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Last updated: 14 January, 2012 - Published 14:07 GMT
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'Unpaid' maid detained over a year

Saudi Arabia
Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan housemaids work in Saudi Arabia
A Sri Lankan housemaid, who was not paid for over 15 years, says her constant pleas to send her home from Saudi Arabia has been ignored by the authorities.

Kusuma Nandani, a mother-of-two who has been in Saudi Arabia since 1993, says that she has been cut off from the family.

"I suffered memory loss and depression and even forgot to get in touch with my family," she told she told BBC Sandeshaya from Olaya detention camp in Riyadh.

Though Kusuma Nandani says she is in the camp for nine months, her daughter, Yamuna Vinodani, told BBC Sinhala service that her mother is in detention since December 2010.

'Son angry'

"Even yesterday I requested the lady who is looking after us to send me to Sri Lanka as soon as possible," said Kusuma Nandani.

 My son is angry – he says I am not interested in coming home
Kusuma Nandani

"But she asked me to wait until they sort out at least part of my missing payments."

Her daughter says that she is puzzled as to why the Sri Lankan embassy authorities have not been able to send her mother home even though Kusuma was granted an exit visa some time ago.

"My daughter called me even yesterday and requested me to come home as soon as possible. But my son is angry – he says I am not interested in coming home," explained Kusuma Nandani.

"But Saudi authorities ask me whether I am that stupid to leave all these money behind and go home," she added.

BBC Sandeshaya could not contact Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera despite repeated attempts.

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