State working towards detainee's release
The Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry with the
assistance of the External Affairs Ministry will take measures to obtain
the release of a Sri Lankan who was recently detained for worshipping a
Buddha statue in Saudi Arabia, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare
Ministry Secretary Nissanka N Wijeratne said in a release yesterday.
The release said under the Sharia law applicable in Saudi Arabia,
considered as a divine law, openly practising another religion is an
offence, punishable with imprisonment.
The release added: " In the past both Christians and Hindus have also
been imprisoned. Under the very strict Sharia law practised, for many
offences a person cannot be pardoned even by the King of Saudi Arabia.
"This situation is explained during the pre-departure orientation to
all migrant workers by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. This
incident had happened by ignoring the advice given prior to departure."