, as many as 262,960 Sri Lankans left the country to work abroad and remittances from foreign employment

was at US$5.1bn during last year. After the end of terrorism on Sri Lankan soil, the government was able to achieve 8.3 per cent economic growth rate in 2011.

We are taking a number of measures to continue our economic growth, while also keeping the inflation low.”

A short film on training of domestic workers in Sri Lanka was shown at the programme that was attended by representatives from a number of manpower recruitment agencies in Oman. the Sri Lankan ambassador to Oman and senior officers from Sri Lanka also spoke on the issue.

Earlier in the day, the minister met H E Bakri and discussed various issues related to manpower. During the meeting, Perera explained measures taken by his government to prevent illegal recruitment and human trafficking. Sri Lanka has a very stringent, anti-trafficking legal framework and is closely cooperating with other like-minded countries in this regard, the minister told mediapersons after the meeting.

Category: English
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Anirban Ray

Within three years, the minimum age of Sri Lankans looking to come to Oman and other GCC countries to work as housemaids will be raised to 30 from the current 21.

Promising a paradigm shift in the overall image of Sri Lanka, Dilan Perera, the country's Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, said, “We don’t want our women to leave the country. Right now the age limit is 21 years and with time this measure will discourage them to go to other countries to work as housemaids.”

He also said that when housemaids return to the country, there will be other facilities made available to them by the government. “Housemaids and other expatriates who come back from Gulf will be compensated. They will be helped with housing loans. For the low-income group, the government plans to assist by providing 50 per cent of loan, but we will help the middle income groups as well,” he said.

Perera added, “Sri Lankans who come back from Oman and other parts of the world wanting to start a business are always welcome. They will be extended all help from the government.”

The minister, who is on a three-day visit to the sultanate that started from Thursday and addressed a huge audience of Sri Lankans at Hotel Muscat Holiday on Friday. He will be meeting a delegation of Omani officials on Saturday to sign a memorandum of understanding that he said will benefit both the countries.

Perera said, “Ever since my visit in December last year where I came not as a minister but as the president of Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation, I discussed several issues with the authorities of the sultanate. I had also addressed the community at Sri Lankan School Muscat at that time. Based on the discussions, we have worked on several issues.

After extensive work on these suggestions, in the next few months we will offer a slew of benefits from the workforce in Sri Lanka. More skilled labourers instead of housemaids will apply for jobs in the GCC region. We are also looking forward to team up with companies that will give training to our men and women under three divisions, job, company and country specific.”

According to the country’s embassy in Muscat, there are about 25,000 Sri Lankan nationals in Oman and a large number of blue-collared workforce.

Thanking the huge expatriate force of Sri Lanka in Oman, the minister concluded, “In recent times when most of the world was reeling from recession, Sri Lanka was not affected because of the huge remittance that we received from our people all over the world. We thank them and we assure them that the government will undertake every measure to address and resolve every problem of our people.”