Flaming Ambition: 20,000 Sri Lankan Workers Ignite New Path in Israel Amid Conflict

Amid economic crisis, 20,000 Sri Lankan workers are set to migrate to Israel for higher-paying jobs in farming and construction despite regional conflict

Nov 26, 2023 - 19:52
Nov 26, 2023 - 19:52
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Flaming Ambition: 20,000 Sri Lankan Workers Ignite New Path in Israel Amid Conflict
Desperate for dollars and remittances, Sri Lanka plans to send 20,000 workers to Israel starting early next month to work in the farm and construction sectors, said a Sri Lankan minister on Thursday. (AFP/File)

In response to Sri Lanka's severe economic challenges, approximately 20,000 Sri Lankan workers, including supermarket manager Laknath Dias, are reportedly preparing to relocate to Israel. Despite the ongoing conflict in the region, these individuals are seeking employment opportunities in the agricultural and construction sectors, motivated by the prospect of substantially higher wages.

This move comes as Israel experiences a labor shortage in its farming sector, previously reliant on Thai and Palestinian workers. The recent Hamas-related conflict prompted many Thai workers to leave, and Palestinian workers face restrictions in the Israeli workforce.

The Sri Lankan government has reported a high interest in these overseas jobs, with over 10,000 applications already received for positions in agriculture. Plans are also in place to deploy an additional 10,000 workers in the construction sector. This trend reflects a broader pattern of increasing emigration from Sri Lanka, with hundreds of thousands seeking jobs abroad amidst the country's worst economic downturn in decades.

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