Kathmandu,25 Nov 25: President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived here at 10:15 am to participate in the 18th SAARC summit going to be held from Wednesday, left for Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha from a helicopter of the Nepal Army.
He had arrived here by a special aircraft of the Sri Lankan national flag carrier.
Similarly, other members of the delegation also left for Lumbini by an aircraft of the Buddha Air.
Chief Protocol Officer Kali Prasad Pokharel and Sri Lankan Ambassador to Nepal, WM Senevirathna, welcomed the Sri Lankan President at Tribhuvan International Airport.
Similarly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Deepak Chandra Amatya, Chief Secretary Leelamani Poudyal, Basanta Kumar Gautam, the Chief Personal Secretary of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, and Secretary at the Office of the President Anup Kumar Upadhyay welcomed the Sri Lankan President and VIP guests on the special podium, constructed to welcome the dignitaries.
On the occasion, the Nepal Army played a Mangal Dhun (auspicious tune) in honour of President Rajapaksa. After that, the national anthems of both countries were played. The Sri Lankan President has arrived here leading a 90-member delegation.
The Sri Lankan President, among the Heads of State or Government, who are scheduled to arrive here to participate in the 18th SAARC summit, is the first VIP guest arriving here.