Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale, concluded her official visit to Malaysia on 27th May 2015. The Minister held bilateral discussions with her Malaysian counterpart YB Dato Sri Richard Riot Anak Jaem on 26th May and met the Executive Council of Malaysian Foreign Agents (PAPA), Board Members of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) and agents and employers who recruit Sri Lankan workers. Minister Atukorale called on the Chief Prelates of the Brickfield Buddhist Maha Viharaya and Sri Lanka Buddhist Maha Viharaya in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. The Minister also visited the safe house operated by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and 02 factories located in Ipoh, Perak where large numbers of Sri Lankans are employed.
Minister Thalatha Atukorale thanked the Malaysian government for the support extended to the Government of Sri Lanka and for selecting Sri Lanka as “source” country to provide human resource requirement of Malaysia. The Minister also highlighted the longstanding bilateral cooperation that existed between the two countries. The Malaysian Minister conveyed their appreciation to the government of Sri Lanka for the cooperation extended in the field of recruitment of human resources and supplying Sri Lankan workers to Malaysia. Both Ministers discussed draft MOUs on the Employment of Workers and the Recruitment and Employment of Domestic Workers. Following the bilateral meeting Minister YB Richard Riot agreed to send a Malaysian delegation comprising of senior officials of the Ministry of Human Resources for the 2nd round of discussion to finalise the draft MOUs. The delegation is expected to visit Sri Lanka from 15th -16th June 2015. Both parties agreed to conclude the MOUs after 2nd round of discussion and sign the MOUs in Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore Minister Thalatha Atukorale requested the Malaysian counterpart to consider more opportunities for Sri Lankan workers in skilled, semi skilled and professional sectors. Minister also extended an invitation to Minister Richard Riot to visit Sri Lanka to attend the Colombo Process which is to be held in November 2015 in Sri Lanka as well as to explore human resources capacity in Sri Lanka. Both Ministers signed Minutes of discussion following the bilateral meeting.
During the meetings with the Executive Council of the Malaysian Agents Association (PAPA) and Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) the Minister sought their assistance to increase the basic salary scale of Sri Lankan workers, and to encourage its members to recruit more Sri Lankan workers for their companies. She further requested the MEF members to explore investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The agents and employers, who recruited Sri Lankan workers, briefed the Minister on some of the problem they faced when dealing with Sri Lankan agents and issues such as runaway workers.
The Minister visited two factories in Ipoh (200km from Kuala Lumpur) where Sri Lankans workers are employed in large number and met management and Sri Lankan workers in both factories. The Minister listened to the grievances of workers and had discussions with the management to resolve issues such as, increasing welfare facilities and salaries of the workers, and avoiding workers being cheated and mislead by Sri Lankan agents. Minister requested the management of the factories to enhance the facilities for the workers and suggested them to have frequent contact with the Sri Lanka Mission to resolve worker issues.
Minister Thalatha Atukorale had a luncheon meeting with Malaysian investors and briefed them of the facilities and opportunities available for foreign investors in Sri Lanka and invited them to visit and consider investing in Sri Lanka. .
Sri Lanka High Commissioner Ibrahim Ansar, Mrs. R.M.L. Padmini, Consultant to the Minister of Foreign Employment, Mr. W.K.K. Neville, Director, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and Ms. P.L.P. Piyanka Jayawardana, Public Relations Officer to the Minister of Foreign Employment and senior officers of the High Commission participated at the meetings.
High Commission of Sri Lanka
5 June 2015