Saudi donation frees jailed SL maids

24 April 2013 09:01 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Saudi national has offered to pay 22,000 Saudi riyals (Dh21,539) to rescue two Sri Lankan domestic helpers from prison and leave Saudi Arabia.

The two helpers had absconded from the home of their employer, headed to their embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh and insisted on not returning to work for their employer, local Arabic daily Al Riyadh reported on Wednesday.

The case was eventually taken by the employer to the Riyadh police and the two helpers, who were not identified, were told to honour the contract they had signed when they were hired to work in the kingdom.

The failure to resume work meant for each of the helper paying 11,000 riyals in compensation for travel from Sri Lanka to Saudi Arabia as well as paper work expenses.

With neither of the two helpers able to pay the amount or willing to go back to work for the employer, they were sent to a woman’s prison in the capital.

According to the daily, a Saudi man who heard about the plight of the two helpers volunteered to pay the amount required to have the pair released from prison and allow them to fly home.

The gesture by the Saudi man who was not named was a ray of hope in a social situation that has been often mired in political and rights controversy.

In February, the Sri Lankan government suspended the sending of helpers to work in Saudi Arabia to protest the execution in January of Sri Lankan domestic worker Rizana Nafeek in the Kingdom for reportedly smothering a four-month-old baby in her care following an argument with his mother.

Riyadh rejected claims that the helper was a minor and supported its argument with her passport details.

Those who protested the execution said that the helper was 17 at the time of crime and that the recruitment agency had altered her birth date to allow her to work in the Gulf.

Under the controversial sponsorship system that has prevailed in the Gulf for decades, foreign workers are tied to their employers who have almost complete control over their ability to enter or leave the country or to switch jobs.

Several employers challenge the official rules and confiscate the passports of their workers and employees to prevent any attempts to abscond or leave.

According to reports, around 500,000 Sri Lankans work in Saudi Arabia, mainly as domestic helpers. (Source: Gulf News)

  Comments - 9

  • Matalan Thursday, 25 April 2013 04:57 AM

    These noble sentiments, the Saudi gentleman displayed, were abundant among our people too till 2 decades ago. SL Govt.- follow this example of a good Samaritan!

    Just4Justice Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:34 AM

    What a commendable thing these two gentlemen have done it ! Still some of our short minded people will think negatively and comment negatively.

    Just4Justice Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:38 AM

    It proves what I heard over the years is true… some Arabs are really pious and do commendable things. I doubt if any of our Millionaires would have done this ?

    Kodituwakkuarachchi Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:46 AM

    No one wants to read or comment about the good side of Saudis.

    surain Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:46 AM

    there are many good arabs among the bad nobody should label all of them as bad

    MayIwin Silva Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:57 AM

    In every nation you get good and bad people. Saudi is the country where I worked earned and saved, and now leading a comfortable life with my family, 786. Thanks gentlemen.

    Shafraz Thursday, 25 April 2013 04:32 AM

    Ah just few comments and likes. If it was a negative news. Comment count would go more than 50.

    Abdul Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:14 AM

    this shows that saudi arabia got some good people too.

    Mr.brownwardhana Thursday, 25 April 2013 04:37 AM

    now that's something you don't see everyday. Some Arabs are good and generous..


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