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.


Perpetrators of violence against civilians should be held accountable: Saudi envoy

Children attending an open-air Arabic school in February at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they were learning to read the Qur’an. (Reuters)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Perpetrators of violence against civilians should be held accountable: Saudi envoy

  • Al-Mouallimi: International law and Islamic principles are being violated with impunity
  • In Yemen, abuses against civilians by Iran-backed Houthi militias include the recruitment of children, the planting of mines in civilian neighborhoods and the use of human shields, said Saudi Arabia's top diplomat at the UN

JEDDAH: Perpetrators of violence against civilians should be held accountable and punished for their crimes, the Saudi ambassador to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

International law and Islamic principles are being violated with impunity, he added. “We witnessed a new massacre committed by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, which killed dozens of Palestinian martyrs and wounded thousands,” he said. 

“And for seven consecutive years, the world has witnessed bloodletting in Syria, which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians using various means,” including “genocide,” he added. 

“In Myanmar, the world is watching as hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya are driven out of their homes that are burnt, their women raped and children displaced.”

In Yemen, abuses against civilians by Iran-backed Houthi militias include the recruitment of children, the planting of mines in civilian neighborhoods and the use of human shields, Al-Mouallimi said. 

He cited the example of four-year-old Jamila, who had been used as a human shield. She was saved by Saudi-led coalition forces and handed over to her family.

Saudi Arabia supports the formation of a committee of inquiry into Israel’s crimes in Gaza, and a mechanism to collect documents and evidence to hold perpetrators of war crimes in Syria accountable, Al-Mouallimi said.

He stressed the need to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar in a safe, dignified and voluntary way, and to hold accountable those who caused them harm.