‘Lankan maid’ receives SR45,000 in back wages

Updated 07 October 2016
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‘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.


Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

People stand on the corniche in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 8, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

  • The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built
  • The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022

JEDDAH: The Red Sea Development Co., owned by the Public Investment Fund and responsible for executing the Red Sea Project, has announced the formation of its advisory board, which includes 12 international experts in business, tourism, sustainability and environmental conservation.
The advisory board will help to develop the agenda and plan for the Red Sea Project, to develop and implement updated international criteria in environmental protection and the restoration of natural characteristics, sustainable development, innovation and luxury tourism, in the project situated on Saudi Arabia’s Western coast at a crossroad that links the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The project targets establishing an ultra-luxury tourist destination for nature, adventure, health and recreation and culture and it is considered one of the key components of Saudi Vision 2030.
John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Co., said: “Seeking these consultants to guide the company is considered an important factor to execute the project on an international level, and these experts’ experience will help us exceed the ambitious plans of Saudi Vision 2030 for the tourism sector. The advisory board members will occupy multifunctional positions while working with the board of directors of the Red Sea Development Company and its executive team, and they will advise the company’s board of directors headed by Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
“They will use their broad expertise to suggest the best practices in a number of areas and specializations, present to potential investors and partners opportunities presented by the tourism sector.”
“The advisory board members met in New York for the first time in March 2018, to discuss their initial visions for the project. Their second meeting took place in Saudi Arabia in July when the team visited the project, its unique land and maritime environmental systems, and presented their views on the strategies of development and sustainability in the project.”
Pagano added: “The advisory board will play a vital role in the development of the project. The board members’ insights and ideas were extremely valuable in the assessment of our current plan’s effectiveness. That will allow us to create a unique tourism destination for our guests and the citizens of Saudi Arabia, as we work on setting new international standards to protect, preserve, restore and provide an exceptional experience for the next generations.”
The Red Sea Development Co. was founded on May 10, 2018, as a closed joint stock company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to execute the Red Sea Project which is considered a luxury destination that brings together a beautiful landscape, adventure and culture and promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is situated along Saudi Arabia’s western coast and creates a center linking the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Red Sea Project was launched by the Chairman of the Public Fund, Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on July 31, 2017, and the company will work on developing unique treasures, along a 200km coastline and more than 50 islands and lakes, coral reefs, marine environments, mountains and inactive volcanoes, and heritage sites with the authentic Saudi hospitality.
The project’s first phase will include hotels and residential units and an airport, along with unique landmarks, all of which provide a perfect environment for partnerships with the biggest international investors. The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built.
A calculated number of visitors will be permitted to experience the place to protect the environmental system, enrich their experiences and maintain the project’s exclusive tourism destination. The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022.