Sri Lanka brings home 113 stranded nationals

COVID-19: Sri Lanka brings home its 113 stranded nationals, mostly students, from India

 Sri Lankan students of Lovely Professional University (Jalandhar) board a special chartered plane for their home country, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, in Amritsar. (Credit: PTI Photo)

Sri Lanka on Sunday brought back its 113 nationals, mostly students, stranded in India due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

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A special SriLankan Airlines flight carrying 113 Sri Lankans, including three infants, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport Sunday afternoon from Coimbatore, the Colombo Gazzete reported.

The Sri Lankan nationals, many of them students, who were stuck in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala after the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, were identified and brought to Coimbatore.

Sri Lanka has identified nearly 1,000 students studying in various parts of India and will be evacuating them in phases, police in Coimbatore said.

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The Sri Lankan Airlines has been operating special flights to repatriate Sri Lankans. It said the special flights are being operated as part of measures taken by the Ministry of Foreign Relations to bring back Sri Lankans stranded overseas.

The flights are being operated to and from Amritsar and Coimbatore in India, Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, and Kathmandu in Nepal.

All those repatriated have been handed over to health officials and Tri- Forces personnel upon landing.