RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN
Published — Saturday 9 February 2013
Last update 9 February 2013 6:40 pm
A Sri Lankan domestic worker was sentenced to one in year jail and 100 lashes following a conviction for practicing black magic among his friends in Riyadh.
Sri Lankan Embassy sources said the accused was Premanath Pereralage Thungasiri, who was working as a house driver in a Saudi home.
An embassy official, who had met Thungasiri in jail, said that Thungasiri had been booked by police in the Ummul Hammam district on charges of black magic and for violating local regulations by meeting an unknown woman, which is against Saudi law.
The arrest was made in May when Thungasiri had visited another Saudi’s house to resolve a dispute involving a housemaid there. He said the maid was his relative, and during the dispute police arrested him.
Thungasiri has a wife, daughter and son at home in Padiyatalawe, 200 kilometers from Colombo.
According to a jail official, Thungasiri will complete the one-year jail term this May.
Thungasiri’s name has been listed in the amnesty list and if the clemency is given early, there are chances for him to be deported home even before his scheduled release.
The Sri Lankan Embassy is yet to receive the copy of the official court verdict on Thungasiri’s judgment through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to the verdict, Thungasiri said in a statement to the embassy that his Saudi sponsor had nothing to do with the case, and had surrendered his passport and other documents to prison authorities for his deportation.
Recently a Sri Lankan woman was arrested on suspicion of practicing witchcraft after she allegedly gazed at a child in a shopping complex while wearing a black cord around her wrist, the report said.
The organization accused the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment of not educating Sri Lankan workers traveling to Saudi Arabia on the country’s religious laws.
The diplomat also stressed millions of foreign workers who come to the Kingdom for employment are expected to abide by the host country’s regulations.