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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1590

Recalling Sri Lankan Ambassador in Saudi Arabia is not enough

By K.T.Rajasingham
Colombo, 11 January, (

Sri Lanka has recalled its Ambassador based in Riyadh, as a show of protest over the brutal killing of Rizana Nafeek, but this act will not be enough as Saudi Arabia is not a country that will be least perturbed over such acts of international diplomatic gestures.

Sri Lanka Government must do more to make Saudi Government headed by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to realize the protest of Sri Lanka and the anger and fury of the people of Sri Lanka over its brutality.

Even in June 2011, Indonesia did the same thing. They recalled their Ambassador in Riyadh after one of Indonesian national Ruyati binti Sapubi, - a housemaid was beheaded by Saudi Arabian Authorities.

However Indonesia did not stop there. Indonesian President Bambang Yudhoyono went on to condemn the beheading and accused Riyadh of breaking the "norms and manners" of international relations.

He further vowed publicly, "I decided to apply a moratorium on sending Indonesian workers to Saudi Arabia, to be in effect from August 1, 2011, he said in a live TV address.

He added, the moratorium will apply "until Indonesia and Saudi Arabia can come to an agreement to give rights necessary for Indonesian workers."

He said Jakarta was considering applying a similar ban to other Gulf States where human rights activists say migrant workers also face abuse and exploitation.

Similarly it is time Sri Lanka resolutely resolve against the brutality of the Saudi Government led by its King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Sri Lanka Government must make Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud responsible for the killing of the maid and announce the immediate ban on sending housemaids anymore to that country.

Our daughters and sisters must be saved from the swords of Saudi butchers who behead in the name of Shariah Law.

Asian Tribune is of the view that Sri Lanka should not hereafter allow our daughters and sisters to go to Saudi Arabia as Housemaids and beaten, 'slippered', disgraced and treated like inhuman by employers like Mr & Mrs Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al Otaibi, (let them be cursed - let all Sri Lankans join in cursing such timid couples) who falsely alleged Rizana Nafeek of strangling and killing their 4 month old child and in the end a Sri Lankan juvenile worker was condemned and subsequently brutally beheaded.

Government must take steps immediately to announce the ban of Housemaids and domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

Already Philippines and Indonesia have banned sending Housemaids and let Sri Lanka be the third country to follow suit.

So it must be remembered that recalling the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Saudi Arabia subsequent to the beheading of Rizana Nafeek is not enough.

In the meantime it must be also pointed out that Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahmed Aflal Jawad is the third diplomatic causality in the Rizana Nafeek episode.

Earlier, A.M.J. Sadiq - Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia had been recalled in August 2007 by the Foreign Ministry prior to the completion of his tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.

The decision to recall him follows the ambassador’s failure to obtain official appointment for the visiting Deputy Foreign Minister who left for Riyadh to discuss the possibility of securing a pardon for teenage Sri Lankan housemaid Fathima Rizana Nafeek who has been sentenced to death on charges of killing a four month old infant in her care.

Subsequently, Abdul Ageed Mohammed Marleen was appointed following the removal of Ambassador, A.M.J. Sadiq , as Sri Lanka's envoy to the Kingdoma on 24th March 2008.

On 23rd June 2009, Ambassador Mohammed Marleen passed away while he was on an official visit in the Republic of Yemen to attend the IOR-ARC Ministerial Meeting.

He was succeeded by a career diplomat Ahmed Aflal Jawad the New Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Though he has completed his 3 year tenure in Riyadh, but he is now recalled by Sri Lanka Government as a protest over the beheading of Rizana Nafeek.

This not enough and the government must do more to reflect the protest and anger of Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka.

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