Sunday, September 24, 2023

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More Sri Lankans leave the country creating brain drain

With a severe shortage of food, money and jobs, Sri Lankans are leaving the country in mass exodus via legal and illegal channels.

Men, women and children are risking their lives trying to get to Australia and neighbouring India in boats, trying to enter other countries illegally.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau this month said that a record number of more than 150,000 Sri Lankans have left for other countries in search of jobs from January to the first week of July.

“27,937 people went abroad for jobs in June this year alone,” said the bureau in a statement, outlining that most Sri Lankans are leaving for the Middle Eastern countries in search of greener pastures.

While the spiralling cost of living and the lack of essentials is driving people away from the nation, the stress behind waiting in queues is cracking others.After months of day-long queues for fuel, Sri Lankans say they are “fed up.”

“A combination of economic mismanagement and bad policies, the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis Ukraine has wreaked havoc in the nation. Recent protests saw the ousting of a president, prime minister, and economic minister, among other members of the Rajapaksa dynasty Sri Lankans blame primarily for their plight.

In May, Sri Lanka announced it was defaulting on its debt for the first time, making it hard to borrow money in international markets. The result is a shortage of foreign currency, which in turn has meant a shortage of essentials, including fuel, medicine and food items.

There is concern that the migration of Sri Lankans to other countries, particularly that of professionals, will cause a severe brain drain in the nation, which boasts the highest literacy rates and an enviable free education system in the region.

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