Friday, August 27, 2010

S.Lanka maid who worked in Saudi has 24 nails in body as punishment


The wrong religion?

COLOMBO — A Sri Lankan housemaid with 24 nails embedded in her body after allegedly being tortured by her employer is to undergo surgery on Friday, her doctors said.

L. T. Ariyawathi, 49, said her employer in Saudi Arabia inflicted the injuries on her as a punishment.

She flew back to Sri Lanka last week and was admitted to Kamburupitiya hospital in the island's south, hospital director Prabath Gajadeera told AFP on Thursday.

"She was brought in complaining that her Saudi employer drove nails into her body, and X-rays showed that there were 24 nails and a needle," Gajadeera said. "There is one nail on the forehead, just under the skin."

The nails were up to two inches (five centimetres) long and were mostly beneath the skin of Ariyawathi's hands, feet and legs.

Gajadeera said there appeared to be no damage to her internal organs.

The woman, who travelled to Saudi Arabia in March, was deeply traumatised and unable to give full details of her experience.

Around 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, of whom 70 percent are women.

Most work as housemaids in the Middle East, while smaller numbers work in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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