Sri Lankan workers brought from Botosani to Bucharest found out there was no special flight to repatriate them


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36 Sri Lankan citizens who had been fired from a clothing factory in Botosani, northeastern Romania, have been brought on the Otopeni airport in Bucharest last night after having been told they were to be repatriated. However, upon arriving on the airport in Bucharest they found out that there was no special flight ready to take them back to Sir Lanka.

Moreover, central mass media reported they would have been threatened that they would be abandoned near a forest in Botosani if they refused to get on the bus to be taken to the airport in Bucharest.

44 workers from Sri Lanka, employed in a clothing factory in the Botosani, northern Romania were fired early this month, after seven of them had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Sri Lankans have been transported from Botosani by two buses, with the transport organised apparently by the Botosani Prefecture, as no commercial flight is allowed to Sri Lanka during this period.

Romanian Labour minister Violeta Alexandru has also come to the airport on Sunday night following this special situation, pledging to find a solution to solve the case of the Sri Lankan workers. Police did not allow them to stay in the airport for they did not have any plan tickets. However, people had no money to buy tickets and there was no flight to Colombo anyway.

Meanwhile, Digi24 reported that the Sri Lankans had been eventually accommodated in a hotel in Otopeni.

“There are a a lot of question marks on their departure from Botosani to Bucharest if the embarking circumstances were not clear in the first place. We’ll clear up the case and we’ll make further statements after that”, the Labour minister said.

On Monday, Labour minister Violeta Alexandru said she had talked to the Sri Lankan workers who had told her they don’t want to return to the clothing factory in Botosani whereof they had been fired, but that they want to work somewhere else. The minister assured she would personally get involved to find new jobs for the Sri Lanakan workers.

“None of them wanted to return to Sri Lanka, they have insistently asked for my support to find another employer for them. They are willing to be separated so that they work for various employers if I don’t find a solution for them to be relocated all to the same place. They don’t want to return to the previous employer in Botosani. It’s their right”, Alexandru said.

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