New Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to arrive on India visit, to meet Narendra Modi

President Gotabaya is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi during his visit.

Published: 28th November 2019 02:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2019 02:35 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Photo | AP)


NEW DELHI: The newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in India on Thursday, on his maiden overseas visit that will see the two close neighbours seek to strengthen ties.

The two-day official visit, on the invite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will see the two leaders discuss regional security, peace and economic development.

President Gotabaya is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi during his visit.

ALSO READ: Corruption charges against Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dropped, travel ban lifted

Secretary to the Sri Lankan President P.B. Jayasundara, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle, President's advisor Lalith Weerathunge and President's private secretary Sugeeshwara Bandara will accompany the President during the visit.

India had sent External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Colombo soon after the election of Gotabaya as president, during which he met the new Lankan President and extended him an invite to visit India, which he accepted.

Modi, in his congratulatory message, had reiterated India's commitment to continue to work with the government of Sri Lanka to strengthen ties.

The Sri Lankan President who arrives on Thursday evening will be called on by External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Friday morning at the ITC Maurya.

ALSO READ: China a trade partner, India a relative, says Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

After a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Gotabaya and Modi will hold talks at noon. In the evening he will call on President Kovind. On Saturday the Sri Lankan President will attend events in Delhi and leave in the evening.

Gotabaya's India visit comes as High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu termed the recently concluded presidential election in Sri Lanka as "a festival of democracy".

Delivering the Lalith Athulathmudali Commemoration Freedom Speech in Colombo, Sandhu said the high-level exchanges underlined the special nature of India-Sri Lanka ties.

He highlighted the strong cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the field of defence and security, and development partnership. He emphasised that India could offer more in these fields depending on Sri Lanka's own requirements.

The High Commissioner noted that India and Sri Lanka have a lot to offer to each other, and to the world.

Gotabaya, who is perceived as pro-China, has in a statement said his government will maintain "equi-distant and cordial relations with all countries".

"As a policy, we will maintain an equi-distant and yet, cordial relations with all countries and remain neutral in the power struggles amongst nations. I also appeal to all global leaders, to respect the sovereignty and unitary status of Sri Lanka," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp