Dialog and Foreign Employment Bureau to connect Sri Lankan expatriate workers

Saturday, 20 October 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Employment and Welfare has partnered with Sri Lanka’s leading mobile solutions provider Dialog Axiata to provide an exclusive connectivity solution for expatriate workers leaving the shores of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The solution is delivered via a special SIM card which will be issued by the Foreign Employment Bureau via its counters at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and other branches of the Foreign Employment Bureau. The expatriate worker SIM card will provide the user with concessionary tariffs for calls to Sri Lanka and communication within the Middle-East region.

“Migrant workers face tremendous hardship during the first weeks in the new country adjusting to their surroundings.  Providing a phone connection that helps them keep in touch with their family in Sri Lanka will help with the transition,” Dilan Perera, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare said.

“Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of the Sri Lankan population employed overseas annually remit over four billion dollars to the economy. I sincerely hope a similar mobile solution will be offered to other countries in the Gulf region in the near future as well,” Perera added.   

The pre-paid SIM connection has been customised for those living and working in the KSA and UAE. The SIMs will have a local Saudi Arabian and UAE number and will have the best rates to call Sri Lanka and for calling within each country.  

Dialog will also provide a free initial reload of five Saudi Arabian Riyals for SIMs issued to KSA, while a free 10 UAE Dinar reload for UAE SIMs will be given for migrant workers to call back to Sri Lanka as soon as they land in KSA or UAE.  In addition, any calls made to the Sri Lanka Embassy hotline will be free of charge.  

“We are honoured to have been selected by the Ministry of Foreign Employment and Welfare as the connectivity provider for Sri Lanka’s expatriate community in the KSA and UAE, and to be of service to fellow Sri Lankans living far from home, who contribute very significantly to our country’s economy,” said Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.

“In line with the vision of the Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Employment and Welfare, we will soon be expanding this special service to other areas in the Gulf region.”