London: The Saudi Arabian National Recruitment Committee has urged the government to freeze hiring thousands of workers from Sri Lanka as soon as possible.
According to the BBC, the Saudi authorities have said that the main reason for the proposal is a row over recruitment charges, a claim that was slammed by Colombo saying that the move is linked to torture claims by a Sri Lankan housemaid.
Sri Lankan medics who treated her on her return from Saudi Arabia in August had said that five nails were forced into her hands and legs. She complained that her employer had inflicted the injuries as a punishment.
A spokesman for the Saudi government has claimed that the main reasons for the proposed suspension on hiring workers from Sri Lanka were high recruitment charges, USD 2,000 per worker, and the Colombo authorities` failure to train them adequately.
Meanwhile, Saudi officials have denied reports that the ban had already been implemented and added that a final decision would be taken by the government. They further claimed that the ban would not affect more than 500,000 workers from Sri Lanka already in the country, most of whom are women.
Saudi officials have denied that the proposed suspension is linked to abuse claims by the former Sri Lankan housemaid in the country.