Foreign Ministry on efforts to evacuate Sri Lankans in Afghanistan

The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka has issued a statement with regard to the current situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing efforts to evacuate Sri Lankan nationals in the war-torn country.

The Foreign Ministry says it is currently in the process of working with international partners to facilitate the return of Sri Lankan nationals in Afghanistan, if they wish to return.

“The Sri Lanka Embassy in Kabul, which is functioning from a hotel, currently does not have any Sri Lankan nationals present and is manned by one local staff.”

The Embassy is in possession of details of forty-three (43) Sri Lankan nationals in Afghanistan while the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE) has certain details as well, is said.

The Sri Lankan nationals present in Afghanistan mostly work for the United Nations, international organizations, NATO military bases and private companies.

The Foreign Ministry said it remains appraised of the situation and will make every effort to ensure the safe return of Sri Lankan nationals, if they wish to return.

After rapidly taking towns and cities across Afghanistan, Taliban forces had captured Kabul on Sunday, pushing the Western-backed President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country as the presidential palace was seized.

Overnight, the focus was Kabul airport, where hundreds of desperate Afghans seeking to flee the country were waiting for flights, some dragging luggage across runways in the dark, foreign media reported. – ada derana

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