President Mahinda Rajapaksa dispatched a letter early this morning requesting clemency from the Saudi Arabian Government for Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, the President’s Office told Daily Mirror.
Rizana was sentenced to death for the murder of an infant in Saudi Arabia.
The government has taken up the matter of the Rizana Nafeek to a diplomatic level after the Supreme Court in Riyadh endorsed the death sentence given to the teenage maid.
The teenage Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek was Indicted and found guilty of alleged death of an infant while bottle feeding in 2005.
Comments - 39
Faqi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:52 PM
Saradial - your are jumping into conclusions on hearsay. She was an untrained minor, the baby choked while been fed. The mother of the baby is to be blamed for allowing an untrained child who may not have had any experience with babies to bottle feed her child, Mishaps do happen, but if one has had training one could avoid these, But the poor girl had no experience when the baby choked. She was interrogated without any counsel being present. Can you even imagine what terror she went through in a foreign country in a language she does not understand to be interrogated in a cell and be accused of murder?
mohamed Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:53 PM
Dear president,you are the real people's president in the history of sri lanka.we are always behind you.thank you president.
Faqi Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:58 PM
Shamil Mansoor - Thank you for your analysis of the exact situation prevailing in KSA.I agree with you that it's a barbaric, autocratic regime, literally a Police state which prevails in KSA. One has only talk to people who have lived & worked there. We are blessed with the freedoms we have in our country. Even access to lawyers are denied when being interrogated in KSA.
Fayad Please note that her appeal was conducted and paid for by the Human rights organization based in HongKong. Thanks to them that a firm of lawyers were hired and retained.
bernard Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:04 PM
Agree 1000%. In this case he knows SL Muslims will be upset if he didn't take any action as there's a public outcry to save this woman. He is more worried about Muslims' backlash than the life of this woman. He should show the same sympathy towards the General if he is a true Buddhist.
KD Tuesday, 26 October 2010 07:16 PM
Did he request it?
Puran Wednesday, 27 October 2010 12:54 AM
Sarath Fonseka and others are not asking for clemency, just justice and it is time.
Shamil Mansoor Wednesday, 27 October 2010 01:14 AM
You miss the point completely...
The Question in not whether or not the death punishement should be meted out to a murderer. The question is whether or not she is a murder. I have no objection if she really murdered the baby. You need to take the legal process into consideration to assess whether it fairly establishes whether or not Rizna actually killed the baby, or was it an accident? Ask youself, what was the motive, she had nothing to gain and everything to loose.
The other point you miss is the double standard they apply to Saudi's, and non Saudi's. Where crimes are commited by Saudi's toward non Saudi's, punishment is non existent, but when it's the other way around, punishment is switf and brutal. My objection is that punishment should be the same whether the victim is a Saudi or a non Saudi.
Saradial Wednesday, 27 October 2010 02:02 AM
To Sinhalaya, It is President's start of fall.
Che Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:31 AM
Good point Faqi, In fact it is the Authorities who allowed her to Saudi, who are to Blame, they Corrupt and very Greedy for money, this poor Child's predicament is Pathetic, no Doubt the Mother is massively at fault too, It is a Grave injustice to this Minor,and not a good thing at all- this whole episode stinks of Corruption,
hilal Tuesday, 26 October 2010 07:40 AM
This is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, no one is above the LAW.
asoka abeywardena Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:24 AM
Thank you Mr. President and make sure to ban sending maids to Saudi Arabia. Thank you again...
Ranjan Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:27 AM
There is lack of evidence in this case. According to Rizana the infant chocked and that led to the infant's death. In this scenario she is innocent. I think she has suffered enough after being on death row for 3 years.
So it is better if the Saudi Government carefully analyse the circumstances which led to the infants death.
Also no one under the age of 18 can be senetnced to death and Saudi has signed the treaty. The Sri Lankan government has to prove that Rizana was just 17 at the time of the incident. Anyway I'm totaly against the capital punishment, it should be taken out from the civilised world.
Saradial Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:03 AM
Killing a baby doesn't barbaric?
mihidini Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:30 AM
Thank you H.E , for the good deed...
DXB Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:31 AM
First you should have send your so called Police Team to Passport office to find out who had taken bribe to issue a passport on different date of Birth.
Saudi Law is very tough and for sure they will not bother to give a positive reply to your letter. .... there is an incident even George Bush could not get release some American.
Jinn Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:08 AM
Hey Mr Ranjith......... please no political here........this is a fate of an innocent life.......! who went in search of a better life ended in misery .......!!
I really appreciate the Hon. President for what he is doing for the sake of that poor girl...
Fayad Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:34 AM
Where is UN , Amnesty international Because she is Asian if she was a EU citizen will they do this to her for an accident. Why double standard?? Even the Saudis Bend their rules to suit the Europeans.
Top Sri Lankan Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:35 AM
Mr. President did the right thing, appreciate it , will appreciate it very much if he stops sending the maids overseas as a respect for women, hope the President's request is accepted.
Ranjit Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:39 AM
Why don't the president extend his clemency to General?
Ossan Salam - Doha Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:41 AM
We welcome the clemency request from our president....but I am sure that the King of Saudi Arabia is nothing to with this issue as long as the parents of infant are defying to give pardon or accepting blood money........as per my knowledge (in the sharia law) the victim's family/parents must give pardon or take blood money as compensation and it's upto them to take dicision.....not by the ruler of the country.....but he could convince them but not force. Anyway it is our understanding and good lesson that we should not send house maids abroads.....
AA Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:21 AM
Good lesson for the country. Don't send any sri lankan female as a house maid to any country.
Gayan Samarasekara Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:46 AM
Irrespective of Saudi response in this regard, please take another bold decision to stop sending housemates to middle-east, as same as you decided on war, and GSP+.. If I remember right, it was there in Mahinda Chintana too.
Anushka Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:50 AM
A considerate move by the president, but I don't think the Saudi Government will listen. They have been going on like this all along despite objections from many countries. I don't now why we send our people to work in such countries when there are better places.
kuthbuddin Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:57 AM
Thank you Mr President and please ban all house maids to Saudi Arabia.cos there is no law and order in their for equal justice fair play .
Shamil Mansoor Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:57 AM
The sentence is outrageous, based largely on a 'confession' from the teenage girl taken by police, with, to the best of my knowledge, no legal representation available to the girl at that time. To paint a picture, a young inexperienced girl facing the most serious charge, in a foreign country, alone in an interrogation room surrounded by big burley aggressive police officers demanding she confesses.
All this while the barbaric Saudi's continue to rape and murder the house maids with impunity. I am yet to hear of a Saudi national being punished for their criminal acts against these house maids, who go overseas to try to earn enough to support the most basic needs of their parents and families back home.
If this girl had been a westerner, no action would be taken.
This barbaric country continues to be supported by the other great Satan, the U.S., so the Saudi's will continue to act with impunity towards the Asians.
chintake Tuesday, 26 October 2010 04:59 AM
Thank you Sir,
Nandimithra Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:39 AM
Gul., You think the General is a criminal. Ha Ha you must be daft.
rasika Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:15 AM
Thank you Mr. President
Mohamed Shafraz Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:17 AM
Totally agree with you
Percy Mandawala Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:18 AM
In a situation like this, speaking directly to leaders over the phone is more effective than sending letters.
gUL fERNANDO Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:18 AM
Ranjith please understand the different between a innocent and a ciminal please
Nimal Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:21 AM
Please do something Your Ecellency and save the life of this innocent girl.
sinhalaya Tuesday, 26 October 2010 01:23 PM
Mr President don't you realise that all the goodwill you gained from the victory over the Tigers, is fast deteriorating every day you keep ex General Fonseka behind bars? It is beginning to look like vindictiveness, not justice!
Hamlet Tuesday, 26 October 2010 05:24 AM
What about Clememcy for Sarath Fonseka?
Musthafa Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:07 AM
Great president of Sri Lanka
Sampath Thursday, 28 October 2010 04:04 AM
Dear Sir You have prove ,you are the father of our nation. Thank you sir
CP Wednesday, 27 October 2010 05:43 AM
Most of the people say that sending women as house maids should be banned, but I believe that there are lot of poor families being uplifted through employment in abroad as HMs. This is only an incident and if you have analysed it carefully the criminals are the Agent and people who supported in making false passport to a minor. There are lot of people here in SL unrmployed or drawing a salary which not enough for 2 people to survive. Look at the macro picture. Punish the people who sent this innocent to Saudi.
w.g.l. Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:24 AM
yes President you sending letters to Saudi that is very good deed to get pardon for our follow woman what about in our country man call General no pardon to him what people think about this please think of this dear president thank you
backstreetBoy Tuesday, 26 October 2010 10:26 AM
@Ranjan, you seem to be quite educated in this case and maybe of a legal profession, therefore you should meet the president directly and discuss this matter for the sake of Rizana and all others who may face a similar situation in the future. Everyone seeking overseas employment should should register them self and their employer with the foreign employment bureau in order to avoid legal disputes and for the security of both parties.
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