Shattered Hopes

DUBAI, Jan 24, 2008 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan maid, in transit on her way home from Kuwait to see her children for the first time in three years, hanged herself in a toilet at Dubai airport, an Emirati daily said on Thursday. The report came just two days after the oil-rich Gulf states reached agreement with labour-sending Asian countries at a meeting in Abu Dhabi to join forces against the exploitation of migrant workers.

Kala Sangarapillai, 30, from the Batticaloa district of eastern Sri Lanka took her own life three weeks ago, the English-language Al-Khaleej Times newspaper said, citing a forensics officer from Dubai police.

“The Sri Lankan woman hanged herself from the ceiling of the airport’s ladies restroom and was found by the cleaners. The body of the victim is still in the police mortuary,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Sangarapillai’s aunt, Thangeswari Sivalingam, told the paper by telephone that the family had been devastated by word of her death amid their excitement at the prospect of seeing her again after such a long absence.

“We cannot believe this has happened. Her four children were eagerly waiting to see their mother, who was supposed to spend a few days with them before she went back t