No Indian workers allowed in since COVID-19 outbreak – Wimal
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
Not a single Indian national was allowed into the country as an employee or to provide technical assistance since the outbreak of COVID-19, assured Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa in Parliament yesterday (20).
Responding to a question by Kurunegala District Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Thushara Indunil, he said there had been rumours to the effect that the recent Minuwangoda cluster had been triggered off by Indians but this had no basis.
Indunil queried whether the Government would admit that the outbreak of COVID-19 via the Minuwangoda cluster had been caused by a group of Indian nationals who had been permitted to enter the country without being quarantined. The Government had allowed the Brandix Company to bring 22 Indian employees to Sri Lanka, he alleged.
Weerawansa said COVID-19 was not a subject coming under his purview but he had looked into the matter as any foreign national, coming to Sri Lanka as an employee or a technical officer of a factory, should get the prior approval of the Ministry of Industries.
“So, I checked with the Ministry officials. No such approval has been given for an Indian national since the outbreak of the pandemic. The companies that function under the Board of Investments (BoI) should obtain similar approval from them. I checked with the BoI, and it has not given the approval since the outbreak of the pandemic. Thereafter, I checked with the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration. There are no records of giving approval to an Indian national,” he said.
Weerawansa also said there was no grounds for the rumour the Government's negligence caused the Minuwangoda cluster.