DOUBLE TROUBLE Yes, Sri Lanka has faced and continues to face an acute shortage of foreign currency – and yes, foreign worker remittances have been among the mainstays of propping up Sri Lanka’s dwindling forex reserves.

In fact, for decades, our fiscal managers have boasted about exporting labour even when times were better with little if any attention paid to how this undermines the nation’s talent pool and workforce strength, not to mention the impact on families who are torn apart by the migration of their forex breadwinners.

From bad to worse as we go, the powers that be have been waxing eloquent about the recent increase in worker remittances (reportedly, from US$ 325 million in August to nearly 360 million dollars in September) on the back of some 240,000 Sri Lankans registering for foreign employment in September alone.

To make matters worse, there’s been an alarming acceleration in the number of migrants – especially among the young – to greener pastures, so much so that Sri Lanka’s engine of growth could well run out of steam by the time the proposed economic reforms kick in and a revival of some sort is underway.

It may be time for the business community to speak out about the dire consequences of the brain drain – before it’s too late. In this instance at least, silence may not be golden!

– Editor-in-Chief