Who can arrive in Saudi Arabia directly?

Adv P A Hameed Padubidri
August 27, 2021

Many Indian nationals are confused about the requirement of the direct flight to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As of today, only those who got two vaccines in the KSA are allowed to re enter the country. All other categories of the NRIs (except healthcare workers, mission officials etc) who received one jab in the KSA and another in India and both the jabs in India are not allowed. 

Action against violators 

A strict legal action will be taken against those who violate the Saudi Arabian regulation with regard to the direct entry from the 13 travel banned countries including India. The KSA’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued a warning circular in this regard on August 26.

As per the GACA notification, the Iqama (residence permit) holders, who have taken 2 vaccines in the KSA before they left for India only are required to directly enter into the KSA without ban and without need for 14 days' quarantine in third countries. 

GACA also instructed that all the covid-19 norms and measures must be followed by these expatriates of 13 banned countries including the Indians. Those who violate this order will have to face a  strict legal action which may include heavy fines, deportation and any other action. 

Relaxations in future?

Can we expect some good news for those who got one vaccine in the KSA and one in India or both vaccines (i.e. CoviShield is equivalent to AstraZenica) in India? We can hope for the best as so far we have been hearing good news from the KSA with regard to managing and controlling the covid-19. 

The Indian govt through the vibrant leaderships of Indian Ambassador Dr Ausaf Sayeed and Indian CG Shahid IFS, of the CGI Jeddah, is also working with the KSA authorities in this regard.

Travellers have to comply with the strict covid-19 norms and preventive measures imposed by the both countries. 

The first flight after this announcement will be by next week, from Kochin to Riyadh.

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News Network
May 22,2022

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Mangaluru, May 22: The district administration of Dakshina Kannada paid homage to the 158 persons who died in the 2010 Mangaluru air crash, at the memorial built for them, off the Phalguni, at Kulur in the city on Sunday.

MP and State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel laid the wreath at the memorial, followed by Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra, Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane, Additional Deputy Commissioner H.K. Krishna Murthy, and District Health and Family Welfare Officer M. Kishore Kumar.

Mayor Premanand Shetty, MLC Manjunath Bhandary, Home Guard District Commandant Murali Mohan Choontaru, and representatives of New Mangaluru Port Trust also attended the event. One-minute silence was observed.

The 158 people died after flight IX 812 from Dubai crashed while landing at Mangaluru International Airport on May 22, 2010. Eight passengers survived, while 136 bodies were identified and handed over to their families. DNA tests were done for identifying 22 bodies.

As 12 bodies could not be matched to any living kin, they were buried on May 27, 2010 on land that belonged to New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). The NMPT and Airport Authority of India built a memorial at the site and KIOCL developed a park. The memorial service is being held at this place every year.

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News Network
May 16,2022

The Arab League warns about the consequences of the Israeli regime's deliberate actions targeting the status quo at the al-Aqsa Mosque's compound.

The regional grouping's Secretariat General issued the warning on Sunday, the anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day. Thousands of Palestinians and their supporters hold monumental rallies each year to mark the 1948 occasion, which saw the Israeli regime claiming existence following a heavily-Western-backed war against regional territories.

Israeli settlers storm the compound, Islam's third-holiest site, on a daily basis under the protection of Israeli forces. They often attack Palestinian Muslims and Christians, who converge on the compound to perform their religious duties. 

"These attacks amount to great violation of the international laws, and stand in the way of international efforts aimed at establishing 'peace,'" the Arab League statement read.

The Israeli assaults threaten to fan the flames of insecurity and instability in the region, and "can drag the [entire] region into violence and initiate a religious war," it added.

The Secretariat noted that around seven decades had passed since the Nakba, but the Palestinians were still dealing with the repercussions of the occasion," and are subject to violations that threaten "their existence, soil, rights, and sanctities."

It enumerated some instances of the regime's wanton aggression as its destruction of Palestinians' homes, forcing Palestinians into leaving their homeland, and carrying out "field executions" against them, including its recent gruesome murder of Shereen Abu Akleh, a distinguished Palestinian journalist.

The body urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene in support of the Palestinian people, and in favor of implementation of the UN resolutions that condemn the Israeli regime's occupation and aggression.

"The Security Council should expeditiously take the necessary measures that would bring pressure to bear on the occupying Israeli authorities to end their violations against the Palestinian nation," it asserted.

Such, the statement noted, is the Council's legal and moral duty towards preservation of international peace and security, and implementation of international resolutions.

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News Network
May 15,2022

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Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who found himself getting unwittingly involved in the 'Monkeygate affair' when it unfolded during the second Test at Sydney in 2008, termed former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds -- who died in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday -- as a "live-wire" on the cricket field.

"Andrew Symond's demise is shocking news for all of us to absorb. Not only was he a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-wire on the field. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Mumbai Indians. May his soul rest in peace, condolences to his family and friends," Tendulkar tweeted on Sunday morning.

Symonds, 46, was the sole passenger in the crash just outside of Townsville in his home state of Queensland and police confirmed that a 46-year-old died at the scene of the mishap.

During the infamous Sydney Test in January 2008, which Australia won by 122 runs, Tendulkar was at the non-striker's end when the altercation between India spinner Harbhajan Singh and Symonds took place, which later came to be called the 'Monkeygate affair'.

Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggered a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three Tests.

Initially, Tendulkar denied hearing anything, but the legendary cricketer later insisted that Harbhajan had actually said a Hindi slang which was a long way from being a racist remark.

The then Australian skipper Ricky Ponting complained to match referee Mike Procter about the India spinner calling Symonds a 'monkey'. Ponting then pressed charges against Harbhajan despite the then India skipper Anil Kumble's request to apologise.

Harbhajan was then slapped with a three-Test ban, which brought the two powerful cricket boards on a confrontation path -- and left the series in jeopardy.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen to hear Harbhajan's ban appeal after the Test series. The tour continued and Hansen later trusted Tendulkar's testimony to conclude lack of evidence to press racism charges against Harbhajan.

Harbhajan Singh mourns Andrew Symonds' death

India spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was involved in one of the biggest on-field controversies that threatened to spoil the relationship between the Australian and India cricket boards, on Sunday paid his tribute to legendary all-rounder Andrew Symonds who was killed in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday.

The off-spinner took to twitter to pay his tribute to the 46-year-old former Australian all-rounder, saying the cricketing great went too soon.

"Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul. #RIPSymonds," tweeted Harbhajan.

The charismatic all-rounder played 26 Tests for Australia, scoring 1,462 runs at 40.61 and picking up 24 wickets with his off-spin and gentle medium-pace.

During the second Test of the series between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2008, Symonds scored an unbeaten 162 in the first innings that helped the hosts to a 122-run victory.

However, the Test would later be mired in controversy over the 'Monkeygate affair'. Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggering a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three games.

Symonds had then lodged a complaint that he had been racially abused by Harbhajan. The case then went to match referee Mike Procter, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodging a protest over their player's suspension.

However, later the racism charge against Harbhajan could not be proved and the three-Test ban was lifted.

Symonds also featured in 198 ODIs -- scoring six centuries and 30 half-centuries -- while also contributing 133 wickets with his more than handy off-spin and medium pace.

It was at the 2003 World Cup where Symonds burst onto the stage with perhaps his greatest innings as he smashed Pakistan with an unbeaten 143 in Johannesburg early in the tournament and helped Australia remain unbeaten and defeat India in a one-sided final.

The right-hander was also part of the victorious World Cup side at the 2007 World Cup in West Indies as Australia claimed their fourth 50-over World Cup title.

Symonds also played 14 T20I for Australia, managing 337 runs and eight wickets. 

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