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.


King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at the launch of a three-day festival of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday in Ad Diriyah, near Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 49 min 24 sec ago
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King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

  • Enrique Iglesias took the stage in an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah
  • The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical

RIYADH: Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival  of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday with a stunning concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah.

The king of Latin pop took the stage by storm and stole the hearts of thousands in the crowd, whose screams could be heard from a long way away. “I love you Enrique,” a group of girls in the audience shouted.

As he waved his hand back and forth in the air, the crowd started doing the same while jumping up and down. The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical. 

No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. The singer asked the crowd if they spoke Spanish, and everyone screamed “Yes.”

While stage smoke poured into the arena a female performer sang a duet with Iglesias, who then delighted the crowd with some impromptu salsa dancing in front of the stage.

Fans waved their uplifted phones with their screens and flashes along with the music, while others tried to capture the performance.

“You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape my love,” sang Iglesias while the crowd screamed.

Earlier the R&B singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo persuaded the crowd to put on their dancing shoes with an energetic set.

“Saudi, whassup! This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” he told the audience. He said his mother taught him to never visit empty handed, so his gift to Saudi Arabia was the debut performance of a new song.

Thursday’s entertainment will be followed on Friday by shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival comes on Saturday with the Saudia Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta.