Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims arrive in Jeddah
The first group of 350 Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims arrived at Jeddah’s
Haj Terminal by Saudi Arabian Airline on Sunday.
Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahmed A.Jawad and Consul General Sabarullah
Khan received the first batch of pilgrims who came in six travel groups.
Sri Lanka would send an enhanced number of pilgrims this year since
the government’s Haj package has attracted a large number of pilgrims,
Ambassador Jawad told the Daily News.
Haj operations have been streamlined through a Committee headed by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa with three other members of the committee
including Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana, Environment Deputy
Minister Faiszer Mustapha and former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley.
“Earlier, each pilgrim was charged more than Rs 500,000 for the
pilgrimage, now the new Haj committee has reduced it to Rs 325,000 which
had paved the way for more pilgrims.
Fourteen more flights would take passengers from Sri Lanka in coming
days, and a flight carrying the final batch of pilgrims from Colombo
will arrive here on November 12,” Jawad said.
A special team has been formed by the Sri Lankan consulate in Jeddah
to look after the interests of Sri Lankan pilgrims.