President on double tour to Thailand

Later visits to see the Queen, the Pope, Brazil and Cuba
By Our Diplomatic Editor

In an unusual move, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will pay a four-day official visit to Thailand during which he will return to Sri Lanka and go back again to that country to resume his tour.

The return for one night is to attend the wedding of the grandson of Livestock and Rural Community Development Minister Arumugam Thondaman. President Rajapaksa and an entourage will arrive in Bangkok’s Suwarnabhumi International Airport on Tuesday May 29. In the evening he will attend a reception for the Sri Lankan community at the Sri Lanka Embassy. The next day he will meet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra for talks.

A luncheon for Rajapaksa and nine members of his entourage will follow. In the evening, he will call on the Thai Royal Family including the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Sri Lanka at the UN in Geneva, has declined to accept a posting order to move to Havana from July 1. Ravinath Ariyasinha, Ambassador in Brussels has already been named as her successor.

In the light of these developments, EAM sources said yesterday, Esala Weerakoon, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador in Washington, is being posted temporarily as acting Ambassador in Cuba until President Rajapaksa’s visit is concluded.

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