A generic view of Colombo. The Sri Lankan population in Oman is 30,000 strong. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Muscat: From October 7 this year, Omanis holding diplomatic, official or service passport can get visa on arrival in Sri Lanka. Speaking exclusively to Gulf News, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Oman, Ameer Ajwad said this was part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman.

He noted that the 30,000 strong Sri Lankan population in Oman are all vaccinated with the approved COVID-19 vaccine. “Sri Lankan embassy in Oman has been assisting our citizens who were not able to get their vaccination through our network of well-wishers and volunteers.

"Our telephone lines used to be busy with requests from those wanted to avail this service. It is quiet for a while now and I am sure that is a good indicator.” The embassy also does free PCR tests apart from vaccination for those in need.

600 left Oman

The embassy assisted over 600 Sri Lankans to get back to their country under the amnesty scheme floated by the Oman government in 2020. “The 600 people we helped were the ones without proper travel documents, for whom we facilitated the same at no cost. Over 5000 have left Oman for good since the start of the pandemic but then there have been arrivals also, that keeps the balance steady.”

The Ambassador is also in concluding stage of talks with the Omani government on adding health care workers from Sri Lanka on contractual employments. “This comparatively new addition in health-care management needs special training and Sri Lankan health care workers are in great demand world over. We have secured contracts with Japanese and Israel governments for this service.”

Sri Lankan embassy also maintains a safe home for stranded Sri Lankans and those who have disputes with their sponsors. The safe home provides free housing and three proper meals per day.