Joy as king extends amnesty to Nov. 3

Updated 08 July 2013

Joy as king extends amnesty to Nov. 3

Hundreds of thousands of expatriates and Saudis breathed a sigh of relief across the country yesterday as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah extended the amnesty period until Nov. 3.
The royal order extending the original three-month amnesty, which ends today, was cited in a Ministry of Interior statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
The statement said the decree was issued taking into account recommendations from the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor and interior.
The statement on the royal decree also cited the requests from various foreign embassies that had complained of the “pressure on their missions” from the large numbers of workers seeking to correct their status.
The statement said the decree was introduced to “make it easier on citizens and residents.”
There was also a warning issued by the Saudi government that there would be a crackdown on all illegal workers after the amnesty ends. The ministries of interior and labor urged all undocumented expatriates to correct their status.
The royal order comes amid uncertainty, with only one day left of the grace period issued earlier by King Abdullah.
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented expatriate workers, including overstaying pilgrims and workers who escaped from their employers, have corrected their status since the government announced the three-month grace period.
Among the countries with large numbers of undocumented workers in the Kingdom are India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nepal and Yemen.
The Ministry of Labor said that with the new deadline, businesses should try to expedite the process of solving problematic cases involving their expatriate workforce.
The new concessions will also allow family members of an expatriate living legally in the Kingdom to work if they are 18 years or older, provided the family member has already spent two years or more with his or her family in the country, the ministry said.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.