Runaway Lankan maids worry Labor Ministry

Updated 27 June 2015
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Runaway Lankan maids worry Labor Ministry

RIYADH: Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani has asked the Sri Lankan government to stop maids running away from their Saudi sponsors soon after their arrival in the Kingdom.

Al-Haqbani told Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohamed that several maids have run away after spending barely three months in the country. This was costing each affected Saudi sponsor SR25,000, he said.
The minister said that while this was only a small fraction of the Sri Lankan maids in the Kingdom, the situation had to be nipped in the bud. There are about 400,000 Lankan housemaids in the Kingdom.
The minister also complained that some maids were arriving pregnant in the Kingdom with false medical reports. In addition, he asked the Sri Lankan government to reduce the recruitment costs for housemaids.
Responding to the minister’s concerns, the Sri Lankan envoy said that the Association of Licensed Foreign Agencies has already decided to reduce the recruitment charges to SR12,000, which would be discussed at the next bilateral meeting in Colombo after Ramadan.
Mohamed said that maids obtain medical certificates six months ahead of their travel dates and become pregnant during the waiting period in Sri Lanka. He promised that arrangements would be made to deal with this situation.
To prevent maids from running away, he said that the Sri Lankan government has organized an intensive orientation program for those seeking work in Saudi Arabia. “This will put a stop to this problem because it prepares housemaids mentally to work in the Saudi environment, which is alien to them.”
According to a pact between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka, the parties have agreed to review the labor agreement once every six months. The next meeting would be in Colombo in July, he said.
The accord, which protects employers and employees, allows workers to keep possession of their passports, and have salaries paid into their bank accounts. “Under the pact, domestic workers can be assured of a safer, more decent and problem-free working environment,” Mohamed said.
The labor agreement covers 12 categories of domestic workers including housemaids, drivers, cleaners, and waiters employed by individuals. It also stipulates that contracts should be in a language understood by the worker.
Ahmed Al-Fehaid, undersecretary for international affairs, was also present during the discussions.


MWL chief, Morocco leader issue warning on extremism

MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa meets Morocco’s Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani. (SPA)
Updated 53 min 50 sec ago
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MWL chief, Morocco leader issue warning on extremism

  • Al-=Issa and Moroccan Islamic leaders reviewed the Sharia and intellectual prospects of the discourse of Islamic moderation
  • The MWL signed a research and data-sharing agreement with Morocco’s Mohammadian League of Scholars to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat extremism

JEDDAH: Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani and Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), discussed joint counter-extremist measures during a meeting on Wednesday.

During their discussions, the two men agreed on the importance of cooperating to support moderate discourse against extremist rhetoric.

Al-Issa also visited the Moroccan House of Representatives and met with its speaker, Habib El-Malki, to explore areas of cooperation.

The MWL chief met with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nasser Bourita in Rabat and discussed matters of mutual interest.

He also met with Minister of Justice Mohammed Aujjar and discussed topics related to the concepts and controls of freedoms and its association with intellectual discourse.

After that, Al-Issa and his delegation were invited to a luncheon hosted by the president of Morocco in celebration of their visit.

Al-Issa also met with Moroccan Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Al-Tawfiq, to explore areas of coordination and cooperation.

They also reviewed the Sharia and intellectual prospects of the discourse of Islamic moderation.

The minister then hosted a dinner to celebrate Al-Issa’s visit.

The secretary-general visited Dar El-Hadith El-Hassania Institute and met with its director, Ahmed El-Khamlichi.

He also visited the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Rabat to meet with its officials and learn about its programs.

Al-Issa held several meetings with a number of senior Moroccan scholars and intellectuals and discussed ways of cooperation, especially with regard to Muslim communities in foreign countries and the need to raise religious and intellectual awareness among them to reflect the values of Islam and protect them against radical, extremist, and terrorist ideas.

On Tuesday, the MWL signed a research and data-sharing agreement with Morocco’s Mohammadian League of Scholars to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat extremism.

Along with information sharing, the agreement includes joint scientific research and publishing initiatives, and invitations to take part in conferences, panel discussions, cultural programs, and joint training programs and workshops. 

A committee from both organizations will decide on an annual executive program to identify joint projects.

The agreement follows an international conference hosted by MWL with the Mohammadian League of Scholars under the theme “Deconstruction of Extremist Discourse.”