Ordeal of 34 Kerala workers in Libya ends


Thiruvananthapuram : The ordeal of 34 workers from Kerala, stranded in a labour camp in Libya has ended as they are being flown out from the Libyan capital Tripoli, an official said here Thursday.

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In November 2009, after news surfaced that there were 74 workers from Kerala stranded in Libya, the state’s Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy took up the issue with Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, and the ministry facilitated the return of 40 of them in two batches by mid-December.

The office of Chandy told IANS that they have been told that the workers are flying out from Tripoli Thursday evening for Mumbai via Jordan.

“They will reach Jordan later in the night today (Thursday) and fly out from Jordan tomorrow (Friday) evening and arrive in Mumbai on Saturday morning. All of them have in their custody their passports where their exit has been stamped and also their return air tickets given to them,” said an official from Chandy’s office.

Following Chandy’s written request to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to make arrangements for the workers travel to their home towns in the state, an official of the state run Non-Resident’s Keralite’s Affairs Department is expected to receive these people at the Mumbai airport and make the arrangements.

These workers were employed with an Indonesian construction firm and their two-year contract got over end of last year. Since then, neither has their work permit been renewed, nor have they been paid their outstanding salaries.