Lankan maid kills herself

Updated 25 December 2014
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Lankan maid kills herself

A Sri Lankan housemaid has committed suicide in her employer’s house in the north eastern town of Khafji in the Eastern Province.
The Sri Lankan Embassy has confirmed the death of Easwary (not her real name), 35, who hailed from Colombo, the capital of the island nation.
The maid’s Saudi employer had to break down the door of the bathroom when she failed to answer repeated calls only to find her dead, according to embassy sources.
The Eastern Province police spokesman, Col. Ziad Al-Rugaiti, said the maid committed suicide and that the police are investigating her motive.
Embassy sources admitted that they receive reports of suicide cases at regular intervals.
The cases are reported to the next-of-kin of the deceased, they said and they do their best to conduct fair investigations on the deaths.
“We are conducting an analysis on the pattern of suicide cases among the housemaids in the Kingdom,” the sources noted.
In an earlier case involving a housemaid, Poshpawalli Selladurai, 36, who had supposedly committed suicide, was actually murdered by her female sponsor. This was revealed in the postmortem report.
The police in Al-Jouf, some 1,200 km from the capital arrested the sponsor who later admitted her guilt and paid the blood money to the maid’s relatives.
Embassy sources said that they were also waiting for Easwary’s postmortem report which would be released by the police shortly.
Head of Sri Lanka’s National Institute of Mental Health Promotion, Dr. Neil Fernando, said that the latest official data shows that Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates in the world with almost 4,000 cases per year. The majority of victims were aged 15-44, he added.
In 1950, Sri Lanka’s annual suicide rate was 6.5 per 100,000. By 2001, it had climbed to 55. In 1996, the island nation had the highest rate in the world, with almost 9,000 suicide deaths that year. Though the rate declined to 16 per 100,000 in 2011, it remains among the worst globally.
According to a recent police report, 3,770 people committed suicide, including 231 women, in 2011. Most were from rural areas and were mainly due to poverty and debt. This impoverishment has been intensified by government cuts to farm subsidies, rising production costs and low prices of agricultural goods.


Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), speaking before the UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna on June 20, 2018. (SPA)
Updated 8 min 21 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

  • Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia took part on Wednesday in a UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.

The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Saudi Arabia is an important member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
In a speech to the conference, Prince Turki bin Saud said that the Kingdom has spared no effort to get and localize the best space sciences and techniques for use in vital fields, including education, health and management of water and natural resources, urban planning, environment surveillance, and telecommunications and satellite navigation.
The Kingdom has set a sustainable program for the satellite technology and applications that focuses on qualifying Saudi scholars, engineers and specialists, and developing infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s space industry.
Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services. By the end of 2018, the Saudi Communication Satellite KA (SGS-1) that is being developed in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin Company will be launched. This project includes an advanced qualification of Saudi cadres in the field of satellite designing, building and experimenting.
Prince Turki said the Kingdom established the first ground station in the region to obtain high-resolution images, operated by a center specializing in remote sensing technology in KACST. Two satellites will be launched this year, followed by other satellites in coming years to meet local needs.
He said: “Our space scientific missions in the future rely on the approach of small-scale satellite use, which contributes to achieving the low-cost scientific results in comparison with the current international missions. The Kingdom is seeking though its ambitious Vision 2030 and executive programs to build bridges of cooperation with the states that share the same interests of exploring the outer space for the common good of humankind.”
Prince Turki congratulated the Kingdom at the end of his speech on the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space. He praised the efforts of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Committee and thanked the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, represented by its head Simonetta Di Pippo.