Sri Lankan maid gets SR88,600 salary dues for 17 years of service in Saudi Arabia

Re-union -Kusumawathi meets her 19 year old daughter after 17 years
Updated 31 October 2017
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Sri Lankan maid gets SR88,600 salary dues for 17 years of service in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: With the help of Saudi authorities, a Sri Lankan maid received SR88,600 ($23,625) in back wages for the past 17 years.

This is considered the largest amount, around 3.6m Sri Lankan Rupees, recovered as salary arrears paid to a Sri Lankan migrant worker in the history of the island.

K.G. Kusumawathi, 44, came to the Kingdom in 2000 when she was only 27 and had a two-year-old daughter Hansika Sewwandi, and a son Thushitha Madusha, four years of age.

The sponsor kept her for this period without allowing her to go home.

According to Kusumawathi, the sponsor regularly paid her monthly salary of SR400 for the first eight years, and she had SR38,600 in cash in hand when the authorities tracked her at the workplace. The balance of SR50,000 was paid by the employer.

Speaking to Arab News, Susil Kumar Peli, the labor counselor at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah, the mission tracked the maid based on a complaint made in Colombo by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale six months ago.

Based on the information provided, he said the mission sought the assistance of the governorate in Taif which traced the sponsor, and the maid was promptly brought to the mission.

According to the diplomat, the maid had worked as a shepherdess in the remote village of Ateef, 40 km away from Taif on the Riyadh-Taif highway.

The maid had told the mission that there was no harassment by the sponsor except for the refusal to grant her permission to go home after the contracted period.

According to Saudi regulations, the sponsor is duty bound to send maids back home on completion of their work contracts.

The counselor said that the maid was sent home and she had a grand reunion in her hometown, he said, adding that she was very happy when she saw the two-year-old daughter she left had grown into a woman.

Nalin Rajapaksa, media spokesman of the SLBFE told Arab News that the minister was thankful to the Saudi government and the island’s consulate in Jeddah for their cooperation in sending maid back home with her paid-up salary.


TheFace: Saudi entrepreneur Samar Alhashim

Samar Alhashim. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 min 49 sec ago
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TheFace: Saudi entrepreneur Samar Alhashim

  • She found her passion in business administration and economics, and chose to pursue this interest as another degree
  • Alhashim’s future plans are to continue promoting physical and social well-being to the country’s citizens

Samar Alhashim’s success story started in the Eastern Province where she was born and raised. There, she graduated with an English literature degree, and started her adventure by moving to the US in 1993 as a newlywed. 

She found her passion in business administration and economics, and chose to pursue this interest as another degree. At Philadelphia University she studied for an MBA degree with a minor in international business. 

Returning to the Eastern Province, Alhashim decided to open her first business, a fusion of a tea lounge and art gallery in 2007. Due to the high demand for her concept, she decided to expand her small business into the capital city of Riyadh. The business flourished and became a central hub for many families and art lovers. 

In addition to her restaurant business, Alhashim established a new concept, one almost foreign to Saudi society at the time. “My Saudi Wellness,” a venture targeted at a healthy lifestyle in the Saudi community, was well underway. 

Today, with her strong commitment to introducing healthy living and fitness to Saudi society, as well as support from the Vision 2030 plan in the Kingdom, Alhashim’s future plans are to continue promoting physical and social well-being to the country’s citizens.