Mattala Route for Mercy Flight from Wuhan for Lankan Students

News Item in Colombo Gazette, 1 February 2020 ….

The flight with Sri Lankan students repatriated from Wuhan landed at the Mattala Airport this morning and the students were transported to the Diyatalawa Army camp in a special bus, under tight security.

Following the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Ministry of Foreign Relations in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, facilitated the return of the 33 Sri Lankan students and their family members to Sri Lanka from Wuhan.

A Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft UL 1423 reached Wuhan yesterday and arrived in Sri Lanka with the students and families today.

Acting Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Beijing K.K. Yoganaadan said the Government of Sri Lanka is thankful to the Chinese Government for expediting the process of clearance for the Sri Lankan aircraft to land in Wuhan, to fly the retuning students and their family members.

Over the past five days the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and the Consulates General in Shanghai and Guangzhou have coordinated the return to Sri Lanka of 627 students, in addition to the 33 students from Wuhan (total 660).

The Embassy and the Consulates are in the process of facilitating the return of those among the remaining 204 students, who wish to return to the country.(Colombo Gazette)

A NOTE:   A volunteer  airline crew brought the Wuhan contingent back. Both crew and students were encased in white “space suits’ of protective material. The ‘dead loss’ Mattala  airport became a good safety net and also a good location from which the GoSL couldse take the Wuhan students to locations in Diyatalawa where some form of ‘sequestering’ and quarantine could be more easily organised with military aid.

Our congratulations to the aircrew volunteers and to  the government for intelligent and efficient action (a far cry from the responses in early-mid April 2019).


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3 responses to “Mattala Route for Mercy Flight from Wuhan for Lankan Students

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