The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau and the Foreign Affairs Ministry have come forward to assist the young Sri Lankan girl who is on death row in Saudi Arabia, Foreign Ministry sources told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
A meeting was held yesterday between Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Foreign Ministry officials and other relevant parties to discuss the plight of the girl and the assistance that could be offered.
`There are a lot of positives in sight to help the girl,` a source said adding that the parents of the girl had appealed to the Foreign Ministry to either seek pardon from the family of the victim or offer financial assistance. The family had also sought financial assistance for the legal fees.
19-year-old Rizana Nasik, is facing death sentence by beheading in Saudi Arabia for the murder of her employer`s infant two years ago.
`According to the relatives of the accused girl the baby had died by accidental strangulation while her employer was abusing the Sri Lankan girl while she had the baby in her hand,` the source said.
Rizana Nasik of Muttur, has been sentenced to death by the Daw Admi High Courts in Saudi Arabia on May 30. She has been charged with strangling the 4-month-old child of the family for whom she worked as a housemaid.
She is legally allowed only 30 days from the date of the court order to make an appeal. The Sri Lankan Embassy points out that she had previously pleaded guilty, but in a statement later claimed that the employer had been harassing her to make a confession.
The said murder allegedly took place in February 2005 when Rizana Nasik was only 17 years old. As the deadline for the appeal is imminent, the Asian Human Rights Commission urged the Sri Lankan government to provide legal aid to Rizana Nasik without further delay.
The AHRC pleaded for clemency for the life of Nasik to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, especially given that she committed the alleged crime when she was 17.