COLOMBO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan authorities have decided to delay the re-opening of the country's international airport to foreign tourists till all local nationals are repatriated from overseas, local media reported here Monday.
Reports quoting Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Services Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said that although the government had initially decided to re-open the airports on Aug. 1 to foreign tourists, the country's priority was to complete repatriating Sri Lankans from overseas before the airport is re-opened for tourists.
"Our earlier plan was fine to re-open the airport on Aug. 1, but we found that several Sri Lankans have registered with Sri Lankan missions overseas seeking to come back so we need to give them priority," Chandrasiri said.
"The airport is ready and prepared for the re-opening but we will delay it by a few weeks," he added.
The government last week said they had repatriated over 11,000 local nationals from 38 countries in recent weeks while an estimated 30,000 nationals were waiting to be repatriated. Enditem