Govt. could help Lankan jailed in Saudi once charges are framed: SLFEB


Government would consider legal assistance to Sri Lankan migrant employee G.G. Thungasiri once charges are framed against him, a Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau official told the Sunday Times.Deputy General Manager D.D.P. Senanayake said the Saudi authorities were investigating the matter and charges had not been framed as yet.

He said legal assistance would be extended in consultation with the Sri Lanka Mission in Saudi Arabia and the matter also needed to be handled diplomatically.He said if Mr. Thungasiri, a former airman, was arrested for selling a talisman, he could either face deportation or a simple imprisonment. But it would not be capital punishment.

Mr. Senanayake said Sri Lanka’s mission officials had met Mr. Thungasiri in prison and recorded a statement. He had told them that he sold a talisman to a Saudi woman for 2000 riyals, at a supermarket, where he was arrested by the Saudi religious police.
Mr. Thungasiri’s wife, Sanjani Samarakkody, told the Sunday Times she would not accept the offer by Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera to visit her husband in the Saudi Jail.

She said she was not in a position to go to Saudi alone, leaving her two little children with her mother-in-law who is a heart patient.
She rejected charges against her husband. “That could not have been true. We have sent him CDs and ‘pirith nool’, but not talismans,” she insisted.

She said she believed that her husband was jailed for worshipping a Buddha statue. “A friend of my husband there phoned me on May 22, saying that my husband was in Malath Prison after they found him worshipping a Buddha statue,” she said.

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