by Ananda KANNANGARA
A new insurance scheme for the benefit of over 350,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers who are employed in Kuwait, will be implemented by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) in collaboration with the Kuwait Insurance Company for Migrant Workers, commencing January 01, 2009. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed by Chairman, SLBFE Kingsley Ranawaka in Colombo recently.
According to the new insurance scheme, any Lankan worker in Kuwait, who becomes disabled or in the event of his/her death will be paid Rs. 1.2 million as compensation from January 01. All Lankan workers presently in Kuwait or others who seek employment through the Bureau channels in the future are entitled to this scheme. According to Bureau statistics, out of 350,000 Lankans in Kuwait over 225,000 are women.
Speaking to the Sunday Observer the Bureau, Chairman said that in addition, the workers are entitled to obtain medical facilities and each worker has been insured for Rs. 500,000.
"They also can seek legal assistance from lawyers free of charge for their employment problems and numerous other harassments faced by them at any moment they need. All expenses will be borne by the SLBFE through the Kuwait Embassy," he added.