Relatives, Muslims appeal for release of Sri Lankan hostage in Iraq

Relatives of Sri Lankan truck driver Dinesh Dharmendran Rajaratnam appealed on Sunday to his captors in Iraq to free him, saying he had been forced to work there by his Kuwaiti employer. Relatives of Sri Lankan truck driver Dinesh Dharmendran Rajaratnam appealed on Sunday to his captors in Iraq to free him, saying he had been forced to work there by his Kuwaiti employer. The 36-year-old Sri Lankan, who was seized by the Islamic Army in Iraq on Thursday, had told his family three weeks ago that he was desperate to return home, a family member said.

“He wanted us to send a fax message to his employer saying that there was a very pressing need for him to return home immediately,” his brother-in-law Pullaiya Suresh told AFP. “He was not paid the salary that was promised.”

Rajaratnam, a father of three children aged 10, 12 and 14, had gone to Kuwait last year in the hope of earning enough to provide a better education for his children, Suresh said.

“We have not had any information from the authorities here, all we know is only through the international media. We want to go to the Kuwaiti embassy tomorrow to try and get more information,” he said.

The family said they ha