Lankan maid alleges sponsor poisoned her

Updated 01 June 2014
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Lankan maid alleges sponsor poisoned her

A Sri Lankan maid claimed that she was not paid, beaten and poisoned by her sponsor during her stay in Riyadh, according to a report published Friday in Colombo.
W. Amitha Kumari, a mother of two and resident of Iranawila, arrived home on a stretcher and had to undergo several operations on her stomach, according to the report.
Kumari claimed that her sponsor tried to kill her with poison and that she now cannot eat solid food and only have liquids fed through a tube to her stomach.
She claimed that no one came to help her over the last three months in Sri Lanka.
Kumari said she had been sent to the Kingdom by an employment agency. When she arrived in Riyadh, she was allegedly not paid her salary for three months. After arguing with her sponsor, she was given some money to send home to her children, she claimed in the report.
Kumari alleged she was then taken to a place where she had to care for 10 children including washing their clothes and cooking food for them around the clock.
She claimed that she was not paid for three months and that her employer refused to allow her to contact her family.
“I was not allowed to communicate with my family for six months. I didn’t eat food for three weeks because I was angry. They then beat me and threatened to kill me. I fell unconscious and they opened my mouth and forced me to swallow poison claiming it was medicine,” she alleged.
“When they took me to the hospital they told me to tell the doctors that I didn’t take anything. I was afraid for my life so I didn’t tell the medical staff what happened,” she claimed. “I stayed in the hospital for a month and told them that I wanted to go home.”
She said she was eventually put on a plane home with a saline drip still in place. “When I arrived home my husband admitted me to the Ragama hospital. For one-and-a-half months I was not given any solid food with only saline administered,” she said.
“They took many different tests and later I had to undergo surgery. After that they fixed a bag to my stomach and I was only given liquids,” she said.
“The doctors say that I have to undergo more surgery but are delaying it because I am physically so weak,” she said.
“My family is in a severe predicament and even the foreign employment bureau has not come to my assistance,” she claimed. She said she does not have money to educate her children.
Her mother-in-law, Malini Mendis, said that her son was a fisherman but did not make a lot of money. This resulted in her daughter-in-law seeking foreign employment, “but now we are in a worse predicament,” she said.
Mangala Randeniya, spokesman for the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News that the case has to be investigated because Kumari has made serious allegations against her sponsor and the job agent. He said the SLBFE would contact the Riyadh embassy to confirm the case.
The labor welfare officer at the Sri Lankan Embassy said that the case was not reported to the mission. “We do not know anything about this matter,” the diplomat said. However, he said that it was possible for such a case to have bypassed the embassy and taken up in Sri Lanka.


Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

Updated 21 March 2019
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Salman Khan, Cuba Gooding Jr. to host discussions during Saudi Film Festival

  • The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts
  • The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month

DHAHRAN: As part of Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province, the fifth Saudi Film Festival will feature Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Indian superstar Salman Khan.
The six-day celebration of cinema is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).
Khan recently announced in a video message that he will visit Ithra on Sunday as a guest of the film festival.
“Hello Saudi Arabia, assalamu alaikum,” he said in the video. “See you at Ithra on the 24th of March, InshaAllah.”
The actor is best known for his performances in blockbuster Hindi flicks such as “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, “Ek Tha Tiger” and its sequel “Tiger Zinda Hai.”
In “An Evening with the Stars,” Khan will talk about his lengthy Bollywood career as both a film star and a producer.
He has starred in more than 80 Bollywood films, and has produced more than 30 via his production company Salman Khan Films.
On Monday, Gooding Jr. will take to the stage to discuss his 30 years of experience as an actor.
The American is best known for his performances in “Jerry Maguire”, “A Few Good Men” and “Men of Honor.”
Gooding Jr. has played more than 85 roles over the course of his career. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rod Tidwell in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire.”
Tickets to both events, as well as for the film festival as a whole, are available on Ithra’s website.
The Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment, will run until the end of the month, with more than 83 activities in nine cities.