x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Emiratis' bodies flown home from Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan court has upheld a motion brought by UAE officials to have the bodies of a mother and child who died in Colombo returned to the emirates immediately.

DUBAI // A judge in Sri Lanka has released the bodies of a 22-year-old Emirati woman and her 14-month-old son for repatriation to the UAE without a post-mortem being held.

Dalal Ali Saif Obaid Al Mazroui and her child, Ali Mohammed Ali, died on Tuesday, 17 hours after landing in Colombo.

Dalal's husband, Mohammad Ali Obaid Al Mazroui, 23, a policeman, remained in hospital last night but his condition had improved.

The cause of death has yet to be confirmed but the UAE ambassador to Sri Lanka said on Wednesday that he believed food poisoning was to blame.

Ajith Rohana, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan police, said the bodies were expected to be flown home last night. They were released by a lower court after a request from the UAE Embassy on behalf of the victims' relatives.

Sri Lankan law states that a post-mortem in cases of sudden or suspicious death is non-negotiable.

"This is the first time I've heard of such a thing happening," said Mr Rohana. "We have to depend on circumstantial evidence to conduct the probe, which is very difficult."

Dr Samanthi De Silva, head of medical services at Hemas Hospital in Sri Lanka, said Mr Al Mazroui would be flown back to the UAE with the bodies of his wife and child.

"He is doing well and recovering. Our doctors will accompany him to the airport in Colombo and the doctors from the UAE will take care of him afterwards," she said.

The family, from Wadi Koob in RAK, went to Sri Lanka on holiday. They were taken to Hemas Hospital at 8pm on Tuesday, where the child was declared dead. His mother died 45 minutes later.

frahman@thenational.ae