Sri Lankan President arrives for historic visit

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President Maithripala Sirisena of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka arrived today at around 10:30 pm for a historic state visit until January 19.

“The visit of the President of Sri Lanka is of historic significance. It will be first by a Sri Lankan President serving both as head of state and government under Sri Lanka’s 1978 constitution,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on January 14.

“Prior to that, Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike who is the only other Sri Lanka leader to visit in 1976, since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries which was in 1961, that was the follow up of that visit,” he said.

Sirisena will meet President Rodrigo Duterte on January 16 in Malacañang Palace. “Their bilateral discussions will focus on areas of mutual interest including political, economic, agriculture, cultural and people-to-people engagement,” Panelo said.

“While in the Philippines, the President of Sri Lanka is also scheduled to meet with officials of the Asian Development Bank and the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños. He also expected to meet the Sri Lankan community in Manila,” Panelo added.