Lankan worker rejects paltry compensation

Updated 10 December 2013
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Lankan worker rejects paltry compensation

A Sri Lankan worker who lost his leg while working refused Monday to accept SR5,000 as compensation from his Saudi sponsor.
Ruwan Chamara Herath, 29, suffered a serious accident while driving a vehicle without headlights. He claimed his sponsor forced him to drive the vehicle at midnight even though he knew that the headlights were not working, Herath alleged.
The worker said that the sponsor wants to forcibly repatriate him against his wishes without giving proper compensation. “The SR5,000 which the sponsor has promised is my three months' wages and allowances,” he said, lamenting that he cannot go home in this manner.
“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.
“I need proper compensation from my sponsor and I want an artificial leg so that I can continue with 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.
The office of the Sri Lankan consulate general has intervened in this matter to look after the interests of the distressed worker. “We are working out a suitable compensation for the worker,” an official from the consulate told Arab News from Jeddah.
He added that the sponsor has to pay a sizable compensation to the worker since the person had met with the accident while on duty.
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.
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 km from Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.
He said an artificial leg would cost him money equivalent to 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 assistance.


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2018
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”