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MS requests Putin to reconsider suspension of Aeroflot flights to SL

8 months ago

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  Former President Maithripala Sirisena has requested Russia's President Vladimir Putin to reconsider the decision taken by the Government of Russia to suspend flights from Russia to Sri Lanka as the effect of such a decision would be a blow to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. This was made known via a letter addressed to Putin from Sirisena today (06). "Aeroflot had subsequently decided to suspend its flights to Colombo following the Injunction Order. Unfortunately, this suspension will be a devastating blow to tourism in Sri Lanka, that is only just recovering from the Easter Attacks and Covid-19. Your Excellency, although I am no longer a member of the government in power, I feel it is my obligation by my people to appeal to you and your government to treat this issue as a wholly Judicial matter and not at all as a decision taken by the State. As it is one that is before the Judiciary, I am assured that the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka is assessing all options to work towards the legal and amicable resolution of this unfortunate incident. As you know Your Excellency, my country and her people are going through one of the worst economic crises in its post-independence history. As Your Excellency is aware, we are currently faced with devastating fuel shortages, power cuts and a food crisis that looks imminent in the months to come," the letter stated. Further, Sirisena recalled the many years of friendship and diplomatic relations between the two nations, especially after the 30 year civil war in Sri Lanka. "The people of our two nations enjoy a friendship that goes back many, many decades. One that has weathered many geopolitical storms. Our friendship is one of mutual respect and not one based on transactional benefits. Sri Lanka will remember the help and support of your great nation during the 30-year Civil War that ended in 2009. Help that came to us from Russia with no expectation and no obligation. We remember and appreciate this gesture, amongst many others. Your Excellency would recall that during my term as President, from 2015 to 2019, the special bond between Russia and Sri Lanka was further strengthened. My official visit to Moscow, where we discussed many bilateral and multi-lateral matters is a memory I treasure to this day," Sirisena's letter noted Additionally, the letter mentioned that due to the court issuance of an Enjoining Order by The Colombo Commercial High Court, the trust and mutual respect between our two nations and governments had been marred. The letter concluded by requesting President Putin to reconsider the suspension of Aeroflot flights to Sri Lanka in light of the situation in the country, and continue to support Sri Lanka as Russia always have, even in the darkest moments of Sri Lanka.

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