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Moves to demand ‘blood money’ for murdered Lankan Housemaid in Saudi

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is looking at the possibilities of demanding “blood money” for the Sri Lankan housemaid, who was shot dead in Saudi Arabia last Saturday, SLBFE Deputy General Manager (Foreign Relations) P. P. Weerasekara said.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he said the Bureau is waiting for the postmortem report by the Saudi authorities to take further action.

“Islamic tradition provides for payment of financial compensation to the family of a murder victim,” he said.

The DGM said a group of Sri Lankan Embassy Officers had already left Riyad to Buraidah, where the incident took place. The Saudi man, who was accused of shooting the Sri Lankan housemaid, had committed suicide by shooting himself.

“We want some kind of compensation to the victim’s family from the sponsor’s side as this is said to be a murder allegedly committed by the sponsor’s son. However, the killer is said to be person with a mental disorder. If it is true, then there will be problems in getting financial compensation, but definitely there will be a legal procedure and it will take some time to verify those claims and documents,” Weerasekara, who also met the family members of the deceased at his office,Weerasekara said.

The deceased (38) is a mother of two, from Kataburawa, Waduraba, Galle.

“The elder child is married and the second son is said to be suffering from a heart problem. That is why she had gone abroad in search of money to treat the child,” said the DGM.

The housemaid had been registered with the SLBFE in April 2017. “She is insured by us and her family will receive that payment,” he added.

Foreign Affairs Ministry Consular Division Senior Director General S.S.Ganegamaarchchi told the Daily News that the remains of the housemaid could not be brought back to Sri Lanka until the investigations in Saudi Arabia are over.

“The Saudi authorities are not releasing the remains until the investigations are over. They are also hesitant to give us information until investigations are completed. Things are moving very slowly in Saudi Arabia. Our Embassy is in contact with the Saudi authorities. We are trying to get the process expedited. We have taken the required preliminary action from our side,” he explained.