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Sri Lankan worker receives end-of-service award — 22 years after he left Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Zizan Hameed Lebbe, right, with Rihan Razick, who found him in Sri Lanka. (Supplied)
RIYADH: A domestic aide who left Saudi Arabia 22 years ago will soon receive his end-of-service awards in Colombo. His Saudi sponsor, who died six years ago, requested his next of kin to pay the benefits to the man if he could be found after his return to Sri Lanka.
Based on an Arab News report — ‘Dead’ sponsor sends end-of-service benefits to domestic aide who left KSA 22 years ago — published on Feb. 16 and which recorded more than 40,000 hits online, the beneficiary was found in Sri Lanka and the authorities will make the payment shortly on completion of formalities.
Saudi sponsor, Shukr Sweilem Al-Shammary, who died six years ago, requested his next-of-kin to pay the end-of-service to Mohammed Zizan Hameed Lebbe, a Sri Lankan domestic driver, who had worked with him from 1987 to 1996 in Riyadh.

According to the last will of Al-Shammary, the deceased asked his heirs to pay SR11,000 to the driver or to his family.
Indika Thilakaratne , labor counselor at the Sri Lankan Embassy, said that he received the money and it has been sent to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment to pay the nominee or his next-of-kin.
Al-Shammary’s grandson, Abdullah, had handed SR11,000 to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh to be given either to the driver, if living, or to his family members.
Nalin Rajapaksa, media officer at the Ministry of Foreign Employment, told Arab News that the ministry launched an islandwide search for the driver to clear the payment.
Rihan Razick, managing director at Asma Travels, told Arab News from Colombo that based on the report from Arab News, he had searched for the driver on humanitarian grounds. “Fortunately, I found the man in my own village,” he said, adding that he was now running a tea kiosk in Bandawa, Polgahawela, some 70 kilometers from the city of Colombo. Razick said he was unaware of the news and it came as a pleasant surprise.
According to Razick, the driver has handed the identity documents to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment in Colombo and will soon receive his dues from his employment abroad.

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