By Jamila Husain
Colombo, Jan. 31 – Chinese officials have unofficially raised concerns with the Sri Lankan government over some incidents of discrimination faced by Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka, stating that they were being turned away from public areas such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, spas and supermarkets by locals who were worried that they may be carrying the novel coronavirus, as reported in the Daily Mirror.
Informed sources in the government said that China had unofficially updated Sri Lankan authorities over some such incidents and it is learnt that the matter will be discussed when the government’s special task force meet today afternoon.
Sources said that the matter had been unofficially brought to the notice of the Presidential Secretariat as well and it was being looked into.
“There is no need for anyone to discriminate against Chinese nationals as the Health Ministry has issued guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease. It has been brought to the government’s notice, that some Chinese nationals had been turned away from hospitals while waiters had refused to serve them at some restaurants and hotels. This will be looked into,” government sources said.
The Police said that while they had seen several social media posts stating that Chinese nationals were being turned away from public areas, they had not yet received any official complaint.
However a police spokesperson said the matter would be discussed with the Defense Ministry if a complaint is lodged.
The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, in a statement released yesterday said the Sri Lankan public had no reason to fear of the in-coming Chinese nationals after the Spring Festival as exit and entry channels to Wuhan had been temporarily closed and it was improbable for local people to travel to other places including Sri Lanka.
The Embassy further said it has advised employees from Chinese companies from the Hubei province to halt their plans to return back to Sri Lanka and those from other provinces and cities had to quarantine themselves for at least 14 days after arriving in Sri Lanka.
The Embassy said Chinese authorities have halted all outbound group travels and have imposed strict examination and fever-detecting measures at all airports and transport hubs where suspicious cases shall not be allowed to board the aircrafts.
“Chinese authorities have established an all-dimensional and multi-level epidemic containing network where CPC Central leads governments at all levels, has been putting great efforts in Wuhan and other much infected Hubei cities. Chinese authorities have confidence and the capacity to contain the epidemic and win the fight against it,” the Chinese Embassy said