The Sri Lankan Hajj Committee has achieved a significant and historical change. It has been able to convince the authorities in Makkah to allocate one Muallim, guide or teacher, to the 5,800 pilgrims from Sri Lanka.
This will enable them to be housed together at both Arafat and Meena. The new Hajj Committee was appointed by the President to streamline the Hajj pilgrimage from Sri Lanka. The members are Governor Alavi Moulana, Faiser Mustaffa and Azath Salley.
All prospective operators were interviewed individually under laid down criteria and allocations of Hajj pilgrim quota were done on the ratings given by the Committee. Standard charges have been fixed at a maximum of 325,000 rupees per pilgrim. Those needing to avail of special arrangements could do so under written agreements with tour operators, which would have to be approved by the Hajj Committee. According to the Committee, tour operators have been asked to give preference to those performing Hajj for the first time.
The Committee has also made arrangements for a special team to undertake the pilgrimage in order to monitor the whole process with a view to making further improvements.