Krishna attends Rajapaksa`s Pongal reception
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Last Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012, 21:30
  
Colombo: External Affairs SM Krishna began his Sri Lanka visit on Monday by attending a traditional reception hosted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the occasion of the Tamil festival Thaipongal, the only foreign guest to be invited at the event, in what reflects the close ties between the two countries.

Krishna, who arrived here on a four-day visit, drove straight to the Temple Trees, the official residence of Rajapaksa, accompanied by his Sri Lankan counterpart GL Peiris who personally received him at the Bandaranaike International Airport, 35 km from here.

The Indian Minister was accorded traditional welcome at the reception, which Rajapaksa hosts annually to mark the harvest festival of Thaipongal, celebrated by Tamils in Sri Lanka and across the globe, including India to thank the Sun God.

Sources said the Sri Lankan side felt it would be good if Krishna participated in the reception and placed a request in this regard to the Indian side a few days back.

The Minister spent nearly 30 minutes at the Reception and drove back to his hotel.

In a departure from protocol, Peiris turned up at the airport to receive Krishna, who arrived here by a special aircraft.

Later, the two leaders went to the VIP lounge where they were seen talking to each other.

Krishna and Peiris will hold wide-ranging talks tomorrow on a number of issues, including the developmental projects being implemented with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka's north and the political solution to resolve the Tamil question.

PTI


First Published: Monday, January 16, 2012, 21:30


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