Connect with us

News

Lanka’s returning female migrant workers don’t plan for long-term sustainability: study

Published

on

ECONOMYNEXT –A majority of Sri Lanka’s female migrant workers aim to return the moment their immediate financial targets are met, with little or no plans for long-term economic sustainability, a study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) has found.

Most female workers who travel abroad do so in search of income that would help finance their debt burdens and other financial difficulties back home and expect to return as soon as those financial targets are met, the IPS said in a statement authored by Research Assistant Manisha Weeraddana.

“In fact, these migrant workers rarely see the need for such reintegration as they do not understand the economic and labour market realities until they try to reassimilate into their lives back home,” IPS said.

With the recent launch of the National Policy and Action Plan on Migration for Employment (2023-2027), it is timely to draw up a picture of Sri Lankan returnee female migrant workers and the socio-economic nuances that determine the ultimate decision-making of these women to migrate and/or reintegrate, the institute said.

Among the key concerns highlighted in the statement is a lack of job opportunities as well as forced migration.The IPS study collected data from 511 return migrant workers randomly selected from Kandy, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Vavuniya.

“Here there is no specific work nearby. Sometimes, there is work in vegetable fields … we get around LKR 1000-1200. But it is very hard to find work,” one worker by the name of Asoka had told the researchers, pointing to what IPS called a major issue faced by return female migrant workers in the sample.

“A good part of those who stated lack of job opportunities as a major impediment faced during economic reintegration are considering re-migration or settling down to opening small boutiques with whatever they have managed to save up from their time abroad. Thus, in a way, the decision between successful reintegration and remigration mostly deals with the lack of job opportunities in rural areas,” the statement said.

A lack of support systems and running on borrowed time are other concerning factors.

“Can’t leave my daughter and go in search of jobs… Earlier his (husband’s) mother was there …”  says Asoka.

IPS said Sri Lankan women who migrate for work seem to act on borrowed time which allows them to migrate, earn, send home their incomes, and return home when “time runs out” or in other words, when the support system back home can no longer accommodate the household duties left vacant by a woman.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

President leaves for Indonesia

Published

on

By

President Ranil Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum high-level meeting in Bali.

The President is scheduled to address the forum on Monday (20).

Continue Reading

News

Bipartisan US Congress legislation calls for self-determination for Eelam Tamils

Published

on

Wiley

…proposes South Sudan, Montenegro, East Timor, Bosnia, Eritrea, and Kosovo style solution

A controversial resolution has been introduced to the US Congress calling on the United States to work towards an independence referendum for Eelam Tamils and recognize the genocide committed against them by the Sri Lankan state.

The resolution, introduced by Wiley Nickel, is the first of its kind to be brought to the US Congress. It comes as Tamils marked the LTTE’s defeat 15 years ago, with May 18 commemorated as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, worldwide.

The resolution calls for the “no recurrence of past violence, including the ‘Tamil Genocide’, by supporting the right to self-determination of Eelam Tamil people and their call for an independence referendum for a lasting peaceful resolution”.

It goes on to detail historic Tamil support for independence and how “similar conflicts have successfully been democratically, peacefully, and legally resolved by exercising the right to self-determination by the people in countries such as South Sudan, Montenegro, East Timor, Bosnia, Eritrea, and Kosovo via independence referendums with support from the United States and other countries”.

It resolves that the House of Representatives:

(1) urges the United States to strengthen diplomatic channels with the Eelam Tamils and collaborate toward peace and stability in the South Asian region of the Indo-Pacific;

(2) urges the United States and the international community to advocate for and protect the political rights of the Eelam Tamil people and work toward a permanent political solution based on their right to self-determination that is democratically and peacefully approved by them through a universally accepted process of independence referendum; and

(3) recognizes the genocide against the Eelam Tamil people by Sri Lanka.

The resolution has bipartisan support and is co-sponsored by Susan Wild, Danny K. Davis, Nicole Malliotakis, Mike Carey, Donald G. Davis, Summer L. Lee, and Jeff Jackson.

The full text of the resolution: “This conflict shattered families and communities, leaving deep scars that are still felt to this day,” said Nickel as he addressed the United States Congress today (May 15).

“My resolution recognizes the genocide in Sri Lanka and affirms the right of Tamils to self-determination through a democratic process.” Nickel stated that the resolution “emphasises the need for a peaceful and democratic solution to ongoing tensions in Sri Lanka”.

“It advocates an independence referendum, a process that has been used successfully to resolve similar conflicts in other parts of the world. This echoes our commitment to democratic principles and underscores our support for human rights globally.”

“The resolution is a significant step forward in our struggle for self-determination,” said an Eelam Tamil activist who worked closely with US representatives, from Washington DC. They were present alongside dozens of others, as Nickel spoke.

“This is the first time that support for an independent Tamil Eelam has been publicly and explicitly advocated for at the United States Congress. Fifteen years since the end of the Mullivaikkal genocide, our struggle is continuing and support for it has only grown. We are not a defeated people.”

Continue Reading

News

Refugee from Sri Lankan now Labour Party Mayor of UK town

Published

on

A smiling Labour Councillor Elango Elavalakan (left) at a ceremony where he was accepted as the Mayor of Ipswich Borough Council.

…worked in India, Uganda and Ruwanda before arriving in the UK

A Sri Lankan Tamil, who fled the country during the conflict, has been appointed the Mayor of Ipswich Borough Council.

According to the British media, Labour Councillor Elango Elavalakan is the first Hindu to hold that position. Members of Ipswich’s Hindu community attended Wednesday (15) evening’s ceremony, with celebrations at the nearby temple planned for later in the week.

Having fled Sri Lanka, Elavalakan lived and worked in India, Uganda and Rwanda before moving to the UK, the media reported. He initially moved to Ilford, in east London, before moving to Ipswich in 2006.

Labour Councillor Elango Elavalakan has taken over the ceremonial role after a unanimous vote at Ipswich Borough Council’s annual meeting.

“I’m so happy today, and very proud to be Mayor of this great town,” the media quoted Elavalakan as having said.

Council leader Neil MacDonald, who proposed the nomination, said Elavalakan would get to read out a general election result during his year in office.

“The announcement by a refugee who fled war and persecution, and who has made a new life and contributed to society here, will send a message,” MacDonald said.

Dr. Sachin Karale, Chair of Ipswich Hindu Samaj, said: “It shows the great diversity and multiculturalism of Ipswich town that a Hindu man is becoming Mayor. I’m really proud.”Elavalakan’s wife, Manchula Elavalakan, will be his consort.

The Mayor’s theme for the year will be “support and wellbeing” with his two chosen charities Genesis Orwell Mencap and Cancer Support Suffolk. ‘Ipswich is my home town’

“When I came for one project here, in Ipswich, I felt the people were very friendly,” he said. “So I decided, Ipswich is my home town.” He became a Labour councillor for St John’s ward in 2014.

“Having lived in many different countries and experienced many different lifestyles, I have always been interested in helping those that need it,” he said. “I am passionate about empowering communities and representing those in need.” Elavalakan is not the first Ipswich Mayor from the Indian sub-continent, however.

Kavas Jamas Bashah was born in Mumbai and was a senior officer of the Indian Civil Service.

He retired to Ipswich and became Mayor in 1925.

The town elected its first Mayor, Benjamin Brame, in 1836, following the Municipal Corporations Act the previous year which reformed local government and made Ipswich a municipal borough. Its first female mayor was Mary Whitmore, in 1946.

She was a suffragette and member of Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), and was made MBE in 1951 for her contribution to public services.

Albert Grant became Ipswich’s first black councillor and mayor of Ipswich in 1995.

He moved to the UK in 1955 at the age of 21 and has dedicated his life to tackling racism and fighting to secure equality and justice.

Continue Reading

Trending