Insight Online News
Colombo/New Delhi, Oct 3 : Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla began his four-day visit to Sri Lanka by praying at the Sri Dalada Maligawa temple in Kandy, capital of the Central Province.
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted a photo of the Foreign Secretary praying at the revered Sri Dalada Maligawa temple, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. He was received by the head priest of the temple.
“Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla begins his visit by seeking blessings at Sri Dalada Maligawa. He was received warmly by Hon’ble Diyawadana Nilame of the temple,” the tweet said.
According to a Google translation from Sinhalese of another tweet, Shringla prayed for the welfare and prosperity of the Sri Lankan people and also that the centuries-old ties between India and Sri Lanka be further strengthened.
On Saturday night, Shringla arrived at the Katuayake International airport accompanied by a three-member delegation.
He was received by Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay and senior officials from the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.
According to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, Foreign Secretary Shringla will call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris.
He will also visit Kandy, Trincomalee and Jaffna during his four-day stay.
His visit comes as the Indian Army’s Mitra Shakti contingent was received on Saturday with ceremonial honour by the Sri Lanka Army at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
The two forces will engage in the largest friendly joint military exercises in the sub-continent.
This is the 8th edition of the India-Sri Lanka bilateral joint exercise Mitra Shakti at the Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka, to be held from October 4-15. The exercises will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment.
The Foreign Secretary’s October 2-5 visit is at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage.
The visit will contribute towards consolidating the longstanding multifaceted relations and enhance bilateral partnerships between two countries, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry statement said.
This is his first visit to Sri Lanka since assumption of office as the Foreign Secretary of India.
The visit also comes two days after India’s Adani Group sealed a deal to develop and run the strategic Western Container Terminal at Colombo Port.
Adani Group will have a 51% stake in the port’s Western Container Terminal (WCT) becoming the first-ever Indian port.