Rajapaksa calls on PM, Prez

KATHMANDU: Visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today met his Nepali counterpart Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala, separately.

In the meeting with PM Nepal, President Rajapaksa showed his special interest in the development of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, PM Nepal said that the talk of the day was centred around further development of Lumbini.

“President Rajpaksa has shown his readiness to assist us in our endeavour to development of Lumbini and has pledged 10,000 dollars personally for the purpose.”

PM Nepal further said they outlined a master plan for Lumbini in which the due contemplated over receiving the assistance of international community.

It is learnt that tourism also figured out in the talks between President Rajapaksa and PM Nepal. The leaders dwelt upon increasing the flow of tourists from Sri Lanka to Nepal in the coming days.

On an average, Nepal

receives 25,000 Sri Lankan tourists every year, it was


The talks also covered other issues, including air connectivity between the two countries.

Nepal and Sri Lanka had already signed an air agreement but the deal is yet to go operational, sources said.

Similarly, the duo also discussed on the financial and trade issues.

“Nepal can export many things to the Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka can reciprocate it,” PM Nepal said.

Talking to mediapersons earlier in Lumbini, President Rajapaksa had said that his visit was purely apolitical one.

He had said that he had been dreaming to visit the birthplace of Buddha since his childhood and the day was special one for him.