Saudi grants 8,000 Haj quotas
The Saudi government will permit 8,000 Sri Lankan Muslim devotees to
visit the country as Haj pilgrims during the forthcoming Haj season
while providing all the facilities to them.
The request to the Saudi government had been made by the Sri Lanka
Haj pilgrimage organizing committee.
This was disclosed by Haj pilgrimage committee organizing member and
Deputy Environment Minister A R M Abdul Cader. The Deputy Minister said
that he would express his gratitude in this connection to the Saudi
government and its Minister in Charge of Haj pilgrimages.
Cader also said that he held talks with Saudi authorities in Jeedah
in this connection together with Senior Minister A H M Fowzie, Deputy
Minister Faizer Mustapha, Western Provincial Governor Alavi Mowlana,
Muslim Religious Affairs Director Mohammed Navam who had been nominated
to the organizing committee by Prime Minister D M Jayaratne on the
instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that they had
discussions with a number of Saudi authorities including their Minister
in charge of Haj pilgrimages and the Deputy Minister.
The Saudi authorities had also extended their wishes to President
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s development programs.
The government’s duty in this regard will be to get the quota of the
pilgrims this season to Saudi Arabia and supervision of the process
regarding the Haj festival.
The Sri Lankan committee members had also discussed with the Saudi
authorities the possibility of getting a reduction up to 750 Saudi
Riyals the sum of 1,000 Saudi Riyals charged from devotees previously.
Deputy Minister Abdul Cader added that the government had authorized
75 agents in Sri Lanka to issue air fares to the pilgrims enabling them
to get the air tickets easily.