Sri Lankan housemaid tortured by Saudi employers

Sri Lankan housemaid tortured by Saudi employers

by Dithmini De Silva 28-09-2023 | 6:43 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st): A Sri Lankan domestic worker was tortured by her Saudi employees who forced her to swallow iron nails, doctors in Sri Lanka confirmed.

Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women travel to Middle Eastern countries in search of work, attempting to resolve the financial burdens of their family.

However, not all of them are able to fulfil their dreams of a better life.

Madasamy Thyagaselvi is one such woman, and she is from Pudukkadu, Hunnasigiriya in Kandy.

Thyagaselvi travelled to Saudi Arabia on the 3rd of June 2023, in search of employment, to overcome the issues faced by her poverty-stricken family.

31-year-old Thyagaselvi said she travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a domestic worker, and the family she worked for treated her well for one week. 

She said two weeks after the eldest daughter of the family arrived with her children, they started to harass her and didn't give her proper meals.

Thyagaselvi added that she was only paid her salary for one month, and payments for one and a half months were overdue.

She said on the 23rd of August, the family assaulted her and forced her to swallow five nails, and forced her to swallow a hair clip on the 26th.

Thyagaselvi had informed them that she is in pain after swallowing the nails, and after she was taken to the hospital, tests had revealed that the nails were still inside her body.

Director of the Kandy National Hospital Dr. Iresha Fernando told News 1st that Thyagaselvi arrived in Sri Lanka on the 13th of September, and was admitted to the Hospital due to pain.

Dr. Fernando said Thyagaselvi was admitted to the surgical ward on the 20th of September due to stomach pain, where she had complained of being assaulted. 

Dr. Fernando added that tests revealed an image of two nails in her colon, and one of them was removed.

The Director of the Kandy National Hospital said there was no complications when Thyagaselvi was discharged from the hospital adding that the specialist had said that they could only come to a conclusion after further tests.

When inquired by News 1st Deputy General Manager and Media Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Gamini Senarath Yapa said Thyagaselvi had not filed a complaint with the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Sri Lanka regarding the harassment she had faced.

He said Thyagaselvi was instructed to file a complaint, adding that he would take action in this regard as soon as he receives the report of the investigation conducted by the Embassy regarding her complaint.