Lankan women detained in Saudi to be repatriated

Labour Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said immediate action would be taken to repatriate Sri Lankan women detained at deportation centres and prisons in Saudi Arabia.

The Minister said that the Government had a discussion with the Saudi Government in this regard after the revelation made by Amnesty International about the Sri Lankan women who have been held at a Deportation Detention (Tarheel) Centre in Riyadh for periods ranging from eight to 18 months.

He further said that the Saudi Government has agreed to release Sri Lankan women in deportation centres and prisons and repatriate them to Sri Lanka through Saudi Airlines.

Accordingly, discussions were held with Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and the airport officials to obtain permission to land this aircraft carrying detained Sri Lankan women.

The Minister has advised the relevant authorities to repatriate these women to Sri Lanka immediately adhering to health guidelines to prevent COVID-19. The Minister also instructed the officials to provide all required facilities for the repatriates.

Accordingly, 156 Sri Lankan women detained at deportation centers and prisons are awaiting repatriation to Sri Lanka.

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