COLOMBO: Sri Lankans who since October have been rallying to express solidarity with the people in Gaza say they are angered and ashamed by their government’s decision to send around thousands of workers to Israel.
Since the start of its deadly assault on the Palestinian enclave, Israel has canceled work permits for about tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers and sought to replace the workers from South Asia.
In November, Sri Lanka’s embassy reached a deal with the Israel to permit the immediate hiring of around 10,000 Sri Lankans on farms and construction sites.
Sri Lanka: Protest Held Against Decision to Send Around 10,000 Workers to Israel
The first groups of laborers left for Israel in the current month, raising both safety and ethical concerns. Head of the Sri Lanka chapter of the World Fellowship of Buddhists Sudath Dewapura said that they should not exploit the current situation. Many people asked the Government of Sri Lanka to stop this order and should make some sacrifices in the present environment.
Meanwhile, the health ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that the death toll in the Palestinian territory has surpassed 21,320 people, with the majority being women and children, in ongoing Israeli bombardments since October 7.
During a televised press conference on Thursday, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said that more than 55,603 persons have been wounded in the ongoing Israeli attacks, emphasizing the severe humanitarian crisis unfolding in the besieged Strip. Over the past 24 hours alone, at least 210 people were killed, including entire families, according to the health ministry.
Similarly, the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a stark warning, calling for urgent steps to address the grave peril faced by Gaza’s people. He highlighted the alarming prevalence of terrible injuries, acute hunger, and a severe risk of disease among the civilian population.