Sri Lanka has suspended sending maids to work in Saudi Arabia following an international outcry over the beheading of a young Lankan housemaid in the Kingdom.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) said the Government had decided to suspend sending domestic maids to Saudi Arabia until the maids are provided with insurance cover by the Saudi authorities.

ALFEA Chairman W. M.P. Aponso, quoted by The Sunday Leader, said it would discuss the issue with Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Employment and Social Services Dylan Pereira.

The move to suspend sending domestic maids to the Gulf nation followed the execution of a Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek.

Around 500,000 Sri Lankans are employed in Saudi Arabia, most of them as maids.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau Amal Senalankadhikara also confirmed to the newspaper that Sri Lankan domestic maids were not being sent to Saudi Arabia.

He said a decision was taken to suspend sending maids over some pending issues which would be discussed with the minister concerned.

ALFEA also warned that Sri Lanka may lose its quota of maids to Saudi Arabia after Indonesia had last week lifted a ban on sending maids to Saudi Arabia.

(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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