President Bhandari arrives in Sri Lanka

President VisitSri Lanka / May 13: President Bidya Devi Bhandari arrived here via Thailand today. Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, President Bhandari was welcomed by Sri Lankan Minister for Justice and Buddha Sasana, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, Minister for Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala, and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva and high-level officers of the Foreign Ministry. Earlier, President Bhandari was welcomed by Panchakanya with a bouquet. Also present at the airport to receive the President was Nepali Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr Bishwamber Pyakurel.

On the occasion, President Bhandari signed the visitor’s book kept at airport. President Bhandari then left for Hotel Hilton where she will be staying.

President Bhandari is on an official visit at the invitation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. President Bhandari is scheduled to attend the concluding ceremony of United Nations Vesak Day-2017 Conference being held on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in Sri Lanka as a chief guest.

The United Nations has started celebrating Buddha Jayanti as United Nations Day since 2000. Different countries including Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar have started celebrating Buddha Jayanti as Vesak Day. Sri Lanka has been organising special event to mark occasion for three days.

President Bhandari is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with her Sri Lankan counterpart and will hold high-level political talks during her visit. Similarly, she would visit various religious sites in Sri Lanka, including to Kandy where the sacred relic of the tooth of Gautam Buddha is kept.

The President is accompanied by Minister for General Administration Keshab Kumar Budhathoki, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shankar Das Bairagi, Joint Secretary Bhrigu Dhungana, foreign expert at Prime Minister’s office Dr Madan Kumar Bhattarai, Secretary Bhupendra Prasad Poudel, Chief of Protocol Dipak Adhikari, Protocol Officer Kul Bahadur Magar, media-persons and high level officials. President Bhandari is scheduled to return home on May 16. RSS

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