The Sri Lankan Emigrant Benevolent Association in a letter to the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Kuwait, has pointed out that the insurance scheme introduced to insure Sri Lankan women working as domestic workers in the Middle East has become a large-scale racket that collects billions as commissions.
The letter sent by Shane A.M. Milhan, the President of the association and N.M. Nirash, the Secretary pointed out that the relevant authorities of Sri Lanka have not followed any legal tender procedure properly.
The letter has highlighted that the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau has introduced this insurance through a biased public broker mandating Oman based National Life & General Insurance Company SAOG for Kuwaiti employers.
A circular mandating such had been sent by the Manager of the Foreign Employment Bureau, D.D.P. Senanayake to the registered employment agency associations.
The letter sent by the Sri Lankan Emigrant Benevolent Association to the Ambassador pointed out that when a similar insurance cover for 2 years can be obtained from top-rated Kuwait insurance companies for USD 50 (KD 16), the above mentioned insurance cover had been obtained for USD 141 (KD 44) from the said Company by retaining USD 91 or 33,750 Sri Lanka Rupees as bribe of commissions.
President of the association, Shane A.M. Milhan, revealed that this Insurance Company is earning USD 900,000 in a month as commissions referring to this deal. When this amount is converted to Sri Lanka rupees, it is 330 million.
Thus, this Association has requested from the Ambassador’s office to guide the authorities to introduce a fair insurance system so that any registered insurance company recognized in Kuwait would have a chance since it is clear that this insurance system is totally prejudiced and induces large commission transactions. This Association also points out that due to this insurance system, the number of visas granted for Sri Lankan workers has fallen down.
The Association also pointed out that implementation of an insurance scheme, sponsored by the Kuwaiti employers’ within Kuwait is against the Kuwaiti laws as per the Resolution No. 14120 dated May 07, 2009 issued by the Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait while other countries operating in Kuwait have implemented their own insurance schemes having considered the relevant Kuwaiti laws. Hence Kuwaiti employers have deliberately refrained from recruiting Sri Lankan workers and this would severely affect remittances of at least $4 million a month to Sri Lanka if exchange rates are reduced.
Copies of this letter have been sent to the President's Secretary, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and the Chairman of the Registered Foreign Employment Agents Association. The attempts by 'Mawbima' several times to contact Minister Manusha Nanayakkara over the phone to get information about this, had failed.
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