Court orders sponsor to pay maid SR68,000

Updated 19 March 2015
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Court orders sponsor to pay maid SR68,000

A high court judge has ordered a Saudi sponsor to pay his Sri Lankan housemaid SR68,000 in back wages owed for the past 13 years.
The high court in Hail, about 400 km from Riyadh, ruled that the sponsor must pay Seda Cader Ismail Asia Umma, 59, the money and her airfare home to Colombo.
She is currently staying at the Women’s Welfare Camp in Hail, under police protection. The Saudi sponsor, Mubarak Al-Qahtani, has launched an appeal against the judgment at the final court of appeal in Riyadh.
Umma, from Beruwela in Sri Lanka, had come to the Kingdom for an agreed wage of SR400 a month.
An official from the Sri Lankan Embassy told Arab News that she had sought work in the Kingdom to help her three school-going daughters.
The mission, he said, spotted the case when the sponsor came to the embassy to renew her passport in 2014. Following formal inquiries, the mission’s officials found that the maid had been kept as a slave and not paid her salary from the time she arrived. The embassy registered a complaint with the police.
The official said he hoped the appeals court would reject the sponsor’s attempt to overturn the verdict. He said the embassy would transport Umma to Riyadh where the appeal would be heard.
The official said Umma had been in the Saudi household for such a long time that she has forgotten Tamil, her mother tongue. Now she only speaks Arabic. She is determined to go home and has thanked the embassy officials for helping to free her, he said.
The Sri Lankan Embassy is open round-the-clock for distressed housemaids seeking emergency assistance. It deals largely with cases of non-payment of salaries and breach of contract.
Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Mohamed told Arab News that the embassy makes sure it only handles genuine cases. It does not accept illegal Sri Lankan workers under its welfare program, he said.


Saudi Arabia downs Houthi missile fired across border

Updated 23 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia downs Houthi missile fired across border

  • The missile was launched from Saada, the Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen
  • Saudi forces said they intercepted a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Kingdom’s southern coastal city of Jizan on Friday

RIYADH: Saudi air defenses on Sunday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia at the Kingdom’s southern border city of Najran, which set a farm ablaze, state media said.
“Saudi forces were able to intercept (the missile),” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthis.
“But the shrapnel scattered over residential areas and caused a fire at a farm belonging to a citizen, without causing any injuries.”
The missile was launched from Saada, the Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen, the coalition was cited as saying.
The coalition said another missile crashed in a Saudi desert on Sunday, without specifying a location, adding it caused no damage.
Sunday’s strikes are the latest in a series of rebel bombardments on Saudi territory.
Saudi forces said they intercepted a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Kingdom’s southern coastal city of Jizan on Friday, the second such strike in the area in over a week.
Earlier this month, Saudi forces said they intercepted rebel ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh and the south of the Kingdom, where two drones were also shot down.
Saudi Arabia has since March 2015 led a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back the Houthis in Yemen and restore its neighbor’s internationally recognized government to power.
Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in the conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
In March, an Egyptian laborer became the first known fatality in a rebel missile attack on the Saudi capital.
Saudi Arabia accuses its arch-rival Iran of smuggling missiles to the Houthis — a charge Tehran denies.