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New programme to ensure security, welfare of Lankan migrant workers

COLOMBO: Moves are under way to develop the foreign employment sector to ensure the security and welfare of Sri Lankan migrant workers under a new programme initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare.

The programmes will be completed soon, Ministry sources said. Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that steps would be taken to sign MoUs with Middle Eastern countries and other countries in this connection to ensure the security and welfare of Sri Lankan migrant workers.

"Steps will be taken to strengthen the existing MoUs by giving them legal value under the new programme," said the Minister.

He said that with the conversion of the Foreign Employment Promotion Ministry as a separate cabinet ministry, it was now able to directly intervene in the matters and needs of Sri Lankan migrant workers.

The Ministry plans to introduce proper training facilities for those going for migrant jobs as with its aim to send trained employees to these countries .

The Foreign Employment Bureau is arranging facilities to teach the Korean language for those seeing jobs in Korea.

The Government of Korea has agreed to give logistic support and Korean language teachers to carry out this programme, the minister said.

He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga had pledged their support to develop the foreign employment sector with a view to ensure the security of Sri Lankan migrant workers. New offices will be open at the BIA for the convenience of the migrant workers, to provide them with an honourable service.

Steps will be taken to obtain space from Katunayaka to set up two Sahana Piyasa Centres in addition to the existing centre, sources said.

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