President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (Oct. 28) said that he would devise a method that ensures equal opportunities for Muslims when they undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca.
While the rich travel to Mecca many times, the less affluent do not get so much as a single opportunity, President Rajapaksa observed.
He added that he would devise a means which enables the less affluent to engage in the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
The President was speaking at Al Tharique Muslim Maha Vidyalaya in Kantale. Later, the President reiterated what he said at Al Hijra Muslim Vidyalaya in Thambalagamuwa, Trincomalee District, at the occasions of opening Mahindodaya Laboratories at those schools.
The Presidentís observation on the pilgrimage to Mecca was met with thunderous applause from the large crowds present.
The Haj is the main Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which is performed annually and is considered as a mandatory religious duty for Muslims which must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.
The Saudi Arabian Government gives an annual quota to Sri Lanka for the annual pilgrimage. Presently it is managed by the Hajj Committee of Sri Lanka.