First batch of Sri Lankans leave the country for Israeli agricultural jobs
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The first group selected for jobs in the Israeli agricultural sector left for Israel from the Katunayake Airport last night (18), the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said.
Accordingly, thirty persons were included in this group. Another group of twenty will leave for Israel this morning (19), with an additional group of thirty scheduled to be sent to Israel tonight (19).
Air tickets for the first batch of workers were handed over by the Minister at a ceremony held yesterday to mark International Migrant’s Day.
During the event, the Minister stated that according to a bilateral agreement between the two countries, 10,000 workers will be able to fly to Israel in the next few weeks.
The Minister emphasized that there is no need to pay money to any party for these jobs. Therefore, even if it is discovered after going abroad that someone has paid money to obtain these job opportunities, they will be brought back, as both governments have reached an agreement on repatriating those who have paid money.
In addition, the Minister further said that Israel has agreed to hire 2,000 workers for job opportunities in the construction sector.
Although the sending of Sri Lankans to Israel for employment has been suspended due to escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas, regular reviews are being carried out to assess the situation, stated the State Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion.
The Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Manusha Nanayakkara on 11 October said that sending Sri Lankan workers to Israel had been suspended due to the ongoing war situation.
The State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion, Jagath Pushpakumara said that the sending of Sri Lankan workers to Israel would commence as soon as the prevailing situation subsides. “The suspension is only a temporary measure.
However, we will continue to assess the situation. As soon as the situation subsides, Sri Lankans will be sent again.”
On 7 October, 2023, Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas launched a large-scale invasion against Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The attack involved thousands of rockets launched and militants entering Israeli territory using land, air, and sea vehicles. The responding Israeli counteroffensive was named Operation Iron Swords by the Israeli defence forces.
The growing tensions have resulted in more than 5,000 people including children being killed, and many more being injured and properties destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Media Spokesperson and the Deputy General Manager of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Senarath Yapa said that there are about 8,000 Sri Lankans who have gone to Israel for employment purposes, most of whom he said have gone through the SLBFE.