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Hundreds make use of amnesty

2013 Nov 05

Hundreds of Sri Lankans have made use of the amnesty period offered by Saudi Arabia for those staying in the country illegally, Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera said.

The Minister said that 16,000 Sri Lankans had registered with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia during the amnesty period which ends today.

He said that most of those who made use of the amnesty and registered with the Embassy have been brought back to the island.

Meanwhile Arab news said the Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia has ruled out an extension of the amnesty period and warned illegal workers and Saudi employers that countrywide raids would start today.

Hattab Al-Enezi, the ministry’s spokesman, rejected reports carried by some channels and websites that the Saudi government would grant illegal workers more time. He said the reports were “misleading and false.”

“Reports published on some social networking websites and channels about the possibility of another extension for illegals to correct their status, are not true. The amnesty deadline ends on Sunday and government agencies will swing into action the following day,” said Al-Enezi in a statement.

“The inspection of commercial premises will begin on Monday as planned. Various arms of the ministry are ready for the inspections. The government agencies, however, will not arrest those holding relevant documents and waiting to legalize their status or be repatriated.” (Colombo Gazette) 

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