• Last Update 2021-07-28 15:33:00

Over 40 Sri Lankan students duped into working in Taiwan slaughterhouses and underground factories

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The University of Kang Ning has been reprimanded by Taiwan's  Ministry of Education for allowing over 40 of its Sri Lankan students to work in slaughterhouses in Taipei and Tainan, reported China Times.  

Sri Lankan students currently studying at Kang Ning said that the end of last year, senior officials from the university, travel agents, and government officials from Sri Lanka went to seven or eight high schools in their hometown to give presentations on the study opportunities in Taiwan. Kang Ning senior officials reportedly said to the students, "As long as you pay for your air tickets, you can go to Taiwan to study for free, and you can earn money buy working part-time."

Yu Jung-hui , chairman of the Taiwan Private School Employees Union (TPSEU), today said that more than 60 Sri Lankan students came to Taiwan and received admission permits from Kang Ning, but strangely, they entered the country on sightseeing visas. Once they entered Taiwan, they did not go to school, but were instead sent directly to work, the report claimed.

Yu said that perhaps because of the different relationships between departments, some students were sent to Taipei to work, some were sent to Tainan to work instead. 

Yu said that the director of the Tainan campus of Kang Ning coordinated with brokers in dispatching the Sri Lankan students to work in underground factories and slaughterhouses. It was illegal at first, so they all worked in the middle of the night and the work was unstable. 

For this reason, one student may end up working at several different jobs over a short period of time.  A Sri Lankan student, who went by the pseudonym Roger, told UDN that in the six months since he came to Taiwan, he felt he was not studying, but rather working, and said, "I regret studying in Taiwan, and I don't trust Taiwanese anymore."

After the news about the Sri Lankan students being exploited at Kang Ning, they had a to make the difficult decision of staying or returning to their home country. Yu said that each of the Sri Lankan students on average owed about NT$40,000 in fees to the school, Taiwan News reported.

As the school felt their were innocent, all the tuition fees for their first year at the university were waived. However, if these students cannon pay their tuition fees for their second year of college by August of next year, they will have no choice but to return to Sri Lanka. 

Yu pointed out that many universities are facing the dilemma of inadequate enrollment. After the government  introduced the New Southbound Policy, they recruited students through brokers, but they also fell victim to fraud rings. 

Taking Kang Ning as an example, the broker it used to recruit the Sri Lankan students, a Mr. Chu (朱), he had become notorious for bringing a Chinese acrobat troupe to Taiwan to engage in prostitution. 

Pic courtesy Taiwan News/Taiwan Private School Employees Union)

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