If you’ve ever flown, you’ve seen the form. Embarkation. Disembarkation. Where you’re from, where you’re going. All information they already have. In Colombo it’s something of a ritual because a lot of housemaids and foreign workers have trouble filling it out. I for one never have a pen. So everybody has to somehow co-operate, for a few minutes. That ritual is about to end.
Sri Lankans returning to the country will no longer be required to fill the disembarkation form at the passport control counter of the BIA, Immigration and Emigration Chief Chulananda Perera said yesterday.
He said this was because the passports of incoming passengers were scanned at the Immigration counter on arrival and the data of passengers were stored. Sri Lankans leaving the country would, however, have to fill the embarkation forms since such information was important for the records. (Sunday Times)
Hmmm. Good. Brings back memories though.
I was once transitting through Qatar I think it was and they had the Sri Lankans board last. I was offended and told them so, but that’s how it was, and is. It is a different class and they can be hard to manage, but they’re still paying customers, as far as I can tell.
Sri Lankans go abroad to work and are routinely not paid, beaten, raped, etc. For many people, the risk is still worth it. I’ve gone out with Dialog TV installation teams to distant suburbs. We’d climb on the roof of a brand new three story house, chrome railings, no mother. The house was, well, two stories taller than anyone else’s but no mother at home.
I’ve been on a flight full of men heading out. I think the ratio is almost 50/50 now, though women used to dominate. The guy next to me was picking his nose, farting and ordering scotch after scotch. I was offended, but I guess I do the same stuff, less conspicuously I like to think.
Women come through the duty-free with refrigerators, washing machines, appliances, gifts, requests. The men carry the maximum allowance of booze. If you could only carry two things into the subcontinent a safe bet would be a passport and a bottle of Black Label. Both open doors.
Anyways, the form. If they just scan the form, no one’s going to ask me for help filling it out and I won’t have to ask anyone for a pen. I guess that’s nice. Just remembering.