Last Minute Bid to Save Lankan Woman From Being Stoned to Death in Saudi Arabia

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COLOMBO – In a last minute bid to save a 45 year old Sri Lankan mother of three from being “stoned to death” for adultery in Saudi Arabia on Friday, Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and fellow Ministers A.H.M.Fowzie and Thalatha Athukorale met the Saudi Charge d’ Affaires here on Wednesday, and sought “clemency” for her.

A Foreign Ministry press release said that the Ministers sought the “indulgence of the Saudi government and requested sympathetic consideration in respect of the accused.”

Further, Foreign Minister Samaraweera requested the Charge d’ Affaires to arrange for him to speak to the Saudi Foreign Minister “at the earliest” to seek clemency for the Sri Lankan national.

A Dawadmi court in Riyadh had sentenced the un-named woman to be stoned to death, while her unmarried Lankan paramour was sentenced to 100 lashes for “fornication”.

In the context of the harsh sentence on a Lankan woman, the
appointment of Saudi Arabia to the Chair of the UN Human Rights Council has come in for sharp criticism in Sri Lanka.

However, it is noted that stoning to death is suggested in the Old Testament and not in the Quran, and that stoning to death is practiced in only six of the 49 Muslim dominated countries in the world.