Sri Lankan war-widow trapped in the Gulf speaks out

August 9, 2017   04:12 pm

A 54-year old widow from Sri Lanka from the former war-torn northern region shared her tragic story as to how she was deceived by human traffickers in the Middle-East. 

Nathkulasinham Nesemalhar was a Sri Lankan citizen residing in the North of the island nation. Having lost her possessions and husband to the caustic civil-war that engulfed Sri Lanka, Neshmalhar anxiously was in search of an escape. After suffering for more than a decade under the tyrannical governance of the LTTE, she found solace in a group of individuals who promised her secure employment in the Gulf state of Oman. 

Frantic to rid herself from a lifetime of painful memories, Nesemalhar gleefully accepted the job and left the country in anticipation of a brighter future. Speaking to reporters from Reuters, she revealed that she was promised work as a maid for a prosperous family in Oman. She was also promised decent working hours, her own room and a monthly salary of 30,000 rupees.   

Unfortunately for Nesemalhar, her fantasy morphed into a horrendous blunder, as she was cast into a murky chamber with several other Asian women miles from her intended destination. She found herself trapped in an illegal human trafficking ring where she was forced to work inhumane hours daily before being detained each night.   
   
Nesemalhar who is a mother of three children stated that the captured women were never paid and suffered dearly before being rescued by the Sri Lankan government. She further stated that she has only known torment her entire life and that her children too suffered from the unspeakable malevolence committed against her. 

Reuters has documented several cases of Asian and African maids being abused in Middle-Eastern countries. The unfortunate case of Nesemalhar sheds light on an ugly truth existing within Sri Lanka. The lack of employment opportunities for war-widows from affected areas prompts these unfortunate women to search for employment overseas. This situation makes them vulnerable to human traffickers who prey on innocent uneducated women.  

Sri Lanka is celebrating its eighth year of peace after the defeat of the LTTE. Even though the country has taken several steps to rebuild the region, the Northern end of the country still faces severe problems resulting from the war. 
It has been reported that millions of families were uprooted from their homes leaving many women like Nesemalhar as the sole bread winners for their children. Due to the lack of employment and sustainable income, innocent widows are forced to search for alternate means of employment, leading them to take large loans or be knotted in illegal transactions. 

Speaking to Reuters, Ravindra De Silva, head of the charity Association for Friendship and Love, which worked with authorities to rescue Nesemalhar. stated that the trafficking networks recruit local villages to inform them of impoverished women who would be gullible enough to accept their phony job offers. He stated that the networks lure the women in with the promise of stable jobs and utilize them to carry out their illegal activities. 

Unfortunately only a handful of women have been rescued as the alarming rate of human trafficking still rises. The government and the nation as a whole is faced with a severe threat by trafficking networks who aim to pry away young women to be used as slaves. The fortunate survivors have all collectively stated that the government needs to provide them with a solution for unemployment before they lose their children to the greater evils of the world. 

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