The Foreign Affairs Ministry said today there was no immediate impact on Sri Lankans in Qatar in the wake of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt breaking ties with that country but that it was monitoring the situation closely. Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne stated, Sri Lankans could contact embassy in Qatar in case they needed help.
However, Sri Lankans employed by companies based in the countries which broke ties with Qatar might face difficulties.
Meanwhile, Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale also said there was no direct impact on Lankans employed in Qatar.The Qatari issue is only a regional issue and there is no threat to Sri Lanka,and Sri Lanka did not have any issues with Qatar on a diplomatic level.
“We also heard that banks have stopped exchanging Qatar Riyals due to false news aired at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning. However, the Central bank has issued instructions on this matter.”
The minister requested employees in Qatar to inform the embassy if they wished to return to SL. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Qatar, ASP Liyanage said some Sri Lankans there seem to have panicked but assured there were no major effects on Sri Lankans at the moment. He said all foreign ambassadors in Qatar had met the Qatari king and had discussed the situation.
Mr. Liyanage said the embassy had received several phone calls asking about the situation. “There was a bit of a rush at the airport due to the suspension of several flights and at the supermarkets because of the fear of economic sanctions. There is no need to panic as the SriLankan Airlines operates its flights to Qatar as per the schedule and there are no economic sanctions,”