08 Sri Lankans flown out of Afghanistan as Taliban take complete control

08 Sri Lankans flown out of Afghanistan as Taliban take complete control

08 Sri Lankans flown out of Afghanistan as Taliban take complete control

Written by Zulfick Farzan

16 Aug, 2021 | 5:16 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st / REUTERS); 08 Sri Lankans were flown out to the UK and Qatar from Kabul as the Taliban take complete control of Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retired) Professor Jayantha Colombage speaking to News 1st said that 03 Sri Lankans were flown to the UK and 05 others were flown to Qatar.

He said another 60 Sri Lankans remain in Afghanistan and requests were made from several countries to evacuate the Sri Lankans along with other nationals.

Requests were made from the UK, US, Pakistan, and India, he added.

The Foreign Secretary said all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the safe evacuation of the Sri Lankans who are in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Taliban effectively sealed their control of Afghanistan on Sunday, pouring into the capital, Kabul, and meeting little resistance as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the government collapsed, and chaos and fear gripped the city, with tens of thousands of people trying to escape.

The insurgents’ return to power, two decades after they were ousted, came despite years and hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the United States to build up the Afghan government and its defense forces.

In a lightning offensive, the Taliban swallowed dozens of cities in a matter of days, leaving Kabul as the last major redoubt of government control.

Victorious Taliban fighters patrolled the streets of Kabul on Monday (16) as thousands of Afghans mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of rule.

The United Nations Security Council will discuss the situation in Afghanistan later on Monday.

Qatar says it is doing its utmost to help evacuate diplomats and foreign staff in international organisations seeking to leave Afghanistan.

Russia’s embassy in Kabul said on Monday (16) that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in, the RIA news agency reported.

Ghani, whose current whereabouts are unknown, said he left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed. He said he wanted to avoid bloodshed.

Russia has said it will retain a diplomatic presence in Kabul and hopes to develop ties with the Taliban even as it says it is no rush to recognise them as the country’s rulers and will closely observe their behaviour.

“As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan,” Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA.

“Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac,” he was quoted as saying.

President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said earlier it was unclear how much money the fleeing government would leave behind.

“I hope the government that has fled did not take all the money from the state budget. It will be the bedrock of the budget if something is left,” Kabulov told Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy radio station.

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