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A Second Group of 87 Sri Lankans from Thailand Returns

A second group of over 80 Sri Lankans, who were stranded in various cities in Thailand due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, were repatriated to Sri Lanka from Bangkok-Thailand this morning (21), via a special Sri Lankan Airlines charter flight UL 403, organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok.

The special flight that had onboard a few Buddhist monks, students, Sri Lankans who were on short term visit visas to Thailand, and several others on humanitarian grounds, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, on Saturday 21 August 2020 morning. All repatriated individuals will undergo the necessary medical tests, and will be directed by the Sri Lankan security forces and health authorities to the mandatory quarantine centers, both State-sponsored and self-paid private hotels, designated by the Government of Sri Lanka.

This special repatriation flight that arrived in Bangkok on 21 August early morning also carried a group of Thai citizens, and Sri Lankans who have received reentry permission to Thailand, and the inward trip from Colombo to Bangkok was organized by the Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo and HE Madam Chulamanee Chartsuwan, the Ambassador of Thailand to Sri Lanka.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok acknowledged the close cooperation and prompt directions received from the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, including from Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, The COVID Task Force at the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry’s COVID-19 Focal Point, in making this repatriation process a success. The Embassy also received excellent support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the staff of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, by timely facilitating the repatriation of this second group of Sri Lankans from Thailand, who had been registered with the Embassy and in the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ online portal created by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, requesting assistance to return to Sri Lanka. We thank for the support of the National Carrier – Sri Lankan Airlines, Mr. Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Sales and the Head Office team and to Mr. Riza Yusoof, Manager, Bangkok and the team, for all the facilitation and cooperation through this entire process.

Dr. Nenette Motus, the Director of the Regional Office of International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangkok and IOM Colombo deserves our sincere appreciation for their prompt and generous responses and support received under the Assisted and Voluntary Return and Repatriation (AVRR) project for Bali Process Member States.

Earlier in the month, the Embassy also made arrangements to repatriate a Group of 87 Sri Lankans in Phnom Phen Cambodia via Singapore.