Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in India

Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File photo) Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 28, 2019, 06.17 PM (IST)

The newly elected President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday arrived in India on his maiden foreign trip after becoming the island nation's president earlier this month.

Rajapaksa is on a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deepen strategic bilateral ties.

A ceremonial reception will be held in Rashtrapati Bhawan in his honour on Friday. 

Sri Lankan President will hold talks with Modi and also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.

The MEA had said that the Indian government is ready to work very closely with the new government in Sri Lanka and expressed hope that it will fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community living in the island nation.

"India is ready to closely work with the newly formed government in Sri Lanka and deepening our age-old relationship with the country. Our relationship with Sri Lanka or any other country is not dependent on a third country. It is entirely independent of any other factor," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a weekly briefing on November 21.

Last week, Jaishankar had made a brief visit to Colombo where he met Rajapaksa and announced that the latter accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India on November 29.

70-year-old Rajapaksa had defeated United National Party (UNP) candidate Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes in the recently-concluded presidential elections in Sri Lanka. He is the second member of the Rajapaksa family to become the president.

His older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is currently the island nation's prime minister, had served as president from 2005 to 2015.

(With inputs from ANI)

Story highlights

Rajapaksa is on a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deepen strategic bilateral ties.