SL missions in India continue to coordinate early return of pilgrims | Daily News


 

SL missions in India continue to coordinate early return of pilgrims

The Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi and Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai, in consultation with the Foreign Relations Ministry and the Buddha Sasana Ministry continue their coordinating and facilitating endeavours for the early return of Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims currently in India, following the temporary closure of the Bandaranaike International Airport for inward commercial flights.

On Wednesday (18), approximately 700 pilgrims returned to Sri Lanka from India by scheduled commercial flights and the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi and the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai facilitated their return travel, including holding discussions with the relevant airlines to reschedule tickets.

Following the departure of the last scheduled commercial flight to Sri Lanka from New Delhi on midnight of March 18, before the temporary closure of the Bandaranaike International Airport, as of yesterday (19) at 10:00 hrs, a total of 871 Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims, belonging to 17 tour groups were remaining in India, expecting to return to Sri Lanka from New Delhi and Chennai.

The Sri Lanka missions are in touch with these remaining tour groups in preparation for special aircraft that would be arranged by the Sri Lankan Government to take them back home.

In the meantime, SriLankan Airlines would also be accepting returning Sri Lankan pilgrims on their flights operating to Delhi and Chennai daily for transit passengers. These flights are scheduled to leave Delhi and Chennai daily at 18:30 hrs and 09:35 hrs respectively, during the period March 19 to March 25.

The two missions are also working with SriLankan Airlines to accommodate the remaining pilgrims in these flights according to the availability of seats.


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