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    People in the country enjoy democracy in it's fullest sense- Minister Felix Perera

    April 23, 2014

    Foreign employment that commenced with the Non Aligned Conference was diverted to the Private Sector when the Open Economy came into force in 1977. Today,

    it is fortunate that the government has taken this in hand and has devised a system based on the educational and vocational training and experience of those seeking foreign employment. At present there are about twenty million expatriate Sri Lankan workers in 24 countries worldwide, with the Middle East and Korea topping the list. Your remittances form a major source of foreign exchange to Sri Lanka. While formerly tea, coconut and rubber were our main exports that brought in foreign exchange to our country, today your contribution equals the amount of foreign exchange we earned then. “ This is great source of encouragement to us” stated the Felix Perera, Minister for Social Services, who participated in the New Year Festivities- Bak Maha Ulela held in Ulsan in Korea.


    Sri Lankan expatriate workers go abroad with the intention of providing a good education to their children and also to construct a house for their families. The “Mahindabhimani Scholarship Scheme” initiated by President Mahinda Rajapakshe in 1996 when he was the Minister for Labour is still very active and successful. Under this scheme, scholarships are offered to students who are successful at the Grade V Scholarship Examination, Ordinary Level Examination as well as those who complete the University Entrance. It is significant that this privilege has been extended even to children of those who are planning to take up foreign employment.


    Likewise, the Housing Scheme “Rata Viru Piyasa” is now operative, which enables any Sri Lankan working abroad to realize the dream of a home for the family. A large number of Sri Lankans employed abroad have now constructed their own homes. Minister Felix Perera also added   that these schemes operated by the government have been instrumental in building gainful investments cutting out unnecessary expenditure for those who are in foreign employment. On their return to Sri Lanka after employment abroad, the government hopes that they would not only be economically stable, but also be the owners of their new homes. He further said that Sri Lanka – Korea Social Projects would increase in time which would be beneficial for the welfare of disabled as well as elderly Sri Lankan.


    “At a time that the unity of our Motherland faces threats, all Sri Lankan working internationally should rise up together. The President has successfully overcome the menace of terrorism that ravaged our Motherland and brought together all the people in the country under one flag with no distinctions of caste, creed, community or political differences enabling everyone to enjoy democratic freedom. This was proven well at the Western and Southern Provincial elections held last month. This is a good reply to opposition politicians and international influences that attempt to damage the unity prevailing in the country”. Said the Minister. The minister added that the people have displayed their unshaken faith in the President and international allegations are baseless. The people will not allow any country of power to mould Sri Lanka to the state of the poppet.


    “Sri Lankans as a nation uphold gratitude as an ennobling quality at a time that you are celebrating Sinhala and Hindu New Year it has been a great opportunity for me to share my gratitude with you. Although you are away from your Motherland you have made a great effort to celebrate New Year keeping alive our traditions which I consider a national duty. The thousands assembled here to participate in these celebrations go to prove our strength – The Strength of Sri Lanka”, said the Minister.


    The Sri Lankan Ambassador to South Korea Tissa Wijerathna and the Chief of Police in the city of Ulsan were also present.


    Last modified on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:46

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