Sir Lankan President Arrives in India on 4-Day Visit
NEW DELHI: In his maiden foreign trip after assuming charge, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrived here today on a four-day visit during which he will hold talks with the Indian leadership on entire gamut of bilateral ties including ways to further enhance cooperation and the peace and reconciliation process in the island nation.
63-year-old Sirisena, who had dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa from his 10-year rule after a bitter Presidential poll, has already indicated that he wants to have a closer relationship with India and chose it for his first foreign visit.
The Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks tomorrow during which they are likely to deliberate on all major issues such as devolution of power to the Tamil community and the sticky fishermen issue.
India has been hoping that the new Lankan government will develop ties on the “foundation of genuine and effective reconciliation” creating harmony among all sections there.
India has also been pressing for implementation of 13 amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution. The amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987 signed between then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Sri Lankan President J R Jayewardene envisaged the devolution of powers to the provinces in the midst of the island’s bitter ethnic conflict.
In the evening tomorrow, Sirisena will meet President Pranab Mukherjee who will also host a banquet in the honour of his Sri Lankan counterpart.
Sirisena is leading a delegation that includes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Resettlement Minister D M Swaminathan, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka and Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksha.