A young woman from the indigenous community, who had experienced cruelty as a domestic servant at the hands of her Saudi employers, returned home yesterday (03).

Swarna Malkanthi, aged 24, is a single mother having a daughter aged five and a bedridden father to care for.

Due to her economic hardships, she had reached a foreign employment agent in Maradana.

Malkanthi had been promised a job in Saudi Arabia with a Rs. 300,000 advance payment before leaving.

However, she received Rs. 64,000 only, and left with her elder sister for Saudi, both to work as domestic servants.

According to her, she was first sent to the three-storey home of a teacher at Dammam, where she found it difficult to look after the employer’s three children and do household chores at the same time.

One month later, she was paid a month’s salary and returned to the Saudi employment agent.

Her next stop was also a three-storey home, this time having six children to look after.

There, she was assaulted, and had to work at the house of the employer’s mother as well.

While working there, Malkanthi had fainted several times, and a man had taken advantage and sexually abused her.

At her insistence, she was returned to the employment agent without any salary being paid.

The employment agent had demanded Rs. two million and the Sri Lankan agent another Rs. one million for her to be brought home.

Malkanthi’s elder sister too, had suffered similarly, and her fate remains unknown to date.

Upon her arrival at Katunayake airport, she lodged a complaint with the police post there and left for Mahiyangana hospital to undergo treatment.


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