By PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 8 March 2011
ABOUT 138 stranded Sri Lankan expatriates from troubled Libya arrived in Dubai International Airport a couple of days ago in a special chartered flight, were taken to Colombo on Monday by the Sri Lankan Government and their missions in the UAE.
The Sri Lankan professionals, labourers and their families living in Libya were stranded in Tripoli for days. The government adopted prompt measures to evacuate them from the tumultuous land immediately via Dubai, a spokesperson of the Sri Lankan Consulate told The Gulf Today.
Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai MM Abdul Raheem said that the Sri Lankan expatriates, who were living and working in Libya, arrived in Dubai by a charter flight on March 5, and sent back to Sri Lanka on Monday.
“They will be received by the officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo,” he added.
“The Sri Lanka Embassy in Libya and the Ministry of External Affairs coordinated with Sri Lankan missions in the UAE for the safe return of these Sri Lankans via Dubai to reach their motherland,” Raheem noted.
“Officials from the Consulate General of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Airlines in Dubai met the visiting Sri Lankans at the Dubai Airport and facilitated their smooth transit to Colombo,” he said.
“Previously another batch of 54 and 35 Sri Lankans, who fled from Libya and went to Malta and Greece, arrived in Dubai airport and the officials of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai assisted them for their early return to Colombo,” he elaborated.
According to Raheem, the Sri Lankan Missions in the UAE and Libya will be in contact with their capital to expedite further evacuation of Sri Lankans affected by the Libyan crisis.