RIYADH: The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh opened a library for stranded housemaids on Saturday.
The library located in the mission’s safe house for housemaids, will enable the inhabitants to spend their leisure time reading books and magazines. The necessary books were donated by the Colombo-based Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), which looks after the interests of the island’s overseas workers.
Around 2,000 books including novels, magazines and newspapers were displayed in the reading room of the safe house.
“The library was opened under the aegis of the Sri Lankan Embassy to mark International Migrants Day, which was observed last week throughout the globe,” Anura Muthumala, labour counsellor at the embassy said. He said the arrangement was made on an initiative of the SLBFE.
Last year, the official said, the country received around $4.1 billion in foreign remittances from Sri Lanka’s overseas workers. “A substantial volume was from the Kingdom,” the diplomat noted.
In Colombo, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched a nationwide program to felicitate Lankan migrant workers, who bring in billions of rupees in revenue to the country.
Muthumala explained that currently there are more than 200 housemaids in the safe house. “We get an average of 10 runaway housemaids, who seek refuge at the mission on a daily basis,” he said.
“All expenses for the welfare of the housemaids are borne by the SLBFE,” he said. Referring to common problems faced by the maids in the Kingdom, Muthumala said that they include, non-payment of salaries, delayed payment of salaries, continuance of work after termination of labour contracts and harassment.
He said the problems of those maids who are working in the Kingdom for less than three months are invariably settled with their respective sponsors. (Source: ARAB NEWS)
Why not conduct A/L classes also? Surely, the Examinations dept. can ensure that at least some of them get sufficient grades to get to the University!
amal Thursday, 29 December 2011 04:52 AM
Thanks god.. This move will help ease mental tension of those poor humans
Manel Fonseka Thursday, 29 December 2011 05:28 AM
What a thoughtful thing to do. I hope the Embassy authorities are also providing similar "comforts" for poor Rizana while she lingers, seemingly, for ever, for pity to stir the hearts of her erstwhile employers.
Kenny_G Thursday, 29 December 2011 05:35 AM
Wonder if they can read though.
loku Thursday, 29 December 2011 06:08 AM
Why not bring them home as well?
Manjula J Thursday, 29 December 2011 07:03 AM
Please open a free net cafe for those migrants. This will enable to communicate with their families. I don't think this will cost a lot.
achtung Thursday, 29 December 2011 10:44 AM
the only worthwhile comment on this news item. good idea actually
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