By Jamila Najmuddin
Sri Lanka has not been officially informed of any move by the Saudi Authorities to impose a ban on recruiting maids from Sri Lanka and the country does not feel such a move will even take place, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, Kingsley Ranawaka told Daily Mirror Online.
Saudi media reported last week that Saudi Arabia is considering banning maids from countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia and Vietnam due to maids being unqualified to suit the Saudi culture and tradition.
However responding to such a statement, Ranawaka said that there was a great demand for Sri Lankan maids in the Saudi and such a ban would be “impossible” to implement. “The Saudi authorities cannot do this as there is a huge demand for Lankan maids in that part of the world. Sri Lanka cannot cater to such a great demand. The numbers only keep increasing,” Mr. Ranawaka said.
He added that the Sri Lankan government however had not been informed by the Saudi government or the Saudi embassy of the ban and the government had inly learnt of such a move through the media.
He further said that according to the government policy, the country did not promote unskilled recruitments and all workers were thoroughly trained to suit the respective cultures.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia is serious in imposing the ban especially after recent incidents of child murders and violence.
“The main reason for considering such a ban is that the labor recruiters in those countries are not qualified enough to supply housemaids that suit the local culture and tradition. There is no proper selection process of housemaids to suit this market, nor are they given orientation before they leave their countries,” Saudi media reports qouted Ali Al-Quraishi, Vice President of the local Labor Recruitment Committee as saying.
He added that local employers have found that maids from these countries make no effort to adapt to local conditions. “They don’t even show any inclination to cope with local traditions and culture,” he said. “We have decided to be extra-careful when dealing with such foreign labor, especially after some reports that housemaids were involved in child murders and incidents of violence,” he added.