Religious affairs minister, Saudi envoy see off first batch of Hajj pilgrims to Makkah

RUZAIK FAROOK

COLOMBO –  The first batch of Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Makkah in the early hours of Tuesday, June 21.The pilgrims were seen off by distinguished guests at the Bandaranaike International Airport here.

Ambassador Khaled bin Hamoud Al-Kahtani, attended the send-off ceremony of the first group of Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims consisting of 68 pilgrims, in the presence of Vidura Wickremanayake, Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, along with the Chairman of the Hajj Committee of Sri Lanka, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar and officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The envoy congratulated the Kingdom’s guests, the Sri Lankan pilgrims, enlightening that the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince pays great attention to the pilgrims of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, as the Kingdom has taken all measures to ensure the comfort of the pilgrims and complete the religious obligation with ease and grace.

The ambassador also praised the level of coordination and cooperation between the Embassy, Ministry of Religious Affairs and officials of the Hajj Committee of Sri Lanka .regarding Hajj arrangements for Sri Lankan pilgrims.

The chairman of the All Ceylon Hajj Tour Operators Association. Rizmy Reyal and Hajj Operators Association chairman Badurdeen Mohammed Careem and Haj Committee member Milfer Gaffoor were also present at the event .

Saudi Ambassador told Colombo Times that this year his government has allocated a quota of 3,500 pilgrims for Sri Lanka and the last flight from Colombo will leave for Jeddah on June 10.

The following airlines will ferry the Lankan pikgrims this year ; Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Gulf Airways, Emirates ,Air Arabia ,Salam Air and Sri Lankan Airlines 

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