Sri Lankan Muslims have decided not to take part in Hajj pilgrimage this year, after taking into account the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
Saudi Arabia had approved a quota of 1,585 Hajj pilgrims from Sri Lanka for the year 2022, out of the 1 million foreign and domestic Muslims allowed to travel the holy city of Makkah in the pilgrimage season.
However, it was decided not to any devotees on Hajj pilgrims this time following a discussion held by several parties including the National Hajj Committee, Hajj Tour Operators Association of Sri Lanka, and the Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Department.
“When going through the prevailing situation and the suffering the people are undergoing in our Mother Lanka, members of both associations decided to sacrifice this year’s Hajj,” Arab News quoted a letter directed to the Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Department by the All-Ceylon Hajj Tour Operators Association and Hajj Tour Operators Association of Sri Lanka.
Hajj Tour Operators Association President Rizmi Reyal was meanwhile quoted as saying the decision by operators was unanimous due to “the severe dollar crisis facing the country.”
“The whole Hajj operation of Sri Lankan pilgrims will cost around $10 million, which is a big amount compared with the current economic situation of the country,” Ahkam Uwais, chairman of the National Hajj Committee under Sri Lanka’s Department of Muslim Religious Affairs, has told Arab News.
“The decision to forgo this year’s Hajj is a generous gesture by members of the Muslim community to sacrifice their pilgrimage for the sake of the country,” he has said further.