Expat Sri Lankans win the right to vote

Published:  22 Jan at 12 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Sri Lankans living overseas will now be permitted to vote in their country’s polls in further changes made under President Maithripala’s Sirisena’s new regime.

The last Sri Lankan elections were held on 8 January, but expatriates, of whom there are an estimated 1.7 million, were not allowed to cast their ballots.

However, under the new regime arrangements are being made to rectify the situation and allow them their votes, according to the Muslim Tamil Alliance leader and former deputy mayor of Colombo, Azath Salley, who is part of the incoming government. He explained that they were aware of how expat Sri Lankans contribute economically, so they should be afforded the right choose who leads their country.

Overseas employment is the Sri Lankan economy’s biggest source of foreign exchange, and the country’s expats have generated significant inflows of remittances since they were officially permitted to work abroad in the 1970s. Furthermore, the fact so many people have decided to travel abroad for employment since that time has resulted in less worrying youth unemployment statistics.

The 1.7 million people who work overseas make up almost 25 per cent of the country’s overall population. In 2013, just under 300,000 Sri Lankans travelled to foreign countries for work, sending back roughly US$6.4bn in remittances.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive