The President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, will reach New Delhi this evening on a three-day state visit to India. This will be his first official visit abroad after assuming office on the 21st of this month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had telephoned Mr Rajapaksa to congratulate him on his electoral win and invited him to visit India.
During the visit, Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow. He will pay homage to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at Rajghat. On the same day, the Sri Lankan President will hold talks with the Prime Minister. He is also scheduled to call on President Ram Nath Kovind. External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar will call on the visiting dignitary.
This is the first foreign visit of Sri Lankan President and shows the importance attached to Sri Lanka – India relations. PM Modi was the first foreign leader to telephone Mr. Gotabaya on his victory and invite him to visit India. A host of issues including stability in Indian Ocean region, economic cooperation and the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka may figure during the talks between two leaders.
Sri Lanka President Gotabaya has said in an interview recently that they will not do anything that harm India’s security interests and that they understand the importance of the Indian concerns. He has also called upon overseas companies to invest in Sri Lanka particularly in the field of education and technology development.