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* Sri Lankan migrant worker executed in the UAE during President's visit - UNP MP
Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 01:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 23, Colombo: Parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranjan Ramanayake has said that Sri Lankan migrant worker Ravindra Krishna Pillai was executed during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Issuing a statement, Ramanayake said the execution of the Sri Lankan migrant worker took place while President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in the UAE meeting the country's leaders.

"It is deeply regrettable that President did not take up the matter with UAE leaders and intervene to ensure a fair trial and save his fellow citizen's life." The MP said.

He added that if the Sri Lankan President was not informed of the unfair trial of Pillai or the impending execution, serious action should be taken against the Sri Lankan Ambassador in the UAE and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.

The 26-year-old migrant worker Pillai was executed in the UAE emirate of Sharjah for allegedly murdering an Emirati man eight years ago by deliberately running him over with a vehicle following a money dispute.

The rights watchdog Amnesty International said the killing occurred "accidentally" in Pillai's attempt to escape the man, a friend of his employer, after he tried to sexually assault him.

According to his family and friends he has neither received a fair trial nor was he given access to his lawyers.

Amnesty International has also confirmed to BBC Sinhala Service that Pillai did not receive a fair trial and had had no access to his government-appointed lawyer.

"This is another instance that showcases the Sri Lankan government's habitual and utter disregard to the welfare of its citizens working overseas, while depending on them to earn US$ 7 billion of vital foreign exchange to the country," MP Ramanayake noted.

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