Sri Lankan Embassy sets up 24-hour toll free phone-in service for expats

Updated 08 February 2014
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Sri Lankan Embassy sets up 24-hour toll free phone-in service for expats

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh has set up a 24 hour phone-in service to help its distressed expatriates workers in the Kingdom providing assistance to their matters.
“This is a new service set to be introduced from next week to help our countrymen who need our services,” Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy told Arab News on Friday.
The toll free number 8001180050 is a 24-hour helpline.
In addition to strengthening bilateral ties with the Kingdom, the envoy said, the embassy is interested in serving its workers community that brings in revenues to the national coffers.
Krishnamoorthy said its nationals working in the Middle East sent home $2.5 billion in 2010, a "significant portion of which comes from the 350,000 Sri Lankans working in the Kingdom.”
Around one-third of Sri Lanka’s 1.5 million overseas workers live in the Kingdom, he said.
“In another major development, I have made arrangements to permit my countrymen to meet me on Wednesday every week without prior appointment,” he said adding that those with unresolved issues could personally see him during office hours. He said that he was also available on other days but by appointment only.
The envoy said that Saudi Arabia is the favorite destination for Sri Lankans seeking employment. “I am happy to note that there are more than 350,000 Sri Lankan expatriates living in the Kingdom which promotes our bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia.”
He said that the Sri Lankans had earned a name for discipline, sincerity, being talented, hardworking and law-abiding residents in the Kingdom.
Krishnamoorthy expressed his deep appreciation for the generous amnesty granted by the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah which gave undocumented expatriates the opportunity to respectfully exit the country and return to Sri Lanka or to rectify their status.
He said, “Over 100,000 expatriates had changed their professions and that approximately 15,000 Sri Lankans had left the Kingdom without facing any penalties.
It also enabled those who returned to Sri Lanka to reapply for jobs and return to the Kingdom in the future, benefiting both the Sri Lankan and Saudi Arabian labor markets.”
“It has been the constant endeavor of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh to provide consular and other services to the Sri Lankan expatriates both at the mission and through its monthly mobile services in the Eastern Province. This mission will also expand its services to Al-Hail from this year onwards.”
The embassy has been consistently trying to improve its quality of services to the Sri Lankan community in Saudi Arabia he said, pointing out that in addition to the provision of daily consular services at the embassy, a senior consular official can always be met without appointment.


Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.