Sri Lankan housemaids in Saudi return with salary arrears | Daily News

Sri Lankan housemaids in Saudi return with salary arrears

Justice and Foreign Employment Minister  Talatha Atukorale.
Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Talatha Atukorale.

Two Sri Lankan housemaids who had returned home after several years of employment in Saudi Arabia empty handed after being denied their due salaries by the respective employers have received their arrears of pay amounting to Rs. 3.6 million following the intervention of Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale. They received their cheques from Minister Atukorale at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment on December 5.

The two housemaids are Ramiah Parameshwari (54), a mother of two from Bopitiya, Deltota, Peradeniya and S. P. Muruheshwari. A press release by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said Parameshwari had left for employment in Saudi Arabia on December 20, 2007 after obtaining SLBFE registration. From the time of employment the owners of the residence she had worked had denied her due salaries and any contact with her family back home.

Minister Atukorale who learnt about her predicament had directed officials in the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia to ensure that she is sent back to Sri Lanka and paid her back wages by the employer. The embassy officials who intervened in the matter had brought her back to the embassy along with her salary arrears amounting to Rs. 2,039,111 and sent her back to Sri Lanka on November 20, 2017.

Murugeshwari had gone for employment in Saudi Arabia as a housemaid on December 18, 2015 and worked at a Saudi home for one year and ten months. The house owners had not only denied her due salaries but harassed her at every turn entrusting her with heavy work.

The tormenting experiences undergone by her had been so acute that she had escaped from her tormentors thrice but she had been brought back and handed over to the same Saudi home by the Police. After escaping for the fourth time, she had visited Mecca and the Saudi Police which arrested her had handed her over to the Sri Lanka Consul General's office in Jeddah. When the Consul General's office threatened to file legal action against the employer, they had paid 23,000 Saudi Riyals as back wages and 20,000 Saudi Riyals as compensation. This amounted to Rs. 1,636,536.

Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the handing over of their cheques, Minister Atukorale said, 166 Sri Lankan workers who could not be traced after going for employment during the last two years had been identified and brought back to Sri Lanka along with salary arrears amounting to Rs. 76,475,089. 


 

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