Rizana case: AG to visit Saudi Arabia
Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said
Attorney-General Palitha Fernando will visit Saudi Arabia soon to meet
Saudi Arabian authorities to see what more can be done to obtain a
pardon for Rizana Nafeek.
”When President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Kuwait for an international
conference recently, he spoke to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. After
I took over this Ministry, we not only met Saudi officials, but also
sent Rizana’s parents to see her there. Rizana’s parents were also
provided the opportunity to meet the parents of the child who had died
in Rizana’s care, the Minister told the Sunday Observer.
The Minister said according to the Sharia law in Saudi Arabia, the
consent of the parents of the diseased child should be obtained for a
“Therefore, we have been trying our best to get the consent of the
parents. That is the most vital thing to get a pardon under the Sharia
law. We are hoping that we would be successful”, he said.
He said President Rajapaksa is very concerned over this issue. In
addition to writing to the King of Saudi Arabia, he discusses the issue
whenever he meets Saudi Arabian officials at any international fora.
Minister Perera said the Government is thankful to the King and all
officers in Saudi Arabia for being patient enough to deal with this
The relationship between Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia is excellent.
Even after Rizana was convicted by the lower court and higher court
of Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Employment Ministry with the help of the
External Affairs Ministry and diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and EU
countries, started a dialogue to seek a pardon for Rizana.
That has helped ensure that Rizana’s punishment was not carried out
The Minister said his only appeal to the media is not to report
things that will create problems for Sri Lanka’s mission to seek a
pardon for Rizana. “The media should realise that we have to respect the
law of Saudi Arabia, that is Sharia Law. After Rizana gets a pardon,
anybody can take the credit for it, but until she gets the pardon, we
should be patient enough to respect the law of that country.
Every attempt will be made to obtain a pardon for Rizana,” he said.