Sri Lankan women speak out against abuse by embassy official

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COLOMBO (News 1st) – In recent days, News 1st has revealed the fate of Sri Lankan women taken to Oman on visit visas and auctioned off for sex in the Middle East.

Around 90 women victims of multiple forms of physical and mental violence are currently housed in a safe house run by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman.

However, this safe house lacks the most basic facilities to accommodate a single woman, let alone 90 of them.

These Sri Lankan women, some of whom were auctioned off for sex, are in this safe house due to the excessive trauma they have suffered, and sadly it has now been revealed that they have repeatedly been exploited the safe house in Oman.

“It’s been three years since I arrived in Oman. I came here last month, but they don’t allow me to leave. The officer has my passport and documents. When I bring money for tickets , he’s threatening to tear up my papers. He’s forcing me to be with him. I didn’t come here to love anyone. I’ve been stuck here for a month and he refuses to look at my papers. I’m being held here because I don’t like it,” revealed One Woman.

Another said that the officer in question dictates the conditions of operations at the embassy and that none of these women have even seen the Sri Lankan ambassador to Oman.

News 1st also came across a woman returning from Oman. She lives in Anuradhapura. She too had suffered various traumas abroad.

“There is an appointed officer in the embassy. He sells girls for 1.5 million or more. He is engaged in sex trafficking. They offer 10 kilos of rice to all women to prepare a meal. There is times when women cry from hunger. There are two toilets, and each is used by 40 women. The doors are off the hinges. This man called sells women for sex. There are many women who have been abused sexually, and I cannot reveal their details to the media. The rest of the women need to be rescued before they too become victims. There are no means of communication there, and some have no haven’t spoken to their families for months. The families assume their daughters are dead. But, they were sold for sex and the money is split between and the agency rep,” she revealed.

On October 30, a Sri Lankan woman detained in the safe house protested outside the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman.

The Criminal Investigations Department has identified the embassy official who is accused of sexually abusing women detained in Oman’s safe house.

The CID said it contacted the country’s attorney general for advice on how to proceed against the illegal activity.

Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labor and Overseas Employment of Sri Lanka, commenting on the issue, said that “if one travels abroad using a visit visa, by boat or by other illegal means, it does not concern the Foreign Employment Bureau. However, as a government, the necessary measures are being taken”

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