ECONOMYNEXT – Israel has been reluctant to provide jobs to Sri Lankans after complaints over illegal money collection from migrant job seekers and fabricated stories about the island nation by an already existing Sri Lankan expatriate group, Foreign Employment Minister said on Monday.
Manusha Nanayakkara, after making a complaint to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the alleged money collection, said that if any group collects money while leaving for work in Israel, legal action will be taken against them.
Nanayakkara said he sent five hundred people to work in agriculture in Israel, when he was the deputy minister in the previous government, but only 10 percent of them returned after the end of service.
“The other group is still staying illegally in Israel. These people have made false accusations and criticisms about the country and the government, submitted fake documents related to them and are staying there for of asylum,” Nanayakkara told a gathering.
“Therefore, the Israeli government’s firm position is that they will not provide services in the agricultural sector to Sri Lankans again. We made a request to the Israeli government to allow the group to come back. But Israel has informed us that they will not give us jobs in that field again as long as the illegal detainees are in Israel.”
He said despite the government efforts the Israeli government has not yet accepted Sri Lanka’s request.
“No time has been set aside for a diplomatic meeting to discuss this issue,” he said.
Sri Lanka got a quote to send locals to Israel including for private sector jobs in 2018. However, complaints have been made that 3-3.5 million rupees was charged to send nurses and 6-7 million rupees to send employees to other sectors
“Accordingly, since last May, the Israeli government has taken a decision not to give the opportunity to the private sector,” Nanayakkara said.
“We are working on this matter at the diplomatic level. The Israeli government is still not giving it a chance. Although we have made a request, they are still taking time for it. We have to wait until they make an official notification for this discussion.”
He said jobs in Israeli nursing service are directly interviewed by the Israeli embassy in Colombo and only those who win through a lottery system will get the job opportunities operated by the Israeli government.
“We ask all those people to file a proper complaint without making baseless accusations. If such a complaint is made, legal action will be taken against anyone who is accused, regardless of rank. If there is an allegation against the department or an officer, submit that complaint as well.”
“I clearly emphasize that no one who leaves for nursing in Israel has to pay anything other than the government fees. Do not pay any money to any party. Similarly, there are groups that are sent to Israel in other illegal ways. That is human trafficking. It’s like being transported to Australia by boat. Never fall for this scam.” (Colombo/Sept19/2022)