Maid fears for her life if she’s not sent home
By Meraj Rizvi
2 May 2005
DUBAI — Amali Wijiyatunga, the 25-year old ‘runaway’ Sri Lankan housemaid who escaped two months ago from the clutches of prostitution and is currently recuperating in the Rashid Hospital, expressed a fear of threat to her life, if not repatriated soon.
She said a strange-looking Indian man hovered around her hospital ward on Thursday afternoon while she was moving around in the wheelchair. “He tried to speak to me and suggested that I leave the hospital with him. He said that he was assigned by the Sri Lankan Consulate to complete the discharge formalities and take her back home,” Amali said, adding, “the stranger even called me up the same night asking why I had declined to leave the hospital with him.”
“Scared by the stranger’s move, I urged a Sri Lankan patient lying in the bed next to mine to speak to the unknown caller, but the phone was immediately disconnected,” Amali said, fearing a threat by the members of the prostitution gang who she had fled by jumping off a Deira apartment in March.
“I want to return home soon,” said Amali, choking on her emotion. “My husband, who is suffering from cancer, is in a very serious condition. I want to meet him,” she said, pleading that the Sri Lankan Consulate should help her return home soon. The consulate official who visited her yesterday said necessary arrangements are being made to help her early repatriation. Meanwhile, the hospital authorities have been alerted to maintain tight security for Amali, the official noted.
Ravi Jayakody, a good samaritan who is taking keen interest in helping Amali unite with her family soon in Sri Lanka, said security in the hospital has been tightened for Amali, and no strangers will be allowed to meet her. “The Sri Lankan mission is also taking necessary measures to help her return home soon. But, there are two tasks on the hands of the Sri Lankan mission to be dealt with prior to her repatriation — firstly to get a letter from the prosecution that she was admitted to the hospital by the Naif Police, and thereby requesting the hospital to waive off her hospital bills which account to more than Dh17,000. Besides, a ‘power of attorney’ has to be prepared and handed over to the advocate handling Amali’s case to enable him to proceed with the case in her absence,” Jayakody pointed out.
He expressed hope of an early repatriation since the Sri Lankan airline has also agreed to give her a ticket to Colombo. “But we do not want to disclose her departure date for security reasons,” Jayakody disclosed.