Sri Lankan president arrives on India visit

New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrived here Sunday on a four-day state visit - his maiden trip abroad since he won the presidential elections last month. He was received by Minister of State for Shipping P. Radhakrishnan.

On Monday, President Sirisena will be accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan after which he will go to Raj Ghat to lay a wreath at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on him at his hotel, ITC Maurya, after which he is to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House.

After the delegation-level talks over a working lunch, both sides are to hold signing of agreements before the media in the afternoon. Sirisena will meet President Pranab Mukherjee in the evening, which is to be followed by a presidential dinner in his honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

On Tuesday, Sirisena is to leave for the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Bodhgaya in Bihar and later in the evening for Tirupati, in Andhra Pradesh. He returns to Colombo on Wednesday. Sirisena, who defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa in a surprise verdict Jan 9, has said he is keen to further relations with India.

After his election, Modi had congratulated him and invited him to visit New Delhi. The new Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had come to India in his first week in office and met Sushma Swaraj.

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