Sri Lanka promotes bilateral relations in Austria

Ambassador Majintha Jayesinghe held cordial discussion with His Worship Matthias Stadler, Mayor of St. Polten at the City Hall. Ambassador of Sri Lanka and the Mayor of St. Pölten reiterated the interest to strengthen the special relation and enhance trade, investment and tourism opportunities. Head of Chancery, Mr. Charitha Weerasinghe has also attended the meeting.

On the sidelines of the meeting Ambassador Majintha Jayesinghe and His Worship Matthias Stadler declared opened the “Mandas”, a Sri Lanka restaurant in the City Centre of St Pölten. The restaurant gave the Austrian Mayor and his delegation an opportunity to flavour Sri Lanka cuisine in a truly Sri Lankan ambiance.


22 July 2020

Vienna, Austria


12 July 2020

44th Session of the Human Rights CouncilAgenda Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

09 July 2020
Statement by Sri Lanka

Mr. Vice President,

Sri Lanka thanks Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association for the report on his visit to Sri Lanka from 18-26 July 2019 (A/HRC/44/50/Add.1). The Government of Sri Lanka shared its comments on the contents of the Special Rapporteur’s advanced unedited report, some of which have been incorporated into the final version that has been presented today. At this interactive dialogue, we wish to share some further comments on matters contained in the report, and provide updates where available.

Mr. Vice President,

As acknowledged by the Special Rapporteur in his Report, the Government of Sri Lanka extended full cooperation and support to the Special Rapporteur “before, during and after the visit, especially given the great difficulties presented at the time”, demonstrating commitment to engage constructively and meaningfully with the Special Rapporteur.

We take note of the recognition in the report, of Sri Lanka’s “particular circumstances as a post-conflict and multi-ethnic society”, and the Special Rapporteur’s condolences to the victims of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

The facilitation of the Special Rapporteur’s visit, even as the country was grappling with challenges associated with a new manifestation of terrorism, demonstrates Sri Lanka’s commitment to continue its constructive engagement with UN human rights mechanisms. The visit of the Special Rapporteur was among the 9 country visits undertaken by Special Procedure Mandate Holders on different thematic mandates to Sri Lanka in the past 5 years, and we remain committed to fostering this cooperative dialogue.

Mr. Vice President,

Sri Lanka concurs with the Special Rapporteur that the rights to peaceful assembly and association are essential for the full realization of democracy. The longstanding importance guaranteed to these rights is evidenced by the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The trade union movement in Sri Lanka dates back to the early 1900s and has been a pivotal driver in not only safeguarding workers’ rights to assembly and association but also in the struggle for democracy in the 1930s and 1940s amidst restrictions imposed by colonial rulers.

Today, these rights have been guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution, and are subject only to the limitations recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the exceptional grounds set out under Article 15 of the Constitution. The rich jurisprudence of decisions by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Article 14 indicates how the Sri Lankan judiciary has consistently upheld the rights to peaceful assembly and association as a justiciable fundamental right. The protests, demonstrations and other forms of assembly and association by different groups, which one witnesses in the country, show how these rights are being enjoyed by the people, in Sri Lanka’s vibrant democratic process.

These constitutional rights have been exercised across the Sri Lankan society, including by human rights activists, other civil society actors, university students as well as trade unions. It may be noted that the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act No 56 of 1999, which provided for prohibition of unfair labour practices by employers, sets out that No employer shall –

(a)   Require a workman to join, or refrain from joining, any trade union, or to withdraw from, or to refrain from withdrawing from, his membership of a trade union of which he is a member, as a condition of his employment;

(b)   Dismiss a workman by reason only of his membership of a trade union or of his engaging in trade union activities;

(c)   Give any inducement or promise to a workman for the purpose of preventing him from becoming, or continuing to be, a member, office bearer or representative of a trade union;

(d)   Prevent a workman from

(i)    Forming a trade union; or

(ii)   Supporting a trade union, by financial or other means;

(e)   Interfere with the conduct of the activities of a trade union;

(f)     Dismiss, or otherwise take disciplinary action against, any workman or office bearer of a trade union;

(i)     For a statement made by such workman or office bearer in good faith before any tribunal or person in authority; or

(ii)    For any statement regarding acts or omission of the employer relating to the terms and conditions of employment, of the members of such trade union made by such workman or office bearer, in pursuance of an industrial dispute for the purpose of securing redress or amelioration of working conditions of such members;

(g)   Refuse to bargain with a trade union which has in its membership not less than forty per centum of the workmen on whose behalf such trade union seeks to bargain. For the purpose of this paragraph the Commissioner of Labour or an officer authorized by him in that behalf may conduct a poll at any work place in order to ascertain whether at least forty per centum of the workmen on whose behalf the trade union seeks to bargain with the employer, are members of such trade union;

At the international level, Sri Lanka has ratified all core UN human rights treaties, as well as many of the International Labour Organisation’s fundamental conventions, particularly Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize and Convention No. 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.

Mr. Vice President,

A key challenge for democratic, rules-based societies lies in their ability to strike an equitable balance between competing human rights. Therefore, just as the rights to peaceful assembly and association are vital, it is equally important that they are exercised responsibly, in a manner that does not violate the rights of other persons or groups. It is this key consideration, which, in our view, underpins the restrictions on assembly/association in Articles 21 and 22 of the ICCPR, namely, “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”. It is this same consideration that forms the basis for limitations to these rights under the Sri Lankan Constitution, including in the interests of ‘racial or religious harmony’ and ‘national economy’, particularly as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious developing nation.

The Government of Sri Lanka has strived to ensure that these limitations on the rights to peaceful assembly and association are applied in line with the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality:

–        The Emergency Regulations which were promulgated soon after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, in accordance with applicable law, were lifted as soon as the circumstances which warranted their extension ceased to exist. We acknowledge that the Special Rapporteur has recognised the “legitimate need to protect the nation from terrorist attacks”, and wish to update that the persons arrested under these Regulations were expeditiously investigated and either released or directed to appropriate legal processes.

–        With regard to registration of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), we wish to note that the requirements relating to registration are intended to balance the Government’s commitment to safeguarding freedom of association, with legitimate national security interests. It is noteworthy that investigations conducted in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks have indicated the possibility of terrorists abusing an unregulated process to transfer funds for their activities/organizations.

–        As for the declaration of some public services as essential, it must be noted that these legal provisions have been used by the Government only in instances where certain trade union action posed an imminent threat to the rights of the general public, as provided for by the ICCPR as well. We wish to highlight that this law has been used only twice in the recent past, when continued strike action by transport service employees threatened the basic human rights of a larger segment of the population.

–        The requirement for notification referred to in the Special Rapporteur’s report applies only to processions, with a view to managing the possible obstruction of public roads and consequent disruption of public life that it may cause, particularly during rush hours. Since February this year, the Government has allocated a dedicated land space in the heart of the capital for people to carry out their protests or assemblies with least disruption to the day to day lives of the rest of the population.

–        As noted by the Special Rapporteur in his report, the Department of Police, in 2016, has issued clear Orders to the police force that measures to disperse unlawful assemblies should be lawful, proportionate and purely for the purpose of maintaining law and order and protecting the society. Use of force has been permitted only as the last possible resort, to be exercised strictly according to stipulated laws and guidelines, in a manner that does not infringe upon the fundamental rights of the people. Members of the police receive regular training in this regard as part of their human rights training programmes. The Government will work towards ensuring the full implementation of these Orders, while also ensuring that errant officers are made accountable according to due process of the law.

With reference to reports of alleged surveillance and intimidation, we would like to reiterate our invitation to the parties concerned to make formal complaints to law enforcement authorities or to independent national institutions such as the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka or the National Police Commission, so that action can be taken to investigate the alleged incidents. The Government remains committed to protecting and promoting civil society space, and ensuring that complaints received on alleged intimidation are investigated and prosecuted.

It is also reiterated that, apart from operating routine security networks in the interest of national security, particularly after the devastating Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, the Security Forces and intelligence agencies are not engaged in monitoring any specific group of people in the country. We believe for any country, compromising its national security interests amidst looming sophistication of strategies of radical and extreme elements world around, is bound to face regrettable consequences. Hence, the GoSL requests the Special Rapporteur to be mindful of that stark reality when making recommendations related to security sector reforms.

Steps will be taken to address concerns related to alleged harassment of religious minorities and to safeguard persons of all faiths. In this respect, an amendment to the Penal Code is under consideration to prevent hate speech and incitement of hatred among communities through mainstream and social media.

In conclusion, Mr. Vice President, Sri Lanka would like to restate its commitment to remaining engaged with the Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and of association as well as other Special Procedure Mandate Holders of this Council in an open and constructive manner, in line with our domestic policies and priorities.

Thank you.


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10 July 2020

Mr. President,

In an era where humanity is threatened with inter-state conflicts, intra-state frictions, asymmetrical threats posed by non-state actors, natural disasters, health related issues and a variety of other challenges, Sri Lanka appreciates Germany’s efforts to initiate discussion on the timely subject of  “Peace Operations and Human Rights”. My delegation wishes Germany every success as President of the Security Council for the month of July and is confident that it will be a productive tenure.

Sri Lanka takes this opportunity to honor the thousands of men and women who for decades helped countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace by providing security and peacebuilding support under the Blue Helmet. Sri Lanka is proud to have a long association with United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, having served as a member of the 1956 Advisory Committee that led to the establishment of the first “classical” peacekeeping mission – UNEF 1, deployed  during the Suez crisis and later deployed  UN Peacekeepers to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) in 1960.

With consistent effort, a wealth of experience and expertise gathered across diverse scenarios, the United Nations Peace Operations (UNPO) have become a vital- credible, dependable and versatile global instrument to ensure  human security in conflict situations. The significance of the current Peace Operations are such that, considering the magnitudes of violence and their frequency of manifestation, it would be hard to visualize the destiny of human lives in some of the conflict zones in the absence of assistance by the United Nations.

Human Rights remain an important element for UNPO. Several PKOs such as MONUSCO, MINUSCA, MINUSMA, UNAMID, UNMISS have integrated human rights components, as well as Special Political Missions such as UNAMI, UNSMIL, UNSOM, UNAMA and BINUH, to identify a few. This is crucial across a wide spectrum of missions and strengthens the Missions’ credibility.

Sri Lanka remains fully committed to UN Peacekeeping and upholding human rights, and in this context has taken a number of measures to ensure that all Sri Lankan Peacekeepers are suitably trained and fully equipped with theoretical knowledge and practical application of all necessary functions of peacekeeping, including the promotion and protection of  human rights.  Towards this end, a comprehensive package of education and training on relevant subjects are included in the pre-deployment training courses and continuity is maintained during the deployment by way of in-mission training, conducted in consultation with UN authorities. In addition, human rights has been included as part of the training of security forces and police in Sri Lanka. At the premier degree awarding tertiary institution established for military personnel, the Kotalawala Defence University, where many military cadets pursue degree programmes, human rights is taught as an important component of the academic programme. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the ICRC also conduct a number of training programmes for the Military and the Police on human rights and international humanitarian law.

Mr. President,

It is observed that Peace Operations are becoming progressively complex in nature, with diverse socio-political challenges with increased impact on civilians as a result of direct and indirect actions of parties to conflicts. Sri Lanka has endorsed the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians.

Violations of human rights in most conflict affected communities, disproportionately affect  women and children. In situations of heightened violence and insecurity, as one of the most vulnerable segments of the population, they may experience such violations from within the family itself, in addition to existing discrimination in society. As such, it is vital to be sensitive to issues of gender in looking at human rights.

In a number of missions, women protection advisers are responsible for monitoring, analyzing and reporting on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). Whilst assuring Sri Lanka’s continuous commitment to enhance the participation of women in Peacekeeping operations, it is emphasized that focusing on education and capacity building of women should be considered a priority task to achieve meaningful gender parity as a long-term solution to this issue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the human rights situation, particularly in territories affected by conflict. Travel related restrictions and limitations enforced on human interactions have generated negative effects across the spectrum, ranging from difficulties in delivering humanitarian assistance to the provision of protection for vulnerable communities. Diversion of resources from funds allocated for UN field missions for humanitarian assistance to the pandemic mitigation effort would weaken capacities of peacekeeping missions in protecting civilians.

It is pertinent to mention that credibility of institutions that promote the adherence to and protection of  human rights can be significantly undermined when they are  unduly politicized. There have been instances where unproven allegations of human rights violations were used as instruments to unduly pressurize and manipulate contributions to peacekeeping by governments for undue political gains. Sri Lanka firmly believes that, the United Nations as the largest global body that is committed to ensure the rights of every human being, should always remain impartial whilst fully respecting the principle of sovereign equality in its all interactions with member states.

Mr. President,

The ever-changing dynamics of present armed conflicts and their rapid evolution makes the protection of human rights of vulnerable communities as a recurring task which is becoming increasingly challenging. In this context, the UN peacekeeping operations should remain a collective endeavor in ensuring the protection of vulnerable communities, and it is essential that there is engagement and interaction with various stakeholders, including civil society and the wider population.  This is also vital to build trust with local communities, where UN Peacekeeping Missions operate. Protecting civilians and upholding human rights are vital for the success of a UNPKO and shapes how a population will remember the Peacekeepers and reflects the manner in which the United Nations will be evaluated.

Having engaged in a humanitarian struggle with a terrorist organization that used human shields, suicide bombers and child soldiers, Sri Lanka’s armed forces and Police have been sharing expertise in handling difficult and complex terrains of the humanitarian engagement field in difficult areas of the world. Whilst acknowledging and commending the effort by the UN Secretariat and the Department of Peace Operations on their dedicated effort in promoting the human rights of communities undergoing hardships in conflict affected territories, Sri Lanka reiterates its full commitment to this noble cause, to protect and promote human rights and the protection of civilians.

Thank you.


එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ ආරක්ෂක මණ්ඩලයේ “සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම් හා මානව හිමිකම්” පිළිබඳ ඉහළ මට්ටමේ විවෘත විවාදය

2020 ජූලි 7 වැනි දින

ශ්‍රී ලංකා නියෝජිත කණ්ඩායමේ ලිඛිත ප්‍රකාශය


රාජ්‍ය නොවන ක්‍රියාකාරීන්, ස්වාභාවික විපත්, සෞඛ්‍ය සම්බන්ධ ගැටලු මගින් එල්ලවන සිවිල් ගැටුම්, අන්තර් රාජ්‍ය ඝට්ටන, අසමමිතික තර්ජන සහ වෙනත් විවිධාකාර වූ  අභියෝගයන්ගෙන් මානව වර්ගයාට තර්ජනයක් පවතින යුගයක, “සාම මෙහෙයුම් සහ මානව හිමිකම්” යන කාලෝචිත විෂය පිළිබඳ සාකච්ඡා ආරම්භ කිරීමට ජර්මනිය දරන ප්‍රයත්න ශ්‍රී ලංකාව අගය කරයි. ජූලි මාසය සඳහා ආරක්ෂක මණ්ඩලයේ සභාපතිත්වය දරන රටවන ජර්මනියට සියලු සාර්ථකත්වයන් ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරන අතර එය ඵලදායී  ධුර කාලයක් වනු ඇතැයි විශ්වාස කරන්නෙමු.


එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක වැඩපිළිවෙල යටතේ ආරක්ෂාව සහ සාමය ගොඩනැංවීමේ සහාය ලබා දීමෙන් ගැටුම්වල සිට සාමය දක්වා දුෂ්කර මාවතේ සැරිසැරීමට දශක ගණනාවක් පුරා රටවල්වලට උපකාර  කළ දහස් ගණන් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම්වලට සම්බන්ධ පුරුෂයින්ට හා කාන්තාවන්ට ගෞරව කිරීමට ශ්‍රී ලංකාව මෙම අවස්ථාව යොදා ගනී. සූවස් අර්බුධ සමයේද එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ දූත මෙහෙය සඳහා එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක හමුදාවන් ලෙස යොදවන ලද UNEF 1 නම්වූ ප්‍රථම “සම්භාව්‍ය” සාමසාධක මෙහෙයුම ස්ථාපනය කිරීමට තුඩුදුන් 1956 උපදේශක කම්ටුවේ සාමාජික රටක් වශයෙන් සේවය කොට පසුව 1960 දී කොංගෝ ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික ජනරජයේ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාමසාධක මෙහෙයුම්වලට ද සම්බන්ධවෙමින් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම් සමඟ දිගුකාලීන සම්බන්ධතාවයක් පැවැත්වීම පිළිබඳව ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ආඩම්බර වෙයි.

විවිධ අවස්ථාවන්හිදී එක්රැස් වූ අත්දැකීම් සම්භාරයකින් හා විශේෂඥ දැනුමෙන් පිරිපුන් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම මෙහෙයුම් (UNPO) ගැටුම් අවස්ථාවන්හිදී මානව ආරක්ෂාව සහතික කිරීම සඳහා අත්‍යවශ්‍ය, විශ්වසනීය, විශ්වාසය තැබිය හැකි හා නිපුණ ගෝලීය මෙවලමක් බවට පත්ව ඇත. වර්තමාන සාම මෙහෙයුම්වල වැදගත්කම වන්නේ,  ප්‍රචණ්ඩත්වයේ විශාලත්වය සහ ප්‍රචණ්ඩත්ව පෙන්නුම් කරන වාර ගණන සැලකිල්ලට ගැනීමේදී , එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සහාය නොමැති විට සමහර ගැටුම් කලාපවල මිනිස් ජීවිතවල ඉරණම මිනිස් ජීවිතවල ඉරණම දෘශ්‍යමාන කිරීම දුෂ්කර වනු ඇත.


මානව හිමිකම්, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම මෙහෙයුම්වල (UNPO) වැදගත් අංගයක් ලෙස පවතී. MONUSCO, MINUSCA, MINUSMA, UNAMID, UNMISS වැනි සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම් කිහිපයක් සහ UNAMI, UNSMIL, UNSOM, UNAMA සහ BINUH වැනි විශේෂ දේශපාලන මෙහෙයුම් මානව හිමිකම් සංරචක සමෝධානිකරණය කර ඇත. මෙහෙයුම් විශාල සංඛ්‍යාවක් සඳහා මෙය වැදගත් වන අතර මෙමගින්,මෙහෙයුමේ විශ්වසනීයත්වය ශක්තිමත් කරයි.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක හමුදාව සහ මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම සඳහා පූර්ණ වශයෙන් කැපවී සිටින අතර, මෙම සන්දර්භය තුළ සියලුම ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සාම සාධක භටයින් සුදුසු පුහුණුවක් ලබා ඇති බවත්, න්‍යායාත්මක දැනුමෙන් හා මානව හිමිකම් ප්‍රවර්ධනය සහ සුරක්ෂාකිරීම ඇතුළුව සාමසාධනය සඳහා අවශ්‍යවන කටයුතු ප්‍රායෝගිකව අදාළ කරගැනීමෙන් පූර්ණ ලෙස සන්නද්ධව සිටින බවත්, තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා පියවර රැසක් ගෙන තිබේ. මේ සඳහා, සාමසාධක කටයුතුවල නිරත වීමට ලබාදෙන පුහුණු පාඨමාලාවලට අදාළ විෂයයන් පිළිබඳ පුළුල් අධ්‍යාපන හා පුහුණු පැකේජයක් ඇතුළත් කර ඇති අතර, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ බලධාරීන් සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කර පවත්වනු ලබන මෙහෙයුම් පුහුණු පැවැත්වීම මගින්  මෙහෙයුම්වල යෙදවීමේදී අඛණ්ඩතාව පවත්වාගෙන යනු ලැබේ. මීට අමතරව, ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ආරක්ෂක හමුදාවලට සහ පොලීසියට ලබාදෙන පුහුණුවල එක් කොටසක් ලෙස මානව හිමිකම් ඇතුළත් කර ඇත. බොහෝ හමුදා ශිෂ්‍ය භටයින් උපාධි පාඨමාලා හදාරන කොතලාවල ආරක්ෂක විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය වැනි හමුදා නිලධාරීන් සඳහා පිහිටුවා ඇති ප්‍රමුඛතම උපාධි ප්‍රදානය කරන තෘතීයික ආයතනයක දී අධ්‍යයන වැඩසටහනේ වැදගත් අංගයක් ලෙස මානව හිමිකම් උගන්වනු ලැබේ. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමිෂන් සභාව සහ අන්තර්ජාතික රතුකුරුස සංවිධානය විසින් හමුදාව හා පොලීසිය සඳහා මානව හිමිකම් සහ ජාත්‍යන්තර මානුෂීය නීතිය පිළිබඳ පුහුණු වැඩසටහන් ගණනාවක් ද පවත්වනු ලැබේ.


ගැටුම් වලට හේතුවන සෘජු හා වක්‍ර පාර්ශ්වවල ක්‍රියාකාරකම් හේතුවෙන්,  සිවිල් වැසියන්ට වැඩි බලපෑමක් ඇති කරමින් පැනනගින විවිධ සමාජ-දේශපාලන අභියෝගයන් සමඟ සාම මෙහෙයුම් ක්‍රමයෙන් සංකීර්ණ වෙමින් පවතින බව නිරීක්ෂණය කෙරේ. සිවිල් වැසියන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම පිළිබඳ කිගාලි මූලධර්ම ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් අනුමත කර ඇත.

ගැටුම්වලින් පීඩාවට පත් බොහෝ  ප්‍රජාවන්හි මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීම් කාන්තාවන්ට හා ළමයින්ට සමානුපාතික නොවන ලෙස බලපායි. ජනගහනයේ වඩාත්ම අවදානමට ලක්විය හැකි කොටසක් ලෙස ප්‍රචණ්ඩත්වය සහ අනාරක්ෂිත භාවය ඉහළ යන අවස්ථාවලදී, සමාජයේ පවත්නා වෙනස් කොට සැළ කිරීම්වලට අමතරව, පවුල තුළින්ම එවැනි උල්ලංඝනයන් ඔවුන් අත්විඳිය හැකිය. එනිසා, මානව හිමිකම් දෙස බැලීමේදී ස්ත්‍රී පුරුෂ සමාජභාවය පිළිබඳ ගැටලු කෙරෙහි සංවේදී වීම අත්‍යවශ්‍ය වේ.

මෙහෙයුම් ගණනාවකම, ගැටුම් ආශ්‍රිත ලිංගික හිංසනය (CRSV) අධීක්ෂණය, විශ්ලේෂණය සහ වාර්තා කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් කාන්තා ආරක්ෂණ උපදේශකයින් වගකිව යුතුය. සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම් සඳහා කාන්තාවන්ගේ සහභාගීත්වය ඉහළ නැංවීම සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අඛණ්ඩ කැපවීම සහතික කරන අතරම, මෙම ප්‍රශ්නයට දීර්ඝ කාලීන විසඳුමක් ලෙස අර්ථවත් ස්ත්‍රී පුරුෂ සමානාත්මතාවය ළඟා කර ගැනීම සඳහා, කාන්තාවන්ගේ අධ්‍යාපනය සහ ධාරිතා වර්ධනය කෙරෙහි අවධානය යොමු කිරීම ප්‍රමුඛ කාර්යයක් ලෙස සැලකිය යුතු බව අවධාරණය කෙරේ.

විශේෂයෙන් ගැටුම්වලින් පීඩාවට පත් වූ ප්‍රදේශවල දී, කොවිඩ්-19 වසංගතය මානව හිමිකම් තත්ත්වය කෙරෙහි සැලකිය යුතු අන්දමින් බලපා ඇත. සංචාරයෙහි යෙදීම ආශ්‍රිත සීමාවන් සහ මානව අන්තර්ක්‍රියා සඳහා පනවා ඇති සීමාවන් මඟින්, මානුෂීය ආධාර ලබා දීමේ දුෂ්කරතාවල සිට අවදානමට ලක්විය හැකි ප්‍රජාවන්ට ආරක්ෂාව සැපයීම දක්වා වූ පරාසය පුරාම ඍණාත්මක බලපෑම් ඇති කර තිබේ. මානුෂීය ආධාර පිණිස එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මෙහෙයුම් සඳහා වෙන් කර ඇති අරමුදල්වලින්, වසංගත අවම කිරීමේ ප්‍රයත්නය සඳහා සම්පත් හරවා යැවීම තුළින්, සිවිල් වැසියන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම සඳහා වූ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම්වල හැකියාවන් දුර්වල කරනු ඇත.

අයුතු ලෙස දේශපාලනීකරණය වූ විට, මානව හිමිකම් පිළිපැදීම හා ආරක්ෂා කිරීම ප්‍රවර්ධනය කරන ආයතනවල විශ්වසනීයත්වය සැලකිය යුතු ලෙස අඩපණ කළ හැකි බව සඳහන් කිරීම උචිත වේ. අයුතු දේශපාලන වාසි ලබා ගැනීම සඳහා, මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීම් පිළිබඳ ඔප්පු නොකළ චෝදනා රජයන් විසින් සාමය පවත්වා ගැනීම සඳහා වන දායකත්වය කෙරෙහි අනවශ්‍ය ලෙස බලපෑම් කිරීම හා හැසිරවීම සඳහා මෙවලම් ලෙස භාවිතා කළ අවස්ථා තිබේ. සෑම මනුෂ්‍යයෙකුගේම අයිතිවාසිකම් සහතික කිරීම සඳහා කැපවී සිටින විශාලතම ගෝලීය ආයතනය ලෙස එක්සත් ජාතීන් සැමවිටම අපක්ෂපාතීව සිටිය යුතු අතර, සාමාජික රටවල් සමඟ පවතින සියලුම අන්තර්ක්‍රියාවල දී ස්වෛරී සමානාත්මතාවයේ මූලධර්මයට පූර්ණ ලෙස ගරු කළ යුතු බව ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තරයේ විශ්වාස කරයි.


වර්තමාන සන්නද්ධ ගැටුම්වල නිරන්තර වෙනස්වන ගතිකතාවයන් සහ ඒවායේ වේගවත් පරිණාමය නිසා, අවදානමට ලක්විය හැකි ප්‍රජාවන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම පුනරාවර්තී කාර්යයක් ලෙස වඩ වඩාත් අභියෝගාත්මක වෙමින් පවතී. මෙම සන්දර්භය තුළ, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම්, අවදානමට ලක්විය හැකි ප්‍රජාවන්ගේ ආරක්ෂාව සහතික කිරීම සඳහා සාමූහික ප්‍රයත්නයක් ලෙස පැවතිය යුතු වන අතර, ඒ සඳහා සිවිල් සමාජය සහ පුළුල් ජනගහනය ඇතුළු විවිධ පාර්ශ්වකරුවන් සමඟ මැදිහත්වීම හා අන්තර් ක්‍රියාකාරිත්වය අත්‍යවශ්‍ය වේ. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම් ක්‍රියාත්මක වන ප්‍රදේශවල ප්‍රජාවන් සමඟ විශ්වාසය ගොඩනැගීම පිණිස ද මෙය අත්‍යවශ්‍ය වේ. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාම සාධක මෙහෙයුම්වල සාර්ථකත්වය සඳහා සිවිල් වැසියන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම සහ මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම අත්‍යවශ්‍ය වන අතර, එය කිසියම් ජනගහනයක් විසින් සාම සාධක භටයින් සිහිපත් කරන්නේ කෙසේද යන්න හැඩගස්වමින්, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය පිළිබඳව ඇගයීම සිදුකෙරෙන ආකාරය පිළිබිඹු කරයි.

මානව පලිහ, මරාගෙන මැරෙන බෝම්බකරුවන් සහ ළමා සොල්දාදුවන් භාවිත කළ ත්‍රස්ත සංවිධානයක් සමඟ මානුෂීය අරගලයක නිරත වී ඇති ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ත්‍රිවිධ හමුදාව සහ පොලීසිය, ලෝකයේ දුෂ්කර ප්‍රදේශවල දී මානුෂීය කටයුතු ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ දුෂ්කර හා සංකීර්ණ භූමි ප්‍රදේශ හැසිරවීම සඳහා වන විශේෂඥ දැනුම බෙදාහදා ගෙන තිබේ. ගැටුම්වලින් පීඩාවට පත් වූ ප්‍රදේශවල දුෂ්කරතාවන්ට ලක්වන ප්‍රජාවන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම සඳහා එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහලේකම් කාර්යාලය සහ සාම මෙහෙයුම් දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව දරන උත්සාහය පිළිගැනීමට ලක් කරමින් හා ප්‍රශංසා කරන අතරම, මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම, ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම සහ සිවිල් වැසියන්ගේ ආරක්ෂාව සඳහා වන මෙම උදාර අරමුණ සඳහා සිය පූර්ණ කැපවීම ශ්‍රී ලංකාව යළිත් අවධාරණය කරයි.




ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் பாதுகாப்பு சபையில் ‘சமாதான நடவடிக்கைகள் மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகள்‘ குறித்த உயர் மட்ட திறந்த விவாதம்
7 ஜூலை 2020
இலங்கைத் தூதுக்குழுவின் எழுத்துப்பூர்வ அறிக்கை


தலைவர் அவர்களே,

அரசுகளுக்கு இடையேயான மோதல்கள், உள்ளக – அரச உராய்வுகள், அரசு சாராத செயற்பாட்டாளர்கள் முன்வைக்கும் சமச்சீரற்ற அச்சுறுத்தல்கள், இயற்கைப் பேரழிவுகள், சுகாதாரம் தொடர்பான பிரச்சினைகள் மற்றும் பலவிதமான சவால்களால் மனிதகுலம் அச்சுறுத்தப்படும் ஒரு சகாப்தத்தில், ‘சமாதான நடவடிக்கைகள் மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகள்’ என்ற விடயப் பரப்பில் சரியான நேரத்தில் கலந்துரையாடல்களை ஆரம்பிப்பதற்கான ஜேர்மனியின் முயற்சிகளை இலங்கை பாராட்டுகின்றது. ஜூலை மாதத்திற்கான பாதுகாப்பு சபையின் தலைவராக செயற்படும் ஜேர்மனிக்கு வெற்றிகளுக்காக எனது பிரதிநிதிகள் வாழ்த்துவதுடன், இது ஒரு பயனுள்ள பதவிக்காலமாக அமையும் என நம்புகின்றோம்.

பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் அமைதியைக் கட்டியெழுப்புவதற்காக ப்ளூ ஹெல்மட்டின் கீழ் ஆதரவை வழங்குவதன் மூலம், மோதலிலிருந்து அமைதியை நோக்கிய கடினமான பாதையில் செல்வதற்கு பல தசாப்தங்களாக நாடுகளுக்கு உதவிகளை வழங்கிய ஆயிரக்கணக்கான ஆண்களையும் பெண்களையும் கௌரவிப்பதற்காக இலங்கை இந்த சந்தர்ப்பத்தைப் பயன்படுத்திக் கொள்கின்றது. 1956ஆம் ஆண்டின் ஆலோசனைக் குழுவின் உறுப்பினராக பணியாற்றி, ஐக்கிய நாடுகளின் அமைதி காக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளுடன் நீண்டகாலமாக தொடர்புகளை வைத்திருப்பதில் இலங்கை பெருமிதம் கொள்வதுடன், இது சுயஸ் நெருக்கடியின் போது பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டதும், யு.என்.எஃப். 1 ஐ நிறுவ வழிவகுத்ததுமான முதலாவது ‘பாரம்பரிய’ அமைதி காக்கும் பணியாவதுடன், பின்னர் 1960 ஆம் ஆண்டில் கொங்கோ ஜனநாயகக் குடியரசில் ஐ.நா. பணியிலிருந்து ஐ.நா. அமைதி காக்கும் படையினராக பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டது.

தொடர்ச்சியாக, அனுபவமும் நிபுணத்துவமும் நிறைந்த சூழ்நிலையில், மோதல் சூழ்நிலைகளில் மனித பாதுகாப்பை உறுதி செய்வதற்கான ஒரு முக்கியமான, நம்பகமான மற்றும் பல்துறை சார்ந்த உலகளாவிய கருவியாக ஐக்கிய நாடுகளின் அமைதி நடவடிக்கைகள் மாறியுள்ளன. தற்போதைய அமைதி நடவடிக்கைகளின் முக்கியத்துவம் என்னவென்றால், வன்முறையின் அளவையும் அவற்றின் வெளிப்பாட்டின் அதிர்வெண்ணையும் கருத்தில் கொண்டு, ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் உதவி இல்லாத நிலையில் சில மோதல் வலயங்களில் மனித வாழ்வின் தலைவிதியைக் காண்பது கடினமாகும்.

ஐக்கிய நாடுகளின் அமைதி நடவடிக்கைகளுக்கு மனித உரிமைகள் ஒரு முக்கிய அங்கமாக இருக்கின்றன. எம்.ஓ.என்.யு.எஸ்.சி.ஓ, எம்.ஐ.என்.யு.எஸ்.சி.ஏ, எம்.ஐ.என்.யு.எஸ்.எம்.ஏ, யு.என்.ஏ.எம்.ஐ.டி மற்றும் யு.என்.எம்.ஐ.எஸ்.எஸ். போன்ற பல அமைதி காக்கும் அமைப்புக்களும், யு.என்.ஏ.எம்.ஐ, யு.என்.எஸ்.எம்.ஐ.எல், யு.என்.எஸ்.ஓ.எம், யு.என்.ஏ.எம்.ஏ. மற்றும் பி.ஐ.என்.யு.எச். போன்ற சிறப்பு அரசியல் பணிமனைகளும் மனித உரிமைகளின் கூறுகளை ஒருங்கிணைத்துள்ளன. பரந்த அளவிலான பணிகள் முழுவதும் இது முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்ததாக அமைவதுடன், பணிகளின் நம்பகத்தன்மையையும் பலப்படுத்துகின்றது.

அமைதி காத்தல் மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகளை நிலைநிறுத்துவதற்கான ஐ.நா. செயற்பாடுகள் தொடர்பில் இலங்கை முழுமையாக உறுதியுடன் இருக்கும் அதே வேளை, இந்த சூழலில், மனித உரிமைகளை மேம்படுத்துதல் மற்றும் பாதுகாத்தல் உள்ளடங்கலான அமைதி காக்கும் பணிகளுக்குத் தேவையான அனைத்து செயற்பாடுகளையும் நடைமுறை ரீதியாகப் பயன்படுத்துவதை உறுதிப்படுத்தத் தேவையான தகுந்த பயிற்சியும், தத்துவார்த்த அறிவும் இலங்கையின் அனைத்து அமைதி காக்கும் படையினருக்கும் வழங்கப்படுவதற்கான அனைத்து நடவடிக்கைகளும் முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. இந்த நோக்கத்திற்காக, பணியமர்த்தலுக்கு முந்தைய பயிற்சி வகுப்புக்களில் கல்வி மற்றும் பயிற்சியின் விரிவான தொகுப்பு சேர்க்கப்பட்டுள்ளதுடன், ஐ.நா. அதிகாரிகளுடன் கலந்தாலோசித்து நடாத்தப்படும் தூதரகப் பயிற்சியின் மூலமாக, பணியமர்த்தலின் போதான தொடர்ச்சி பராமரிக்கப்படுகின்றது. மேலும், இலங்கையில் பாதுகாப்புப் படையினர் மற்றும் பொலிஸாருக்கான பயிற்சியின் ஒரு பகுதியாக மனித உரிமைகள் சேர்க்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. பல இராணுவப் பயிற்சி மாணவர்கள் தமது பட்டப்படிப்புத் திட்டங்களைத் தொடரும் கொத்தலாவல பாதுகாப்புப் பல்கலைக்கழகத்தின் இராணுவப் பணியாளர்களுக்காக நிறுவப்பட்ட முதன்மைப் பட்டம் வழங்கும் மூன்றாம் நிலை நிறுவனத்தில், கல்வித் திட்டத்தின் ஒரு முக்கிய அங்கமாக மனித உரிமைகள் கற்பிக்கப்படுகின்றன. இலங்கையின் மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணைக்குழு மற்றும் சர்வதேச செஞ்சிலுவைச் சங்கம் ஆகியன இராணுவம் மற்றும் பொலிஸாருக்கு மனித உரிமைகள் மற்றும் சர்வதேச மனிதாபிமானச் சட்டம் குறித்து பல பயிற்சித் திட்டங்களை நடாத்துகின்றன.

தலைவர் அவர்களே,

மோதல்களுக்கான தரப்பினரின் நேரடியான மற்றும் மறைமுகமான நடவடிக்கைகளின் விளைவாக, பொதுமக்கள் மீது அதிகரித்த தாக்கத்தை ஏற்படுத்திய பல்வேறு சமூக – அரசியல் சவால்களுடன் சமாதான நடவடிக்கைகள் படிப்படியாக சிக்கலாகி வருவதைக் காணலாம். பொதுமக்களின் பாதுகாப்பு தொடர்பான கிகாலி கொள்கைகளுக்கு இலங்கை அங்கீகாரமளித்துள்ளது.

பெரும்பாலான மோதல்களால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட சமூகங்களில் பெண்கள் மற்றும் குழந்தைகளை மனித உரிமை மீறல்கள் விகிதாசாரமாகப் பாதிக்கின்றன. வன்முறை மற்றும் பாதுகாப்பின்மை ஆகியவற்றின் சூழ்நிலைகளில், மக்கள் தொகையின் மிகவும் பாதிக்கப்படக்கூடிய பிரிவுகளில் ஒன்றாக, சமூகத்தில் தற்போதுள்ள பாகுபாடுகளுக்கு மேலதிகமாக, குடும்பத்தினரிடமிருந்தும் இதுபோன்ற மீறல்களை அவர்கள் அனுபவிக்கக்கூடும். எனவே, மனித உரிமைகளைப் பார்ப்பதில் பாலின பிரச்சினைகள் குறித்து உணர்திறன் இருப்பது மிகவும் முக்கியமானதாகும்.

பல பணிகளில், மோதல் தொடர்பான பாலியல் வன்முறைகளை கண்காணித்தல், பகுப்பாய்வு செய்தல் மற்றும் முறைப்பாடு செய்தல் ஆகியவற்றுக்கு பெண்கள் பாதுகாப்பு ஆலோசகர்களே பொறுப்பானவர்களாவர். அமைதி காக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளில் பெண்களின் பங்களிப்பை மேம்படுத்துவதில் இலங்கையின் தொடர்ச்சியான உறுதிப்பாட்டை உறுதிப்படுத்துகையில், இந்தப் பிரச்சினைக்கு நீண்டகாலத் தீர்வாக, அர்த்தமுள்ள பாலின சமத்துவத்தை அடைவதற்காக கல்வி மற்றும் பெண்களின் திறன் அபிவிருத்தி ஆகியவற்றில் கவனம் செலுத்துவது முன்னுரிமைப் பணியாகக் கருதப்பட வேண்டும் என வலியுறுத்தப்படுகின்றது.

கோவிட்-19 தொற்றுநோயானது, குறிப்பாக மோதல்களால் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட பிரதேசங்களில் மனித உரிமை நிலைமைகளை கணிசமாகப் பாதித்துள்ளது. மனிதத் தொடர்புகளில் செயற்படுத்தப்படும் பிரயாணம் தொடர்பான கட்டுப்பாடுகள் மற்றும் வரம்புகள் போன்றன மனிதாபிமான உதவிகளை வழங்குவதிலுள்ள சிரமங்கள் முதல் பாதிக்கப்படக்கூடிய சமூகங்களுக்கு பாதுகாப்பு வழங்குவது வரை முழுவதும் எதிர்மறையான விளைவுகளை உருவாக்கியுள்ளன. மனிதாபிமான உதவிக்கான ஐ.நா. களப் பணிகளுக்காக ஒதுக்கப்பட்ட நிதியிலிருந்து தொற்றுநோயைத் தணிக்கும் முயற்சிக்காக வளங்களைத் திருப்புவதானது, பொதுமக்களைப் பாதுகாப்பதில் அமைதி காக்கும் பணிகளின் திறன்களை பலவீனப்படுத்தும்.

மனித உரிமைகளைப் பின்பற்றுவதையும் பாதுகாப்பதையும் ஊக்குவிக்கும் நிறுவனங்களின் நம்பகத்தன்மையானது, தேவையற்ற முறையில் அவை அரசியல்மயமாக்கப்படும்போது கணிசமாகக் குறைமதிப்பிற்கு உட்படுத்தப்படலாம் என்பதைக் குறிப்பிடுவது பொருத்தமானது. தேவையற்ற அரசியல் ஆதாயங்களுக்காக மனித உரிமை மீறல்கள் நிரூபிக்கப்படாத குற்றச்சாட்டுக்கள் அமைதி காக்கும் பங்களிப்புக்களுக்கு தேவையற்ற முறையில் அழுத்தம் கொடுப்பதற்கும், கையாளுவதற்குமான கருவிகளாக அரசாங்கங்களால் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்ட சம்பவங்களும் உள்ளன. ஒவ்வொரு மனிதனின் உரிமைகளையும் உறுதிசெய்ய உறுதிபூண்டுள்ள மிகப்பெரிய உலகளாவிய அமைப்பாக ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபை எப்போதும் பாரபட்சமின்றி இருக்க வேண்டிய அதே நேரத்தில், உறுப்பு நாடுகளுடனான அனைத்து தொடர்புகளிலும் இறையாண்மை சமத்துவத்தின் கொள்கையை முழுமையாக மதிக்கின்றது என இலங்கை உறுதியாக நம்புகின்றது.

தலைவர் அவர்களே,

தற்போதைய ஆயுத மோதல்களின் மாறிவரும் இயக்கவியல் மற்றும் அவற்றின் விரைவான பரிணாமம் பாதிக்கப்படக்கூடிய சமூகங்களின் மனித உரிமைகளைப் பாதுகாப்பதை தொடர்ச்சியான பணியாக ஆக்குவதுடன், இது பெருகிய முறையில் சவாலாக மாற்றமடைந்து வருகின்றது. இந்த சூழலில், ஐ.நா. அமைதிகாக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகள் பாதிக்கப்படக்கூடிய சமூகங்களின் பாதுகாப்பை உறுதி செய்வதில் ஒரு கூட்டு முயற்சியாக இருக்க வேண்டிய அதே வேளை, சிவில் சமூகம் மற்றும் பரந்த மக்கள் தொகை உள்ளிட்ட பல்வேறு பங்குதாரர்களுடன் ஈடுபாடு மற்றும் தொடர்புகளைக் கொண்டிருப்பது அவசியமாகும். ஐ.நா. அமைதி காக்கும் பணிமனைகள் இயங்கும் உள்ளூர் சமூகங்களுடன் நம்பிக்கையை வளர்ப்பதற்கும் இது மிகவும் முக்கியமானது. ஐ.நா. அமைதிகாக்கும் அமைப்பின் வெற்றிக்கு பொதுமக்களைப் பாதுகாப்பதும் மனித உரிமைகளை நிலைநிறுத்துவதும் மிக முக்கியமானதாவதுடன், அமைதி காக்கும் படையினரை மக்கள்தொகையொன்று எவ்வாறு நினைவில் கொள்ளும் என்பதையும், ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபை மதிப்பீடு செய்யப்படும் முறையையும் அது பிரதிபலிக்கின்றது.

மனிதக் கேடயங்கள், தற்கொலைக் குண்டுதாரிகள் மற்றும் சிறுவர் படையினரைப் பயன்படுத்திய ஒரு பயங்கரவாத அமைப்போடு மனிதாபிமானப் போராட்டத்தில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ள இலங்கையின் ஆயுதப் படைகளும் பொலிஸாரும், உலகின் கடினமான பகுதிகளில் மனிதாபிமான ஈடுபாட்டுத் துறையின் கடினமான மற்றும் சிக்கலான நிலப்பரப்புக்களைக் கையாள்வதில் நிபுணத்துவத்தைப் பகிர்ந்து கொண்டுள்ளன. மோதல் பாதிப்புக்குள்ளான பிரதேசங்களில் கஷ்டங்களுக்கு உள்ளாகும் சமூகங்களின் மனித உரிமைகளை மேம்படுத்துவதில் அவர்கள் மேற்கொண்ட அர்ப்பணிப்பு முயற்சியில் ஐ.நா. செயலகம் மற்றும் அமைதி நடவடிக்கைத் திணைக்களம் மேற்கொண்ட முயற்சியை அங்கீகரித்துப் பாராட்டும் அதே வேளையில், இந்த உன்னதமான காரணத்திற்காக, மனித உரிமைகளை பாதுகாத்து, மேம்படுத்துவதற்கும், பொதுமக்களைப் பாதுகாப்பதற்குமான தனது முழுமையான உறுதிப்பாட்டை இலங்கை மீண்டும் வலியுறுத்துகின்றது.



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7 July 2020

Madam President,

Sri Lanka welcomes the report presented by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

The contribution of migrant workers to economic growth and development is increasingly becoming critical not only for their own countries, but also as a catalyst for the upward socio-economic mobility in the region and internationally.

We believe that the COVID-19 crisis taught the world that coordinated and concerted efforts are needed to ensure that migrant health is addressed without discrimination throughout the migration cycle. A further consequence of Covid-19 has been the shrinking of the employment market, which could lead to a serious shortfall in the numbers of migrant workers who will leave for work this year and in turn a drop in worker remittances.


Madam President,


During the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, while approximately 1.5 million migrant workers from Sri Lanka were overseas, the Government of Sri Lanka accorded high priority towards addressing their concerns, providing food and medicines where required, and where possible, working with host countries to obtain legitimization of their status and medical facilities including testing for Covid-19. In addition, with use of  a web portal ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ created to guide and provide information and to assist in emergencies,  over  13,000  questions posed by Overseas Sri Lankans (OSLs) were  answered  by a dedicated  team,  ensuring  the  wellbeing  of  the  migrant  workers  spread  over 120  countries. Through intra-governmental coordination utilizing a ‘whole of Government’ approach we have managed to overcome the challenges and manage the health, quarantine and travel logistics aspects.

Notwithstanding the challenges it entailed both in terms of the logistics of movement and on the capacities on quarantine to the GOSL, as of 06 July 2020, of 14,006 Sri Lankans evacuated on repatriation flights over a period of approximately 2 months, 5125 (36.59%) were migrant workers. As we speak, Sri Lanka has sent at least one repatriation flight to almost all the destinations which have a large migrant worker presence, with multiple flights to Male, Dubai, Qatar, Dhaka and Singapore. Sri Lanka is also in the process of expediting the return of a near 40,000 migrant workers who have lost their jobs.

Madam President,

It must be noted that Sri Lanka has long recognized that the health of migrant workers is vital in the future management of migrant populations. In 2013, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the International Organization on Migration (IOM), launched the ‘National Migration Health Policy’, through which the IOM conducts migration health assessments and gives technical assistance in developing standards for health assessments for inbound and outbound migrants. One of the priority areas identified under the key strategic area of inbound migration had been the strengthening of core capacities and quarantine activities at Sri Lankan ports of entry. Sri Lanka also organized the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health in Colombo from 21-23 February in 2017, partnering with the IOM and the WHO, which provided a platform for multi-sectoral dialogue and political commitment to enhance the health of migrants, focused on three thematic areas within a rights-based, people-centered, gender and equity framework. Additionally, Sri Lanka has continued to stress the need to pay due attention to migrant health as Sri Lanka successively chaired the Colombo Process from 2013-2017, and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue from 2016-2018. This provided the opportunity to design crucial regional modalities that could play a greater role in the post-COVID scenario, for the benefit of the migrant workers, as well as the sending and receiving countries.

In retrospect, we believe that if the issue of ‘migrant health’, which Sri Lanka had championed  received greater international attention at the time, there may have been a tangible difference in the management of the Covid-19 crisis, particularly with regard to undocumented workers, stranded in host countries, whose access to medical facilities remains limited.

Sri Lanka urges that greater regional and global efforts be channeled to ensure that ‘migrant health’ becomes a cornerstone in the future management of migrant populations, and the human right to health is secured for all, including migrants and refugees.

Thank you.


ශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජයේ ප්‍රකාශය

මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ 44 වන සැසිවාරය

න්‍යාය පත්‍ර අංග 3: සංක්‍රමණිකයන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් පිළිබඳ විශේෂ වාර්තාකරු සමඟ අන්තර් ක්‍රියාකාරී සංවාදය

2020 ජූලි 06


සංක්‍රමණිකයන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් පිළිබඳ විශේෂ වාර්තාකරු විසින් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලද වාර්තාව සම්බන්ධයෙන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සතුට පළවෙයි.

ආර්ථික වර්ධනයට හා සංවර්ධනයට සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයින්ගේ දායකත්වය, ඔවුන්ගේ රටවලට වඩ වඩාත් වැදගත් වෙමින් පවතිනවා පමණක් නොව කලාපයේ සහ ජාත්‍යන්තරව ඉහළ යන සමාජ-ආර්ථික සංචලනයේ උත්ප්‍රේරකයක් ද වෙයි.

කොවිඩ්-19 අර්බුදය ලොවට ඉගැන්වූයේ සංක්‍රමණික චක්‍රය පුරාම වෙනස් කොට සැලකීමකින් තොරව සංක්‍රමණිකයන්ගේ සෞඛ්‍යය ගැටලු විසදීම සහතික කිරීම සඳහා සම්බන්ධීකරණ හා සාමූහික ප්‍රයත්න අවශ්‍ය බවය. කොවිඩ් -19 හි තවත් ප්‍රතිඵලයක් වන්නේ, රැකියා වෙළඳපොල හැකිලීමයි. එමඟින්, මේ වසරේ රැකියා සඳහා පිටත්ව යන සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයින්ගේ සංඛ්‍යාවේ බරපතල අඩුවක් හා සේවක ප්‍රේෂණවල  පහත වැටීමක් ඇති විය හැකිය.


කොවිඩ්-19 වසංගතයේ උච්චතම අවස්ථාවෙහිදී, ශ්‍රී ලංකාවෙන් සංක්‍රමණික ශ්‍රමිකයන් මිලියන 1.5 ක් පමණ විදේශගතව සිටි අතර, ඔවුන්ගේ ගැටළු විසඳීම, අවශ්‍ය අවස්ථාවල දී ආහාර හා ඖෂධ සැපයීම සහ හැකි සෑම අවස්ථාවකදීම ඔවුන්ගේ තත්ත්වවලට නීත්‍යානුකූලභාවය ලබාගැනීම සඳහා සහ කොවිඩ් -19 සඳහා පරීක්ෂා කිරීම ඇතුළුව වෛද්‍ය පහසුකම් ලබාගැනීම සඳහා සත්කාරක රටවල් සමඟ කටයුතු කිරීම කෙරෙහි ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය ඉහළ ප්‍රමුඛතාවක් ලබාදුණි. ඊට අමතරව, මඟ පෙන්වීම සහ තොරතුරු සැපයීම සහ හදිසි අවස්ථාවල දී සහාය වීම සඳහා සකසන කරන ලද ‘ශ්‍රී ලංකාව අමතන්න’ යන වෙබ් ද්වාරයක් භාවිතා කිරීමත් සමඟ, විදේශගත ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයින් විසින් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලද ප්‍රශ්න 13,000 කට අධික සංඛ්‍යාවකට ඒ සඳහා කැපවූ කණ්ඩායමක් විසින් පිළිතුරු සපයමින් රටවල් 120ක් පුරා සිටි, සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයන්ගේ යහපැවැත්ම සහතික කරන ලදී. ‘සමස්ත රජයේ’ ප්‍රවේශයක් උපයෝගී කර ගනිමින් අන්තඃරාජ්‍ය සම්බන්ධීකරණය තුළින් අභියෝග ජයගෙන සෞඛ්‍ය, නිරෝධායන සහ සංචාරක සැපයුම් අංශ කළමනාකරණය කිරීමට අපට හැකි වී තිබේ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට ගෙන්වා ගැනීමේ පහසුකම් හා නිරෝධායන ධාරිතාවයන් යන අංශ දෙක සම්බන්ධයෙන්ම ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයට තිබූ අභියෝග නොතකා, 2020 ජුලි 06 වන විට, මාස 2කට ආසන්න කාලයක් පුරා මෙරටට ගෙන්වා ගැනීමේ ගුවන් ගමන් මගින් ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් 14,006ක් එම රටවලින් ඉවත්කරගන්නා ලද අතර ඉන් 5125 (36.59%) සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයන් විය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විශාල සංක්‍රමණික සේවක පිරිසක් සිටින සියලුම ගමනාන්ත වෙත අවම වශයෙන් ආපසු ගෙන්වා ගැනීමේ එක් ගුවන් ගමනක් හෝ ක්‍රියාත්මක කර ඇති අතර මාලේ, ඩුබායි, කටාර්, ඩකා සහ සිංගප්පූරුව වෙත ගුවන් ගමන් කිහිපයක් ක්‍රියාත්මක කර ඇත. රැකියා අහිමිවූ සංක්‍රමණික කම්කරුවන් 40,000 කට ආසන්න සංඛ්‍යාවකගේ නැවත ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට පැමිණීමේ ක්‍රියාවලිය වේගවත් කිරීමට ද ශ්‍රී ලංකාව කටයුතු කරමින් සිටී.


සංක්‍රමණික ජනගහනයේ අනාගත කළමනාකරණය සඳහා සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයින්ගේ සෞඛ්‍යය ඉතා වැදගත් වන බවත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව දිගු කලක් තිස්සේ එය හඳුනාගෙන ඇති බවත් සැලකිල්ලට ගත යුතුය. 2013 දී සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය, සංක්‍රමණ පිළිබඳ ජාත්‍යන්තර සංවිධානය (IOM) සමඟ එක්ව ‘ජාතික සංක්‍රමණ සෞඛ්‍ය ප්‍රතිපත්තිය’ දියත් කළ අතර එමඟින්, සංක්‍රමණ පිළිබඳ ජාත්‍යන්තර සංවිධානය සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍ය තක්සේරු කිරීම් සිදුකරන අතර රටතුළට පැමිණෙන හා රටින් පිටතට යන සංක්‍රමණිකයන් සඳහා සෞඛ්‍ය තක්සේරු කිරීම්වලට ප්‍රමිති සකස්කිරීමේ දී තාක්ෂණික සහාය ලබා දෙයි. රටතුළට පැමිණෙන සංක්‍රමණිකයන්ගේ  ප්‍රධාන උපායමාර්ගික අංශයක් යටතේ ප්‍රමුඛතාවය ලැබිය යුතු යැයි හඳුනාගෙන ඇති අංශයක් වූයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකවට ඇතුල්වන වරාය වල ප්‍රධාන ධාරිතාව සහ නිරෝධායන ක්‍රියාකාරකම් ශක්තිමත් කිරීමයි. සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍යය පිළිබඳ 2 වන ගෝලීය උපදේශනය 2017 පෙබරවාරි 21 සිට 23 දක්වා දිනවල දී කොළඹ දී පැවැත්වීමට සංක්‍රමණ පිළිබඳ ජාත්‍යන්තර සංවිධානය සහ ලෝක සෞඛ්‍ය සංවිධානය සමඟ හවුල් වී ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් සංවිධානය කරන ලදී.  සංක්‍රමණිකයන්ගේ සෞඛ්‍යය නංවාලීම සඳහා බහු ආංශික සංවාද හා දේශපාලන කැපවීම ඇතිකිරීමට එමඟින්  වේදිකාවක් සපයන ලදී. අයිතිවාසිකම් පදනම් කරගත්, ජනතාව කේන්ද්‍ර කරගත්, ස්ත්‍රී පුරුෂ සමාජභාවය හා සමානාත්මතා රාමුවක් තුළ තේමාගත ක්ෂේත්‍ර තුනක් කෙරෙහි මෙහි දී අවධානය යොමු කරන ලදී.  මීට අමතරව, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව 2013-2017 සිට කොළඹ ක්‍රියාවලියේ ද,  2016-2018 සිට අබුඩාබි සංවාදයේ ද සභාපතිත්වය ඉසුලූ හෙයින්, සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍යය පිළිබඳව නිසි අවධානයක් යොමු කිරීමේ අවශ්‍යතාව ශ්‍රී ලංකාව දිගින් දිගටම අවධාරණය කර තිබේ. සංක්‍රමණික සේවකයින්ගේ මෙන්ම සේවකයන් යැවුම්කාර හා ලැබුම්කාර රටවල යහපත උදෙසා පශ්චාත් කොවිඩ් තත්ත්වය තුළ විශාල කාර්යභාරයක් ඉටු කළ හැකි වැදගත් කලාපීය ක්‍රමවේදයන් සැලසුම් කිරීමට මෙමගින් ඉඩප්‍රස්ථාව උදාකරලීය.
ප්‍රත්‍යෙක්ෂණය කිරීමේ දී, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් මූලිකත්වය ගෙන කටයුතු කළ  ‘සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍යය’ පිළිබඳ ප්‍රශ්නයට එකල ජාත්‍යන්තර අවධානය යොමු වූයේ නම්, කොවිඩ් -19 අර්බුදය කළමනාකරණය කිරීමේ  විශේෂයෙන් වෛද්‍ය පහසුකම් සඳහා ප්‍රවේශය සීමිතව පවතින සත්කාරක රටවල අතරමංව සිටින ලේඛනගත නොවූ කම්කරුවන් සම්බන්ධයෙන් පැහැදිලි වෙනසක් සිදුවිය යුතුව තිබූ බව අපි විශ්වාස කරමු.

සංක්‍රමණික ජනගහනය අනාගත කළමනාකරණයේ දී ‘සංක්‍රමණික සෞඛ්‍යය’ එහි පාදස්ථයක් බවට පත්වීම සහතික කිරීම සඳහා කලාපීය හා ගෝලීය වශයෙන් විශාල ප්‍රයත්නයක් දැරිය යුතු බවත්, සංක්‍රමණිකයන් සහ සරණාගතයින් ඇතුළු සැමට සෞඛ්‍ය සම්බන්ධයෙන් වූ මානව අයිතිය සුරක්‍ෂිත කළ යුතු බවත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තරයේ කියා සිටී.




இலங்கை ஜனநாயக சோசலிசக் குடியரசின் அறிக்கை
மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் 44 வது அமர்வு
நிகழ்ச்சி நிரல் 3: புலம்பெயர்ந்தோரின் மனித உரிமைகள் குறித்த சிறப்பு அறிக்கையாளருடனான ஊடாடும் உரையாடல்
06 ஜூலை 2020



தலைவர் அவர்களே,

புலம்பெயர்ந்தோரின் மனித உரிமைகள் குறித்து சிறப்பு அறிக்கையாளர் முன்வைத்த அறிக்கையை இலங்கை வரவேற்கின்றது.

பொருளாதார வளர்ச்சி மற்றும் அபிவிருத்திக்கு புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் பங்களிப்பானது, தமது சொந்த நாடுகளுக்கு மாத்திரம் முக்கியமானதாக அமையாமல், பிராந்தியத்திலும், சர்வதேச அளவிலும் உயர்ந்துள்ள சமூகப் பொருளாதார இயக்கப்பாட்டிற்கு ஒரு ஊக்கியாகவும் அதிகரித்து வருகின்றது.

புலம்பெயர்ந்தவர்கள் வெளிநாடுகளுக்குச் சென்று மீள நாடு திரும்பும் சுழற்சி முழுவதும் பாகுபாடின்றி அவர்களது ஆரோக்கியம் கவனிக்கப்படுவதை உறுதிசெய்வதற்கு ஒருங்கிணைந்ததும், ஒன்றிணைந்ததுமான முயற்சிகள் அவசியம் என்பதை கோவிட்-19 நெருக்கடி உலகுக்கு கற்பித்திருப்பதாக நாங்கள் நம்புகின்றோம். கோவிட்-19 இனால் ஏற்பட்டுள்ள மற்றுமொரு விளைவாக வேலைவாய்ப்பு சந்தையின் சுருக்க நிலை அமைவதுடன், இது இந்த வருடம் தொழில்களுக்குச் செல்லவுள்ள புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் எண்ணிக்கையில் கடுமையான பற்றாக்குறை ஏற்படுவதற்கு வழிவகுத்து, தொழிலாளர்கள் அனுப்பும் பணப் பாய்வில் குறைவை ஏற்படுத்தும்.

தலைவர் அவர்களே,

கோவிட்-19 தொற்றுநோயின் உச்ச நிலையின் போது, இலங்கையைச் சேர்ந்த சுமார் 1.5 மில்லியன் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்கள் வெளிநாடுகளில் இருந்த நிலையில், அவர்களது கவலைகளை நிவர்த்தி செய்வதற்கும், தேவையான இடங்களில் உணவு மற்றும் மருந்துகளை வழங்குவதற்கும், கோவிட்-19 க்கான பரிசோதனை உள்ளடங்கலாக புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் அந்தஸ்த்து மற்றும் மருத்துவ வசதிகளை சட்டப்பூர்வமாக்குவதற்காக பெற்றுக்கொண்ட நாடுகளுடன் இணைந்து பணியாற்றுவதற்கும் இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் அதிக முன்னுரிமை அளித்தது. மேலும், 120 நாடுகளில் பரந்துள்ள புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் நல்வாழ்வை உறுதி செய்யும் முகமாக, வழிகாட்டல்கள் மற்றும் தகவல்களை வழங்குவதற்காகவும், அவசரநிலைகளில் உதவுவதற்காகவும் உருவாக்கப்பட்ட ‘இலங்கையுடன தொடர்பு கொள்ளுதல்’ என்ற இணைய முகப்பைப் பயன்படுத்தி, வெளிநாட்டிலுள்ள இலங்கையர்கள் எழுப்பிய 13,000 க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கேள்விகளுக்கு ஒரு பிரத்தியேகக் குழு பதிலளித்தது. ‘முழுமையான அரசாங்கம்’ என்ற வகையிலான அணுகுமுறையைப் பயன்படுத்தி, உள்ளக அரசாங்க ஒருங்கிணைப்பின் மூலமாக சவால்களை சமாளிக்கவும், சுகாதாரம், தனிமைப்படுத்தல் மற்றும் பயண அளவீட்டு அம்சங்களை நிர்வகிக்கவும் முடியுமாக இருந்தது.

இலங்கை அரசாங்கத்தின் பண்டப் பரிமாற்றம் மற்றும் தனிமைப்படுத்தலுக்கான திறன்கள் ஆகியவற்றின் அடிப்படையில் இது சவால்களைக் கொண்டிருந்தாலும், 2020 ஜூலை 06 ஆந் திகதிய நிலவரப்படி, நாட்டிற்கு மீள அழைத்து வரும் விமானங்களில் 14,006 இலங்கையர்கள் சுமார் 2 மாத காலத்திற்குள் வெளியேற்றப்பட்டதுடன், அவர்களுள் 5125 பேர் (36.59%) புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களாவர். நாங்கள் பேசுவது போல, கிட்டத்தட்ட பாரியதொரு புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர் இருப்பைக் கொண்ட அனைத்து இடங்களுக்கும் ஆகக் குறைந்தது மீள அழைத்து வருவதற்கான ஒரு விமானத்தையும், மற்றும் மாலி, துபாய், கத்தார், டாக்கா மற்றும் சிங்கப்பூர் ஆகிய நாடுகளுக்கு பல விமானங்களையும் இலங்கை அனுப்பி வைத்துள்ளது. தொழில் வாய்ப்பை இழந்த 40,000 புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்கள் நாடு திரும்புவதை விரைவுபடுத்தும் முயற்சிகளிலும் இலங்கை ஈடுபட்டு வருகின்றது.

தலைவர் அவர்களே,

புலம்பெயர்ந்த மக்களின் எதிர்கால நிர்வாகத்தில், அவர்களது ஆரோக்கியம் மிகவும் முக்கியமானது என்பதை இலங்கை நீண்ட காலமாக அங்கீகரித்துள்ளது என்பதை கவனத்தில் கொள்ள வேண்டும். இடம்பெயர்வு தொடர்பான சர்வதேச அமைப்போடு இணைந்து, ‘தேசிய இடம்பெயர்வு சுகாதாரக் கொள்கையை’ 2013 ஆம் ஆண்டில் சுகாதார அமைச்சு அறிமுகப்படுத்தியதுடன், இதன் மூலம் சுகாதார மதிப்பீடுகளை முன்னெடுத்து, உள்வரும் மற்றும் வெளிச்செல்லும் புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களின் சுகாதார மதிப்பீடுகளுக்கான தரங்களை வளர்ப்பதில் இடம்பெயர்வு தொடர்பான சர்வதேச அமைப்பு தொழில்நுட்ப உதவிகளை வழங்குகின்றது. இலங்கையின் உள் நுழையும் துறைமுகங்களில் முக்கிய திறன்கள் மற்றும் தனிமைப்படுத்தல் நடவடிக்கைகளை வலுப்படுத்துவதே உள்வரும் இடம்பெயர்வுக்கான முக்கிய மூலோபாயப் பகுதியின் கீழ் அடையாளங்காணப்பட்ட முன்னுரிமைப் பகுதிகளில் ஒன்றாகும். பல்துறை உரையாடல்களுக்கும், ஆரோக்கியத்தை மேம்படுத்துவதற்கான அரசியல் அர்ப்பணிப்புக்களுக்கும் ஒரு தளத்தை வழங்கும் முகமாக, இடம்பெயர்வு தொடர்பான சர்வதேச அமைப்பு மற்றும் உலக சுகாதார அமைப்புடன் இணைந்து, 2017 பெப்ரவரி 21 முதல் 23 வரையான காலப்பகுதியில், உரிமைகள் அடிப்படையிலான, மக்களை மையமாகக் கொண்ட மற்றும் பாலினம் – சமத்துவக் கட்டமைப்பு போன்ற மூன்று கருப்பொருள் பகுதிகளை மையமாகக் கொண்ட புலம்பெயர்ந்தோரின் உடல்நலம் குறித்த 2 வது உலகளாவிய ஆலோசனையையும் கொழும்பில் இலங்கை ஏற்பாடு செய்தது. மேலும், 2013 – 2017 வரை கொழும்பு செயன்முறைக்கும், 2016 – 2018 வரை அபுதாபி உரையாடலுக்கும் தொடர்ச்சியாக தலைமை தாங்கியமையின் காரணமாக, புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர் ஆரோக்கியத்தில் உரிய கவனம் செலுத்த வேண்டியதன் அவசியத்தை இலங்கை தொடர்ந்தும் வலியுறுத்தியுள்ளது. புலம்பெயர்ந்த தொழிலாளர்களினதும், அனுப்புகின்ற மற்றும் பெற்றுக்கொள்கின்ற நாடுகளினதும் நலன்களுக்காக, கோவிட் தொற்றுக்குப் பிந்தைய சூழ்நிலையில், அதிக பங்கு வகிக்கக்கூடிய முக்கியமான பிராந்திய முறைமைகளை வடிவமைப்பதற்கான சந்தர்ப்பத்தை இது வழங்கியுள்ளது.

பின்னோக்கிப் பார்த்தால், இலங்கை வெற்றிபெற்ற ‘புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர் உடல்நலம்’ சார்ந்த பிரச்சினை அந்த நேரத்தில் அதிகமான சர்வதேச கவனத்தைப் பெற்றிருந்தால், குறிப்பாக மட்டுப்படுத்தப்பட்ட மருத்துவ வசதிகளுக்கான அணுகல்களைக் கொண்டுள்ள பெற்றுக்கொண்ட நாடுகளில் சிக்கித் தவிக்கும் ஆவணப்படுத்தப்படாத தொழிலாளர்கள் தொடர்பாக, கோவிட்-19 நெருக்கடியை நிர்வகிப்பதில் உறுதியான வேறுபாடுகள் இருந்திருக்கலாம்.

புலம்பெயர்ந்த மக்களின் எதிர்கால நிர்வாகத்தில் ‘புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர் ஆரோக்கியம்’ ஒரு மூலக்கல்லாக மாறுவதை உறுதிசெய்வதற்காகவும், புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர் மற்றும் அகதிகள் உட்பட அனைவருக்கும் சுகாதாரத்திற்கான மனித உரிமைகள் பாதுகாக்கப்படுவதற்காகவும் அதிகளவிலான பிராந்திய மற்றும் உலகளாவிய முயற்சிகள் மேற்கொள்ளப்பட வேண்டும் என இலங்கை கேட்டுக்கொள்கின்றது.



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Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that despite its immediate gloom, the present situation has been an eye opener in many respects that could help correct structural, procedural and human interface incongruities in Sri Lanka’s labour migration. It also presents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to re-orient foreign employment in a post-Covid-19 world, sensitive to the ground realities in both Sri Lanka and the migrant labour receiving countries, so that the future footprint of Foreign Employment Sri Lanka will provide the world – though probably Smaller, could be Smarter and more Sustainable.

The Foreign Secretary made these observations when he addressed the 33rd Annual Session of the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) via a video link, on the theme “The Role of Foreign Employment in the Economic Revival of Sri Lanka; Challenges and Opportunities”.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated this year’s Annual OPA Session held on 27-28 June 2020 as a Digital Conference,on the theme ‘Bounce Back–Disasters and Opportunities”.

Secretary Aryasinha said the Covid-19 crisis had exposed the significant number of Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad who are undocumented/irregular, and as a result are ineligible to avail of medical and other benefits in their host countries, and are also vulnerable to deportation if identified. Also many of them non-registering with the SLBFE was a matter of concern. It is believed that some, who might have originally registered at the point of leaving the country, might not have subsequently renewed their registration. He urged that they register so that they enjoy the benefits of an expanded social safety net, as successfully practiced by migrant workers in countries like the Philippines, where the percentage of registered migrant workers is 96.8%.

He said, even for those who are legal, a consequence of Covid-19 has been the shrinking of the employment market, particularly with the increasing cases of unemployment, loss of contracts, non-extension of work permits and halting of temporary freelance work, which have left many of them largely destitute. It was noted that this could lead to a serious shortfall in the numbers of migrant workers who will leave for work this year and in turn a drop in worker remittances. In 2019, migrant worker’s remittances to foreign exchange earnings was 25.5 %, while its contribution to Sri Lanka’s GDP was approximately 8%.

Secretary Aryasinha said, the present situation could help in building more forward looking and resilient policies and strategies that can ensure ‘sustainable and just economies’. He noted thatSri Lanka which has had the opportunity to design and provide input on certain crucial regional modalities within the Colombo Process and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue – which  brings together the Asian migrant labour sending countries, and also connects them with the labour receiving countries in the GCC, could together with the ILO and IOM, also play a greater role in the post-COVID scenario for the benefit of the migrant workers, as well as the sending and receiving countries. This would include;

  • ensuring the outward flow of a better trained and skilled migrant worker, one who will while able to earn more, is less likely to face the vulnerabilities presently encountered by the average Sri Lankan migrant worker, particularly the unskilled workers,
  • combine market research platforms to generate vocational training programmes that will serve future job markets and economic demands in countries post Covid-19, and recalibrate to inspire a work force that meets that demand,
  • re-formulate our education systems, and re-orient students to be a rich human resource pool for future labour markets,
  • expedite action in enhancing cheaper, safer and faster modes of remittance flows,
  • ensure that ‘migrant health’ becomes a cornerstone in the management of migrant populations.

The Foreign Secretary emphasized that the recent crisis has helped break the silos and ensure better intra-governmental coordination in dealing with matters concerning migrant workers – both in Colombo, as well as in the destination countries. He said, “this augurs well for future collaborative efforts as an essential element that has helped us to thrive in this unprecedented circumstance to deliver as one. We should now look forward to further strengthening and build in a strong protocol for the ‘whole of government’ approach on issues concerning foreign employment”.

Ministry of Foreign Relations
1 July 2020
The Full text of the speech can be accessed through following link:

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