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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Rajapakse arrives in Delhi for talks with Indian leaders

[b]Rajapakse arrives in Delhi for talks with Indian leaders[/b]

By M Rama Rao – Reporting from New Delhi

New Delhi, 28 December ( Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse arrived here yesterday night on a four-day state visit, his first since he became the executive head of the island republic. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed received him at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Formal ceremonial reception will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, in the forecourt of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, where he is staying as the guest of Indian President APJ Kalam.

One of the early callers on the visiting dignitary was Oscar Fernandes, the soft spoken close aide of Sonia Gandhi and minister for Planning and youth affairs.

President Rajapakse will kick start his official engagements tomorrow morning. His talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take place at Hyderabad House; the two leaders will meet one-on –one and later with their delegations. The talks will continue over lunch Manmohan Singh will host for his guest. President Kalam is hosting a banquet in the night.

His meetings with Indian leaders will focus on the greater Indian involvement in the economic development of Sri Lanka, besides ways and means of co-opting India in the efforts to resolve the ethnic problem in the island. Significantly, a meeting is scheduled between Rajapakse and the ruling Congress led coalition's chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.

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