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Saudi Arabian government had decided to reopen the court case on the Sri Lankan woman who was sentenced to be stoned to death, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said.

He assured that the government would do its utmost to get relief to this woman, who was to be stoned to death after she was found guilty of adultery, free. Deputy Minister de Silva said the decision to reopen the case could be a termed

an achievement as the sentence will be reconsidered at this fresh trial.

He said the opinion of the Appeal Court, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia had been conveyed to the Provincial Courts.

De Silva said with the Sri Lankan government's intervention, the case could be considered to be reopened.

"The legal costs of the case will be borne by the Foreign Ministry," Deputy Minister de Silva said. "The government would make all the efforts to get this woman free". He made these observations in Parliament yesterday joining the Committee stage debate on the budget proposals for the fiscal year 2016, under financial Heads of Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry and Megapolis

and Western Development Ministry.

De Silva also informed Parliament that Foreign Ministry officials had visited the woman in prison and had a discussion with her.

These developments are brought to Parliament one day after Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala told the House that there will be good news on the issue soon. She added discussions were in progress on this issue at diplomatic level.

Earlier, Power and Sustainable Energy Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said in Parliament that if the the country could not get this woman free, it would be a great set back for the government.

Social Empowerment and Welfare Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said in Parliament last week that there was no evidence to prove that the Sri Lankan woman had committed adultery. "There should be four eye witnesses to prove this beyond reasonable doubt under the Sharia Law," Ramanayake said. "But there hadn't been a single witness. However she had been convicted based on her and the other suspect's own statements."

A Saudi Arabian court recently sentenced the woman to death by stoning, after she confessed to committing adultery. The woman, a mother of two from Colombo was sentenced by a court in the Saudi Capital, Riyadh. The woman reportedly confessed before court to committing adultery with another Sri Lankan expatriate worker.

The Sri Lankan male worker who is the co-accused has been sentenced to 100 lashes.

The news sparked widespread protests and condemnation both locally and internationally. Several Human Rights organisation called for a reprieve or a lighter sentence.

Protests were held outside the UN compound in Colombo with some calling for a ban on sending Sri Lankan female domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

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