Lankans in Bangladesh appeal for repatriation | Sunday Observer

Lankans in Bangladesh appeal for repatriation

A group of Sri Lankan citizens residing in Dhaka, Bangladesh has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appealing for his assistance to be repatriated to Sri Lanka given the current pandemic situation. The group of 126 Sri Lankan citizens consists of those employed in the South Asian country, their families, and a few short term visitors.

According to the group, they had planned to return to Sri Lanka on March 26 once airport services resumed, but have since been stuck in Bangladesh as the airports in Sri Lanka remained closed for commercial travel.

Explaining their urgency to return to Sri Lanka, the group expressed concern about the ground-level situation of Covid- 19 in Bangladesh, stressing that the companies they were employed in have already halted operations. “All services except food and pharmaceuticals have closed,” they said.

In their appeal, they said many other countries had repatriated their citizens from Bangladesh. “We are placed in an exceedingly uncertain and insecure situation and we think it is prudent to return to Sri Lanka where we would be safe thanks to our Government’s admirable and effective approach and exceptional medical services,” they said, adding that they were willing to bear any repatriation costs and not burden the Government further.

In the past weeks, the Government has been repatriating students and other Sri Lankan citizens who wished to return to Sri Lanka from a number of countries. The Government concluded the repatriation of 1,065 students stranded in South Asian countries by the end of April. These efforts are being continued.