‘Lankan maid’ receives SR45,000 in back wages

Updated 07 October 2016

‘Lankan maid’ receives SR45,000 in back wages

RIYADH: An Indian woman, who had come to the Kingdom with a Sri Lanka passport as a housemaid, received SR45,000 in back wages for 14 years of employment on the intervention of the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah.
The maid, Kedeswari Sellamuthu from Chennnai, Tamil Nadu, went to Sri Lanka in 2003 and was sent to the Kingdom for employment on a Sri Lankan passport.
Sellamuthu, who holds a passport under the name of Zareena Salee, confessed to the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah that she had obtained a Sri Lankan passport through an agent who trained her to pose as a Muslim woman from Sri Lanka to obtain the Lankan passport. She had submitted forged documents to obtain a Sri Lankan passport from the Sri Lankan Immigration Department.
She said that there were two other women who had come to Sri Lanka in a similar situation, and they were sent to Kuwait for employment.
Sri Lankan Consul General Faizer Mackeen, who personally dealt with the case, told Arab News that this is a clear case of human trafficking into the Kingdom by unscrupulous agents in Sri Lanka.
Although the consulate has pursued the Saudi sponsor to obtain her back wages on humanitarian grounds, Mackeen said that the maid will be subject to severe grilling by investigators in Colombo to determine the culprits behind the scene.
On arrival at the Colombo airport, the maid will be taken for questioning by investigators.
”It needs the attention of the relevant authorities and investigations to find out the truth behind this racket, which could also be a security lapse,” the diplomat said.
Mackeen further explained that the maid had contracted with the Saudi employer for a monthly salary of SR400, which was not paid at all by the sponsor during the past 14 years. The sponsor, he said, has now paid the back wages as well as the airfare to Sri Lanka.
Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva alleged that there has been an “agency mafia” operating for a long time in the country which has been exploiting unsuspecting workers who depend on them to find work. ”This is a clear example of such an activity,” he added.
According to the deputy minister, job agents charge employers SR25,000 for each Sri Lankan sent to work in Saudi Arabia through the agency, while agent fees charged from all other nations remained less than SR15,000.

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.