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Saudi Government Offers a Sponsored Haj Pilgrimage to Sri Lankan Tri-Forces

June 08, Colombo (LNW): For the first time in history, the Saudi Government has offered Muslim members of the Sri Lankan Tri-Forces a sponsored opportunity to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage in 2024. This groundbreaking initiative follows a request by Defence State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon to Saudi Ambassador Khalid Hamoud Alkahtani.

Responding to the State Minister’s request, Ambassador Alkahtani secured five special quotas from the Saudi government, making this unprecedented opportunity available to Muslim Tri-Forces personnel.

State Minister Tennakoon expressed his gratitude to Ambassador Alkahtani and the Saudi Government for their generosity during a meeting held in Colombo on June 7. He acknowledged the Saudi Government’s earnest response, which has provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Muslim members of the Tri-Forces to perform the Haj pilgrimage.

Ambassador Alkahtani thanked State Minister Tennakoon for initiating the request and pledged to increase the number of quotas for defense personnel in future years. He also announced another first: the opportunity for Sri Lankan Muslim defense personnel to perform the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage in the future. He reiterated his government’s commitment to assisting all communities in Sri Lanka and emphasized his eagerness to collaborate closely with local officials.

Sri Lanka Haj Committee member Milfer Gaffoor and beneficiary Tri-Forces members accompanied State Minister Tennakoon on his visit to the Saudi Embassy, marking a significant step in fostering goodwill and cooperation between the two nations.

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