Colombo downplays monks’ allegations of maid abuse

Updated 18 October 2014
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Colombo downplays monks’ allegations of maid abuse

The Sri Lankan government brushed aside allegations made by a group of Buddhist monks in Colombo on Thursday on the abuse of housemaids in the Kingdom.
Strong allegations against the abuse of Sri Lankan housemaids by Saudi sponsors were made by a group of 20 Buddhist monks of Ravana Balaya led by its General Secretary Iththakande Saddhatissa Thera when it visited the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) of Koswatta at Battaramulla in Colombo on Thursday.
The Ravana Balaya monks requested the SLBFE chairman to take immediate action to bring back the expatriates who have become victims at the hands of their Middle East employers.
The group that arrived at the bureau at 10 in the morning and barged into the office of the SLBFE Chairman Amal Senadhilankara without a prior appointment.
Dispelling the allegations, SLBFE Chairman Amal Senadhilankara told the monks that such allegations could only be handled with adequate evidence. However, he told the intruders that such meetings should be arranged with prior appointment so that he could prepare himself with the team of his officials who handle overseas recruitment.
Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, Senadhilankara said that it is a pity that there are vested interests in the island that want to politicize the foreign employment business of the country. “Our vision and mission is to treat all of our overseas workers equally without any discrimination on the score of religion,” he stressed.
He said there are no major problems of domestic workers in the Kingdom or elsewhere in the Middle East region. “These people want cheap publicity claiming that they are saviors of these housemaids,” he said, adding that there are sporadic problems which are solved through negotiations between the employer and the employees. “Unresolved cases are repatriated at the expense of the SLBFE.”
He said the Kingdom and Sri Lanka are keen on streamlining the domestic aides’ recruitment scheme to protect the interests of the employee and their Saudi employer.
He said that following the recent approval of the Saudi-Lanka labor agreement by the Shoura Council, its implementation will come into effect soon.


Art exhibition in Riyadh sees high turnout ahead of Saudi National Day

Updated 22 September 2018
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Art exhibition in Riyadh sees high turnout ahead of Saudi National Day

  • The Nation of Honor and Dignity Exhibition is taking place at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel until Tuesday.
  • The exhibition contains more than 140 works by 125 male and female artists.

JEDDAH: The Nation of Honor and Dignity Exhibition, organized by the Saudi Art Association (GSFT), saw a high turnout on Saturday on the occasion of the Kingdom’s 88th National Day.
The exhibition, which contains more than 140 works by 125 male and female artists, is taking place at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel until Tuesday.
GSFT Chairwoman Manal Al-Rowaished said the association works to promote Saudi fine arts and support artists by organizing exhibitions, interactive shows, workshops and cultural evenings.
The GSFT makes sure to participate in National Day celebrations, and the title of this year’s exhibition reflects the honor and dignity that the Kingdom provides locally and internationally, she added. The exhibited works reflect “the reality, culture and history of the Kingdom,” she said.
Al-Rowaished congratulated the king and crown prince on the occasion of the National Day, and thanked Prince Faisal bin Mohammed bin Saud, the GSFT’s honorary president and its main supporter.
Artist Saad Al-Hussein’s work highlights the Kingdom’s architectural heritage. Ghadi Mousaed Al-Zahrani, an artist with special needs, presented a live painting show for visitors, as did Abdul Aziz Al-Debl.
Artist Ghaliya Al-Mazeed encouraged visitors with special needs of all ages to paint or write something that expresses their love of their nation.
Nasser Al-Kherji’s work represents Saudi culture and heritage, and the security and services provided at the Two Holy Mosques.
Artist Fahd Al-Ammar presented an interactive painting that represents Saudi heritage, with authentic Arab horses and Arabic script.