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Rajapaksa cuts short Nepal trip

world Updated: Mar 03, 2009 16:36 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
Rajapaksa cuts short Nepal trip

In the wake of terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on Tuesday, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa abridged his Nepal visit.

Rajapaksa arrived in Kathmandu on Monday on a three-day state visit on the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Ram Baran Yadav.

“But, he (Rajapaksa) is now going back today,” Shisira Kothlawala, a counsellor at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kathmandu said, adding that Rajapaksa cancelled his trip to Lumbini.

Kothlawala said the extra-ordinary situation in Pakistan forced president Rajapaksa to cut short his visit. Nepal government on Tuesday beefed up security arrangements across Kathmandu to doubly ensure security of the Sri Lankan president.

Special security arrangements have been made at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. Additional companies of Nepal Armed Police Force personnel were pressed into service.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has also directed all domestic and international airlines to restrict landings and take-offs of their aircrafts half-an-hour before and after Rajapaksa’s departure.

Moreover, vehicular traffic on the road to the airport was restricted to ensure safety of president Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa on Tuesday morning met Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda. Sri Lanka and Nepal on Tuesday signed two agreements--- establishment of a foreign-minister level commission and a direct air service between Colombo and Kathmandu.