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.


FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

Raed bin Khaled Qarmali
Updated 17 June 2018
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FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

  • In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry

The Saudi Embassy in Russia, headed by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, has confirmed that there were no Saudis injured in the accident in central Moscow on Sunday.

The embassy added that they were immediately in touch with the competent Russian authorities to ensure that no harm befell any Saudi citizens, and also expressed their wishes for a speedy recovery to any injured individuals.

Russia has lately been the center of attention with the World Cup happening in its midst. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Moscow on June 14 prior to Saudi Arabia’s opening World Cup match.

He was received by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, and accompanied by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Mohammed Al-Mutairi, the Saudi military attaché in Russia.

In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry; he became the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Greece in 2012. By March 2015, the king appointed him as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Rome.

Qarmali was sworn in before King Salman in November 2017, to maintain his fealty to the Kingdom and not betray its state secrets and to fulfill his duties as ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia, replacing his predecessor Abdurrahman Al-Rassi.

He attended the inauguration of  the General Culture Authority’s Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Russia on June 15. 

The exhibition aims to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s culture and arts to enable visitors to get to know the rich heritage of Saudi culture and enhance their awareness about the talented creative minds in Saudi Arabia.