Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera together with Thalatha Athukorala, Minister of Foreign Employment and Dr. Harsha De Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs handed over compensation and salary dues to family members of deceased and injured migrant workers.Thirty Nine family members received Seventy Two million Sri Lankan rupees from the Minister at the ceremony. This was the fifth compensation awarding ceremony organized by the Ministry this year. While conveying his profound condolences to the family members of the deceased migrant workers, Minister Samaraweera appreciated their valuable contribution to the national economy by way of foreign exchange remittances from abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was able to disburse approximately Sri Lanka Rupees 210 million as compensation and salary dues among 143 families last year. A sum of Sri Lanka Rupees 274 million has already been distributed among 155 families for the current year. In 2016, the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been able to secure Rs. 346 million, the highest amount of compensation payment in comparison to the previous five years. The Ministry says it was was able to secure compensation and salary dues with the assistance of Sri Lanka Missions in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Lebanon, Oman and Jordan. These payments were a result of initiatives and constant follow up action pursued by the Sri Lanka Missions and a large portion of the payments were secured through legal action by some of these Missions. The majority of beneficiaries present at the event were from rural areas.