Govt. to Lift Bar on Lankans Seeking Jobs in Iraq
|January 28, 2011||Filled under Uncategorized|
Sri Lanka has decided to lift the ban on its citizens seeking employment in Iraq in view of the improving security situation in that country. The ban will be lifted on February 1, Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau Kingsley Ranawaka said.
After a close study of the situation prevailing in Iraq, Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera had decided to lift the ban, Ranawaka said.
From February all registered foreign employment agencies would be gradually permitted to recruit workers to be employed in Iraq.
There are thousands of vacancies in that country especially in the construction industry and attractive salaries were being offered, Ranawaka said.
Meanwhile, even before the government lifted the ban, nearly one thousand Sri Lankans had been employed in Iraq, in the immediate aftermath of the war, mainly in American bases. According to some Foreign Employment agencies they had first reached Dubai, where they were recruited by agencies that worked for American interests in Iraq and sent to that country.
Some Sri Lankans who returned home from Iraq said they had been well paid and their safety had never been a matter of concern to them. Whenever they reached an Iraqi airport from a Middle Eastern country, American military provided them transport, mainly by helicopter to reach the American bases which had employed them. The same security was provided on their return journey. They also said they had been paid, around Rs. 400,000 per month, for clerical workers in addition to food and medical facilities and were allowed to return home for a month’s holiday, once in six months.
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