The ambassador was told that the aircraft were expected to complete their mission unhindered and any opposition by the Sri Lankan Air Force "would be met by force" by the escorting Mirage 2000s.
The first of the flights left Bangalore at 15:55 hours and flew towards the Coramandel coast, where they were met by four Mirage escorts.
One Mirage stayed back acting as radio relay, along with two additional An-32s over Tamil Nadu, which acted as radio relay to Bangalore.
The flight leader attempted radio contact with Colombo ATC over the civilian air traffic radio channel at 1647 hours, but was unable to establish contact.
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