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SL housemaid severely abused in Saudi Arabia



In a distressing incident, Kumudini Sandya Kumari Seneviratne, a Sri Lankan housemaid who sought employment in Saudi Arabia, is currently battling severe abuse and torture at the hands of her employer. 

The harrowing tale unfolds in the Mundalama area, shedding light on the unfortunate plight of migrant workers pursuing better opportunities abroad.

Seneviratne, a resident of Kajuwatta in Mundalama, secured employment in Saudi Arabia through a private foreign employment agency in Kurunegala on May 23, 2023. 

She followed the proper procedures by registering with the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau before departing the country.

However, her ordeal began when she faced harassment in her initial place of employment, leading her to seek refuge and file a complaint with the Sri Lankan Embassy in the country. 

Despite the embassy’s intervention and a subsequent change of employer through the foreign employment agency, Seneviratne continued to face mistreatment, prompting her to seek yet another placement.

Her husband, Warnakulasuriya Neranjan Fernando, narrated the horrific experiences his wife endured, stating that the employment agency referred her for the third time to the brother’s house of her previous employer. 

There, she fell victim to severe physical assault and was subjected to acidic liquid, resulting in serious burn injuries. Seneviratne also suffered a lower limb fracture, necessitating hospitalization.

Fernando pleaded for swift action from the Foreign Employment Bureau and other relevant authorities to facilitate Seneviratne’s return to Sri Lanka. 

He expressed concern over her current condition, indicating that she is under the care of the Sri Lankan Embassy but is crippled. Unfortunately, he remains unable to establish direct contact with her.

In response to the distressing situation, steps are being taken to ensure Seneviratne’s safety and well-being. 

The Sri Lankan Embassy is actively involved, providing medical assistance and coordinating efforts to address the legal aspects of the abuse she endured. 

The Foreign Employment Bureau has been alerted to the incident, emphasizing the need for enhanced protection for Sri Lankan workers abroad.



School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures




The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals




The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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Lankan convict in Gandhi assassination case passes away




Santhan alias T Suthendiraraja, a Sri Lankan national who was one of the six convicts released in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, died on Wednesday morning at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital (RGGH) in Chennai.

Santhan, who was released by the Indian Supreme Court in November 2022, was kept at the special camp near the Tiruchirapalli Central Prison.

Last week, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai issued an order to deport Santhan to Sri Lanka, however, he was admitted to the RGGH for treatment for a kidney-related ailment.

Addressing the reports, E Thenirajan, Dean, RGGH, said that based on the directions of the Tiruchirapalli district collector, Santhan was admitted to the hospital on January 27.

Thenirajan said a team of doctors were treating him at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and constantly monitoring him. He said Santhan was diagnosed with cryptogenic cirrhosis or a liver disease.

“He suffered a setback to his health yesterday (Tuesday) night. He had lost consciousness and we were providing treatment. Around 4.30 am today (Wednesday), he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was revived following a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) procedure and was on ventilator support. However, he failed to respond to further treatment and passed away at 7.50 am,” he said.

Thenirajan said they would carry out the post-mortem procedures now and take further measures to send his body to Sri Lanka.

According to court documents, Santhan is believed to have fled then strife-torn Sri Lanka in 1991 and reached India by boat, along with Sivarasan, who led the assassination team and was never caught alive, and a few others. According to the Supreme Court order, Santhan’s role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was direct and active.

Santhan was initially sentenced to death for his involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, however, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was released in November 2022, along with five other convicts, after spending over three decades in prison.

(The Indian Express)

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