Sushma Swaraj arrives in Sri Lanka
March 6, 2015 05:04 pm
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in the island today on a two-day official visit, in preparation for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit later this month.
During the two-day visit, Swaraj is expected to meet Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other government officials.
Ms. Swaraj will hold discussions on arrangements for the PM’s visit.
Swaraj will today call on President Maithripala Sirisena while Samaraweera will host a dinner for his Indian counterpart later tonight.
Modi is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on March 13 on a three- day official tour during which he is also expected to visit the country’s war ravaged northern district.
Modi’s visit will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM to the island nation in over 25 years.
Modi is also expected to travel to Kandy and Anuradhapura during his visit and will also visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy and inspect ongoing Indian housing projects in the estate sector.
He will address the Sri Lankan Parliament during his visit later this month, becoming the third Indian leader to be given the special honour.
Mr. Modi’s is the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister since Rajiv Gandhi visited the island in 1987, to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord.
Swaraj’s last visit to Colombo was in 2012, as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Leading a parliamentary delegation, she also handed over the IRCON’s railway project in Sri Lanka.