Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao arrived here on Friday night on a three-day visit ahead of her retirement from the foreign service on July 31.
She met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over breakfast on Saturday. Officials described the meeting as a “farewell” that the President had wanted to accord her because of the special relationship she shared with the country. Ms. Rao, a 1973-batch IFS officer, had served as High Commissioner and, earlier, as First Secretary, in the Indian mission in Sri Lanka.
The meeting was a result of a spontaneous invitation from Mr.Rajapaksa. Ms.Rao had mentioned to Mr.Rajapaksa about her retirement when she had come here last June as part of the troika to hold broad-ranging discussions on rehabilitation and resettlement of the war-battered Tamils.
Ms.Rao had accepted an invitation to visit Sri Lankan ahead of her retirement, but a series of high-profile visits to New Delhi had meant that her visit was kept in abeyance. The President’s office handed over a formal invitation to her “about five days ago” and this visit was a response to that invitation.
Through the day, Ms. Rao will meet Sri Lankan officials and Ministers with whom she shared working relationships when in Sri Lanka. She will leave on Sunday. Ms.Rao will then take up post-retirement job as Indian Ambassador to the United States. Hindu