Monday, March 23, 2020

All Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims stranded in India repatriated

Colombo: All Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims who were stranded in India have now returned to Sri Lanka, the Foreign Relation Ministry said.

The last group of 48 Buddhist pilgrims have been brought back in the last SriLankan Airlines dedicated flight that departed New Delhi at 05:10 hrs. Sunday (22) before India closed its airports for inward commercial passenger flights.

Earlier in the day, another dedicated SriLankan Airlines aircraft that left Chennai at 03:00 hrs. brought 97 Buddhist pilgrims to Colombo, making a total of 145 pilgrims returning to Sri Lanka on 22 March.

On 21 March, a total of 298 pilgrims left New Delhi by SriLankan Airlines flight UL196, which departed Indira Gandhi International Airport at 19:31 hrs.

By the time the Government of Sri Lanka announced a temporary closure of airports in Sri Lanka for inward commercial passenger aircraft, there were approximately 1500 Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims in India. Since then, all these pilgrims left India, earlier by scheduled commercial flights and later by dedicated SriLankan Airlines aircraft that were operated to bring back stranded pilgrims.
23/03/20 ColomboPage
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