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Expat seeks compensation for lost limb in the line of duty

A Sri Lankan driver here has accused his sponsor of failing to compensate him for losing a limb while on duty.
Ruwan Chamara Herath, 29, said he had a serious accident while driving a vehicle without headlights. He claimed his sponsor forced him to drive the vehicle at midnight even though he allegedly knew that the headlights were not working.
Herath claimed that the company he works for treats its workers “like slaves without proper regard for local labor regulations.” He said he had to do 20 trips a day transporting sand in huge trucks for a cement factory, along with 16 other Sri Lankan drivers.
“Our sponsor has not given us iqamas or driver’s licenses for the last nine months.”
Herath said the drivers were afraid to go outside because they feared the authorities would arrest them. He also claimed that most of the company’s trucks are not properly insured which makes it impossible for him to get compensation.
“I need proper compensation from my sponsor and I want an artificial leg so that I can continue my life.” He claimed that his sponsor has refused to pay him last month’s salary because he apparently had to repair the truck involved in the accident.
Herath said his sponsor wants him to go home without any compensation. “How can I go home without a leg? How am I going to help my wife? I’m the breadwinner of the family,” he said. He also has a two-year-old baby.
He said he came to the Kingdom to make money to build his dream house on a plot of land he owns in Gampaha, a suburb some 30 kilometers from Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.
He said an artificial leg would cost SR8,000 in Sri Lanka. He would be happy if someone could help him purchase it. He has asked the Sri Lankan consulate in Jeddah for help.

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