Sri Lanka Embassy in Moscow advises Sri Lankans not to fall victim to human trafficking
The complaints received by the Sri Lanka Mission in Moscow from Sri Lankans about fake foreign employment and education agencies in Sri Lanka are on the rise, while the number of Sri Lankans travelling to the Russian Federation on student/visit visas, seeking job opportunities and further migration to European countries has been drastically increasing over the years.
This year, the Russian authorities apprehended 27 Sri Lankans, and 17 of them were already deported to Sri Lanka after completing their jail terms. Ten persons are still in the detention centres in various cites of the Russian Federation, as their legal process continues.
Several Sri Lankan foreign employment and education agencies, Sri Lankan expatriates living in Russia and some other organized groups are engaged in these illegal activities. In most cases, students are misled and sent on student/visit visas with false promises of obtaining jobs for higher salaries and also to facilitate to cross the borders to European countries. Further, it has been noted that a considerably larger amount of money is being obtained from the students by such agents for the journey to Russia. Thereafter, illegal attempts are made to traffic them via state borders to countries such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Europe.
Many Sri Lankan students are being trapped by the fraudulent agents whose objectives are to exploit unsuspecting students and obtain money while totally disregarding the proper legal channels. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia strictly advises Sri Lankans to refrain from using such illegal avenues to reach Russia or any other neighbouring countries. As per the immigration rules and regulations, foreigners travelling to the Russian Federation on visit visas are not permitted to work during the validity period of their visas.
The Mission has been notified by the Russian law enforcement authorities that a number of Sri Lankans have been sentenced and fined for their illegal activities. These activities include being illegally occupied as migrant workers following the expiry of visas and violation of immigration rules, possessing forged student/employment visas, illegal crossing of the state borders.
The Embassy has taken initiatives to keep the relevant authorities and the Governments of the Russian Federation as well as Sri Lanka informed of the details of reported complaints of human trafficking.
The Embassy strongly advises Sri Lankans to be vigilant about fake agencies, to refrain from making payments to any illegal bodies, and not to become victims of human trafficking. Further, it is instructed to refrain from travelling to the Russian Federation on student/visit visas seeking employment or with the intention of illegally crossing the borders to Europe.
Legatum Prosperity Index highlights the development of education and healthcare sectors in Sri Lanka during the past decade
The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on 17 November 2020. One of the main highlights of this year’s index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. According to the Index, these improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka.
The event was commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick.
Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud stated that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.
Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena stated that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade. She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.
Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute Dr Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world. The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.
Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.
Katina pooja at Sri Lanka Maha Vihara in Lumbini organised by Sri Lanka Embassy staff this year
The Katina pooja at the Sri Lanka Maha Vihara in Lumbini this year was organized on 15 November, by the staff of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Nepal.
The Katina pooja was held with the blessings of the Chief Prelate of the Malwatu Chapter of the Siam Maha Nikaya, the Most Ven Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayaka Thero, with the guidance of the Trustee of the Sri Lanka Maha Vihara in Lumbini, Ven Dr. Gallehepitiye Pemarathana Thero and under the close direction of the resident monk in charge, the Ven. Shastravedi Tissamaharamaye Pannasara Thero.
The religious progamme commenced on 14 November with a special pahan ashirwada pooja in front of the Maya Devi Temple where Prince Siddhartha was born, to invoke blessings and to seek protection against the COVID pandemic that is spreading across the world. On 15 November, the Katina cheewara that had been placed in the Royal Temple in Lumbini, was taken in procession to the Maya Devi Temple, and brought to the Sri Lanka Maha Vihara, where it was handed over to the Maha Sangha.
Maha Sangha representing all temples in the Lumbini Monastic Zone attended the special religious ceremony with alms giving, offering of astaparishkara, and culminating in the Katina cheewara pooja.
The SAARC Secretariat as well as a large number of devotees both in Sri Lanka and Nepal contributed to the Katina pooja which was sponsored by the Embassy staff.
The COVID pandemic prevented many people from attending the special religious ceremony, which was held with the participation of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Nepal Himalee Arunatilaka, SAARC Secretary General Esala Weerakoon, officers of the Sri Lanka Embassy and SAARC Secretariat, as well as the staff of the Dutugemunu Pilgrims Rest in Lumbini. Major Asela Yapa of the Sri Lanka Army who is currently studying in Nepal also participated. Source