The Consular Affairs and Overseas Sri Lankans Division of the Foreign Ministry authenticates various documents through the Electronic Documentation Attestation System (e-DAS), which was implemented in 2017, facilitating Sri Lankans to travel abroad mainly for job employment and higher studies.
Under Pre-COVID-19 environment, more than 1000 service seekers from different areas of the country obtained assistance daily through this system. The Electronic Document Attestation(e-DAS) is carried out through an innovate digital platform, aimed at improving and streamlining the service with speedy process, which is linked in real time with Sri Lankan Missions abroad, Foreign Missions based in Colombo, Regional Consular offices, as well as other government institutes.
In addition to verifying documents, other services such as facilitating payment of compensation, unpaid salaries, and social security entitlements to the beneficiaries; repatriation of human remains of Sri Lankan nationals and Sri Lankan origin foreign passport holders; facilitating the repatriation of stranded and destitute Sri Lankans abroad; and getting fishing vessels and fishermen in foreign custody released are facilitated by this division. Also, Regional Consular Offices established under the programme on Decentralization of Consular Services within the purview of the Ministry.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry was compelled to limit the number of officers at the Ministry as well as public visits, adhering to the public health guidelines and restrictions imposed to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Though, as precautionary measures, amidst some restrictions, the Consular Affairs and Overseas Sri Lankans Division continued its services to the public, taking into consideration their urgent requirements with a limited number of staff and resources. Hence, the public in need have had to wait longer than the usual time in the queue to obtain consular services.
The Consular Affairs and Overseas Sri Lankans Division hopes to resume normal service at the earliest possible opportunity.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill