‘Hajj Committee will be service-oriented body’ | Daily News


‘Hajj Committee will be service-oriented body’

On the instructions of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the National Haj Committee will operate as a service-oriented body to serve Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims, former minister and Parliamentarian Faiszer Mustapha said in Colombo on Thursday.

Mustapha was speaking to the media following his meeting with the Chairman of the Hajj Committee, Mohammed Faleel Marjan Asmi, who had met the Premier following the committee’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

The lawmaker said that it was the wish of the Prime Minister that the Hajj Committee should function as a non-profit-making body whose motto should only be ‘Service’. He hoped that the committee would do its best to offer a Hajj package affordable to the Lankan Hajj pilgrims.

Last year, the Hajj package cost over Rs. 700,000 for each pilgrim.

The affairs of Hajj pilgrims are attended to by the government and the Hajj pilgrimage is facilitated through a Hajj Committee appointed by the Minister in charge of the subject of Religious Affairs, which is now under the Prime Minister. This Committee takes the overall responsibility of ensuring services related to Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims are satisfactorily managed.

The Hajj Committee for the year 2020 appointed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa comprises Mohamed Faleel Marjan Asmi (Chairman), Mohamed Ahkam Sabry Uwaise, Seyed Ahamed Naqeeb Moulana, M.J. Ahamed Fuward and Thanga Udayar Abdul Saththar.

The key aspects of the Hajj Committee include negotiating with the Saudi Arabian government to secure a reasonable quota for pilgrims for Sri Lanka and liaising with all related authorities to ensure that the full service is given to every pilgrim, especially with regard to timely transportation facilities, accommodation at Mina and Arafa, and medical facilities.

Parliamentarian Mustapha said the members of Haj Committee who arrived in Jeddah on December 23 were accorded a warm welcome by the Consul General and his staff.

The committee has obtained a quota of 3,500 Sri Lankan pilgrims, which is an increase over the earlier quota of 2,850 pilgrims, he said.

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