Sri Lanka envoy unveils welfare plan for island’s expat workers

Updated 05 February 2016
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Sri Lanka envoy unveils welfare plan for island’s expat workers

RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador Azim Thassim told his countrymen in the Kingdom that his mission has chalked out a 20/20 plan to promote bilateral relations with the Kingdom and to work for the welfare of the island’s 500,000 workers in Saudi Arabia.
The envoy was addressing the Sri Lankan community on the occasion of his country’s 68th anniversary of its Independence Day on Thursday.
A large gathering of the Lankan community, including schoolchildren and Saudi businessmen, graced the colorful ceremony organized by the mission.
Around one-third of the Sri Lankan population of 1.5 million overseas workers are concentrated in the Kingdom.
Expatriates from all walks of life were present at the morning function to meet and greet one another on this auspicious occasion.
Thassim, who also re-launched the mission’s website with new features, said the website will give an insight into the activities of the mission. “It provides a portal to learn about the facilities and services rendered by the mission for the welfare of workers.”
The envoy called upon his community members to build up the various projects earmarked during the next five years.
“We need professional help in social, cultural, economic and educational fields from our countrymen in the Kingdom,” he said, stressing that the expatriate community can help the country as well as the host country in their march toward national development.
He also announced that in addition to the two community schools in Riyadh and Jeddah, the mission has received a license to operate another school in Dammam. “Arrangements are being made to open this school during the new academic year,” he added.
To begin the day’s event, the ambassador unfurled the national flag amidst the beat of drums (Magul bera). Then community members joined the choir of the Sri Lankan International School in Riyadh to sing the national anthem. It was followed by the recital of Jayamangala Gatha and observance of two-minutes silence in memory of fallen heroes. “This was done as a mark of respect to all those, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation,” the envoy said.
Speaking further, the ambassador noted that the new government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, supported by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is working hand-in-hand to create a new political culture, economic system and communal harmony in the country.
“Good governance (Yahapalanaya) is the motto of the present government. Following the end of the war, we had massive development drives and projects. Around half a decade later, now the country is led toward the marvelous goals of good governance and social justice where significant paradigm shifts in social, economic and political arenas are at their dawn,” he concluded.
In Jeddah, acting Consul General M.S.M. Ansar, hoisted the national flag at the consulate. More than 100 expatriates in the western province were present at the morning function to meet and greet fellow Sri Lankans.
Typical Sri Lankan dishes were served to guests at both the functions held in Riyadh and Jeddah. They included kiribath with katta sambol, kevum, dodal and kokis.


Tribal leaders from Saada demand the Saudi-led coalition continue military operations in Yemen

Updated 16 July 2018
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Tribal leaders from Saada demand the Saudi-led coalition continue military operations in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Iranian-backed Houthi militia has destroyed the Yemeni state and its social structure and marginalized all segments of the society, according to the Saudi-led Coalition spokesperson.
Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthis have also destroyed Yemen’s history, represented by its civilization and its tribes. 
In a press conference held at the Armed Forces club in Riyadh, Col. Al-Maliki spoke about Houthi violations against the Yemeni state and how they marginalized segments of its community. The conference was attended by tribal leaders and their representatives from Yemeni’s Saada governorate. 
Al-Maliki said the violations are committed on a daily basis against the Yemeni people, depriving them of their rights and displacing them from their homes. 
He added that there is popular rejection for acts committed by the Houthi militia, including vandalism, sectarian strifes, and racist acts against Yemeni individuals. 
Tribal leader Sheikh Abdel Khaleq Bishr spoke at the conference, saying “the sons of Saada’s governorate still raise the banners of sacrifice and struggle against the Iranian-backed militia, which has lasted more than a decade and half until now.”
He appealed to the legitimate Yemeni government, represented by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the Saudi-led coalition to support the legitimacy and continue the battle of liberation of Saada province, in particular, and the Republic of Yemen, in general.
Bishr said “the people of this governorate have sacrificed a lot to maintain the Arab identity of Saada,” adding that they “do not welcome any Iranian role or the presence of an Iranian policy agenda.” 
Finally, Bishr thanked the Yemeni army and the coalition forces supporting the legitimacy of the Yemeni government.