SL Muslim devotees on Hajj pilgrimage
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 October 2010, 11:50 GMT]
The first charter flight comprising 357 Muslim devotees from Sri Lanka left for the Hajj pilgrimage on October 17th, the state daily, Dinamina newspaper said.
According to the news article, a total of 5800 pilgrims from Sri Lanka will be going to Makkah in Saudi Arabia to perform the religious obligation of Hajj, which is one of the main pillars of Islam. This year, the Sri Lanka government has made arrangements to provide concessionary rate packages for all pilgrims in comparison to other years when each pilgrim had to pay as much as Rs. 525,000+ for the holy trip.
The article said that Colombo has appointed a special Hajj Committee including western Province Governor Alavi Moulana, Deputy Minister Faizer Musthapha, who were instructed to find ways to reduce the financial burden faced by pilgrims.
Discussions were held between Saudi hotels and the tourism authority after which sri Lankan pilgrims were offered a better deal for accommodation, thereby bringing the cost down to Rs. 325,000 per pilgrim in comparison to the cost in the past which was between 475,000 to 525,000 Sri Lankan rupees.