Muscat: The Sri Lankan Social Club in Oman is offering assistance in the repatriation of up to 3,000 Sri Lankans stranded in the country.
The recent impediments related to repatriation of Sri Lankans has been eased by the Sri Lankan government, but the process is taking time as approvals have to come to Sri Lanka, informs Roy Lasantha, President of Sri Lankan Social Club (SLSC).
“There has not been much movement in the last two months in this regard as our country has been streamlining the processes in the wake of COVID-19. Our community members in UAE and Qatar are also effected due to the restrictions and are awaiting their turn to fly back,” Lasantha told Gulf News.
Due to the smaller number of Sri Lankan communities in Oman, SLSC has been able to provide necessary support in terms of food and accommodation, besides medical supplies to those in need.
“The task forces that we have formed among ourselves have enabled us to locate and attend to each of our community members. Even though Oman Air has two weekly flights to Colombo, due to the process of approvals which has to to come through from Sri Lanka, we are not able to utilise the flights properly.”
Oman government’s decision to waive off fines and related charges on visa and resident permits, have prompted many embassies to urge their country’s citizens to utilise the opportunity to return to their respective country before this year end. Lasantha also informed that SLSC members lead by him will be meeting the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Social Development, as the Social Clubs come under the remit of this Ministry seeking their mediation to help Sri Lankans in Oman.
“A repatriation flight has been arranged for November 26 by the Sri Lankan government, and we want the flight to go full with our community members who have been waiting patiently for their turn to return.”