Repatriation of Lankans: Govt. says delays due to logistical issues

Amidst various reports of political interference in Sri Lankans being repatriated to the country, the Government
yesterday (13) asserted that no VIP was given special treatment when it came to repatriation.

Responding to allegations of confusion and delays within Sri Lankan missions abroad on repatriations due to VIP
interference, Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Dr. Ramesh
Pathirana said that repatriation was going on accordingly and that delays were mainly due to logistical issues and
nothing else as alleged by certain reports.

“The repatriation process is going well. The only problem we are facing is the lack of flights which are causing serious delays. I haven’t heard any cases of VIPs being treated specially,” he said.

He went on to say that parliamentarians were receiving various requests regarding family members to be
repatriated, as was to be expected.

“We as public representatives get many requests from our constituents about relatives and family members stuck
abroad. We duly forward these requests to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No special influence is exerted by us,” Dr.
Pathirana said.

Recent reports indicated that many Sri Lankan missions were in disarray due to an overload of requests from
expatriates and Lankans living abroad, coupled with various special demands made by Sri Lankan VIPs.

By Skandha Gunasekara