Home / News/ Concerned Lankan overseas workers urge Govt. to contain current crisis

Concerned Lankan overseas workers urge Govt. to contain current crisis

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 9 March 2018 00:00

By Our Middle East Correspondent

Riyadh: In the wake of the rising violence against Muslims in some parts of Sri Lanka, the country’s expatriates living in the region are to submit a request to President Maithripala Sirisena to provide adequate security to their families back home. 

There are some 1.5 million Sri Lankans living in the region, which includes a substantial number of Muslims who have come to work leaving their families back home.

On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed its serious concerns over the repeated incidents of violence by extremist mobs against Muslims in Sri Lanka on 28 February and 4 March.

In a statement, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen called upon the Sri Lanka Government to take concrete steps to address the propagation of hatred and violence by extremist groups and to ensure the protection of properties and livelihood of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

Mowlana, who is to submit the petition on behalf of community members to President Sirisena through the Sri Lankan embassy in Riyadh on Thursday, told the Daily FT that there was growing concern among the members of the community.

“Most of the Muslim expatriates are worried and feeling sad and panicked about the current situation where more than 50 mosques have been attacked and severe damage has been caused to Muslim properties and loss of human lives,” he said, pointing out that non-Muslims expatriates living in the Kingdom are very sympathetic towards the undue atrocities caused to innocent Muslims and their properties. 

S.H. Hamid said that it was a pity that these things were happening under the present Government which had promised the safety and security for Muslims in the island. 

“It is the duty of the State to look after the interests of the minorities in the country and to provide them with security for their peaceful living,” he added. Nihal Gamage, the former president of the Sri Lankan Expats Society in Riyadh, said that these things were happening due to a lack of understanding, tolerance and compromise among the members of ethnic groups in the island. 

“Let us understand the cultural and social values of various ethnic groups and live in harmony as we do in Saudi Arabia,” Gamage said.

In Jeddah, a group of Sri Lankan expats were seen collecting signatures for a petition to be submitted to their consulate in Jeddah. According to sources, the petition will be submitted late in the evening on Thursday to be sent to the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.  In Qatar, a group of aggrieved Muslims submitted a similar petition to their embassy in Doha on Monday urging the country’s president to take appropriate action to contain the situation in the tourist region of Kandy. 

The United Kingdom, United States and Australia have already issued travel advisories to their nationals to avoid travel to Colombo in the wake of the current unrest in the island.

Last year more than 50,000 Saudi tourists visited Sri Lanka with their families, according to official figures.

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Why didn’t they tell the President?

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The President appears to believe that he still possesses the full executive powers he derived from the Constitution when he was elected to his office in January 2015. Three months later, he sat during a tumultuous session in Parliament, and witnessed

The implications and consequences of the verdict, whatever it is

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Quite obviously I haven’t the slightest notion of what the Supreme Court verdict will be, unlike my friend Eran Wickramaratne who announced publicly (and rather curiously) that he doesn’t have the slightest doubt about it. However I do know, as a

Sri Lanka’s economy at crossroads: The 1972-76 Five-Year Plan and its diagnosis of economic ailments

Monday, 10 December 2018

The economist who produced ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking’ Professor H A de S Gunasekara, popularly known as HAdeS, was a legend in economics in Sri Lanka. The doctoral thesis ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking in Ceylon

Are you monitoring logistics cost in your supply chain?

Monday, 10 December 2018

On the internet a simple explanation of logistics says: “Logistics is generally the detailed organisation and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of

Columnists More