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Ranjan pleads for stranded Lankans, some under a bridge

Sabaragamuwa Provincial Opposition leader Ranjan Ramanayake requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take immediate steps to fly back about 350 Sri Lankans now stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as they were undergoing immense hardship without food, clothing and other basic needs.

Ramanayake has, in a letter to the President, stated that he personally investigated complaints received and found that the Lankans, mainly women, were living under a bridge in Sufaya in the suburbs of Jeddah.

He has said that these stranded migrant workers had fled their employers due to various types of harassment, including deprivation of food and other basic facilities, non payment of salaries and unduly long hours of work without rest.

Ramanayake has also said that representations made to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia had failed to bring any relief. The situation of these Lankans had already been intimated to Minister of Foreign Employment Kheliya Rambukwella and Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau, Kingsly Ranawaka.

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