A group 69 Sri Lankans who were stranded in various cities in Thailand for nearly two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation were repatriated yesterday evening via a special Maldivian Airlines charter flight Q2 6351, by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok.
The special flight carrying the Sri Lankan students, government officials, Sri Lankans who were on short term visit visa to Thailand, and several others on urgent humanitarian grounds, following the criteria specified by the Government based on relative vulnerabilities to the COVID-19, landed at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, last evening.
All repatriated individuals undergo the necessary medical tests and directed by the Sri Lankan security forces and health authorities to the mandatory quarantine centres, both State-sponsored and self-paid private hotels, designated by the Government of Sri Lanka.
This special repatriation flight arrived in Bangkok on 17th May evening from Male-Maldives, carrying a group of stranded Thai citizens, as organized by the Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo and HE Madam Chulamanee Chartsuwan, the Ambassador of Thailand to Sri Lanka. The very cordial relations and collaboration between the two Embassies paved the way to initiate this Maldivian Airlines charter flight to repatriate the Sri Lankans back to Colombo on its return journey.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok acknowledge the close cooperation and prompt directions received from the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, including from Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, the Ministry’s COVID-19 Focal Point, and the South East Asia Division, in liaising with the Advisor of the Presidential Secretariat, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the Colombo Airport ground handling operations, for their urgent approvals and ready support in making this repatriation process a success.
The Embassy also received excellent support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, the provincial authorities through the Ministry of Interior, and the staff of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, in facilitating the repatriation of this first 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