Saudi diplomat in Colombo found dead in pool

Updated 03 December 2013

Saudi diplomat in Colombo found dead in pool

A Saudi diplomat was found dead inside a swimming pool at an apartment complex in Colombo on Sunday.
Abdulaziz Abdul Rahman Al-Jammaz, Saudi ambassador to Sri Lanka, told Arab News over the phone that the deceased was Abdullah Al-Heej, a 32-year-old diplomat who had been serving at the Saudi mission in Colombo over the past two-and-a-half years.
Al-Heej was working as an accountant at the Colombo mission, the envoy said. 
The ambassador said that he had called for a full-scale investigation to ascertain the cause of death.
Al-Jammaz said that the body would be flown to the Kingdom immediately upon the completion of the inquiry.
Al-Jammaz said that the entire mission in Colombo was in a state of shock over the death of Al-Heej, who was well liked among his peers. The mission will coordinate with the Foreign Ministry in Colombo to sort out matters related to his death. 
The police said the diplomat was believed to have suffered a heart attack and fell into the pool of the apartment complex at Adamaly Place in Colombo. 
Arab News learned that Bambalapitiya police ruled out foul play and insisted that the diplomat died of natural causes. The police said that an investigation is underway. 
An official from the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry confirmed the diplomat's death. “We will be assisting the Saudi mission in Colombo in repatriating the body," he said.
Arab News learned that the diplomat's family in Jeddah wants to bring the body home.


Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel, deputy governor of the Saudi General Authority for Military Industries

Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel
Updated 26 min 7 sec ago

Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel, deputy governor of the Saudi General Authority for Military Industries

Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Athel has been the deputy governor of the Saudi General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) since May 2019.
He was the secretary-general of the GAMI board of directors from November 2017 to October 2018 and was secretary-general and a member of the armaments contracts review committee at the Saudi Ministry of Defense, in Riyadh, between 2017 and 2019.
For more than four years, Al-Athel worked as a project director at both Saudi Arabian Military Industries and the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.
He has also been a board member at several institutions in Bahrain including Malath Cooperative Insurance Co., the Filing and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co., and Venture Capital Bank.
Al-Athel obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, in Dhahran, and a master’s degree from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.
On Monday, GAMI confirmed that the Kingdom will increase support for scientific research from its military budget to 4 percent during the next 10 years, in order to convey technology, weapons industry and military industries in general.
Talking to Arab News, Al-Athel said that the Kingdom had the world’s third-largest budget allocated to weapons, after the US and China, and was the largest importer of arms.