Rescued Lankan maid ready to return home without due Rs 1 million

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Colombo, Sep 19 (UNI) Anista Marie, a Sri Lankan maid rescued from Riyadh, is eager to return to her homeland without even collecting her salary due for the past eight years.

Saudi security authorities, in cooperation with Sri Lankan Embassy officials in Riyadh had rescued Marie, who had been working in a Saudi home for over a decade,two weeks ago Daily news reported.

''I do not want to wait anymore for my dues from my employer.

I am desperate to see my children since I have not seen them for the past 10 years, who have been suffering like orphans without their mother,'' Marie told the paper yesterday.

Her eight year salary dues, holiday pay and airfares amount to Rs 1 million which she is prepared to let go due to the eagerness of meeting her family.

The maid was not paid her salary for eight years in a house at Khansalallilah district, 12 km away from the Riyadh city centre.

She was rescued after the intervention of the authorities and was being kept in the safe custody of Sri Lankan embassy.

The forty-year-old maid, is from a poverty-stricken fishing family, from Chilaw. She has four children back home, including two girls. During this period, she lost her fisherman husband but came to know after two years of his death, through a third party.

''I met Marie and she is determined to go to Sri Lanka as soon as possible to see her children,'' Sri Lankan Embassy incharge W S M S Wijesundera charge told Daily News.

He said the embassy would provide her with an air ticket to reach Colombo but added that it did not have the budget for other expenses. It hopes to raise fund for arranging Marie's return to Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan embassy had to send officials with Saudi police to take her out from the clutches of her sponsors who were reluctant to send the maid.

As a mark of protest, the female sponsor refused to give her passport to the authorities.

The official said Marie would be issued a single-journey emergency certificate so that she could complete the immigration procedures at Riyadh and Colombo airports.

UNI

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