ABU DHABI — The Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has praised the UAE government for pardoning a Sri Lankan mother of six who was sentenced to death in a murder case.
Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE Sarath Wijesinghe said “it is with great pleasure that the embassy announces the pardon rendered to Abdul Careem Kanzul Maharifa”, who was accused of causing the death of her sponsor’s wife by repeatedly hitting her head and face with an ornamental pot and was sentenced to death by the Shariah Court of Abu Dhabi in 2006.
Maharifa is free and was repatriated to Sri Lanka on July 31, the embassy announced in a statement. She was arrested on April 30, 2006. She was acquitted at first, but it was challenged by the Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi leading to the pronouncement of capital punishment against her.
The embassy and the External Affairs Ministry in Sri Lanka have been continuously working on this matter since the alleged incident had taken place. “At last, there is good news that the request for clemency has been granted and she is out of the said death sentence,” the ambassador said.
Wijesinghe said the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UAE worked tirelessly and continuously and the freedom of this lady goes to the credit of the staff and the previous ambassadors, especially the Consular Division of the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka.
The ambassador personally took charge of the case and made representation to various statutory bodies with the help of the embassy staff.
There are over 250,000 Sri Lankans in the UAE and their remittances are one of the main sources of income for the South Asian nation. The crime rate among Sri Lankans is very low, the ambassador said.
Sri Lankan expatriates face several problems, mainly discrepancies in salaries and job profile caused primarily because of unscrupulous job agents, causing rifts between the employers and the workers. The Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has taken steps to regularise the agreements and bring about speedy settlements for the workforce in the UAE.
The Sri Lanakan workforce in the UAE is highly skilled and held in highest esteem, the ambassador said. A large number of them are professionals. Even those who are in the domestic sector have a good reputation of being hardworking. In the hospitality industry, a large number of Sri Lankans work in leading hotels.
Steps are being taken by the embassy, the Tourist Board and the SLBFE with public and private partnerships to recruit and train more and more staff for the hospitality sector, the ambassador concluded.
Source: Khaleej Times Online