Prez heading for Thailand, S Lanka

Published On: May 9, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 9: President Bidya Devi Bhandari is leaving for Thailand and Sri Lanka on state visits on Friday.

A cabinet meeting held on Monday approved the visit of President Bhandari. President Bhandari will spend a day in Thailand and then fly to Sri Lanka, where she will attend as a chief guest of the concluding ceremony of International Vesak Day in Candy, Sri Lanka. This is the second visit of President Bhandari outside the country after India.

Initiated by various 33 countries including Sri Lanka and Thailand in 1999, International Vesak Festival is celebrated every year in different countries. The United Nations also started marking the day every year since 2000.

According to the president's foreign relations expert Madan Bhattarai, President Bhandari is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of her Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena. “President is scheduled to attend the concluding ceremony of International Vesak Day being held in Candy as chief guest on May 14,” he told Republica.

Mostly, the International Vesak Day functions are observed in Thailand. While Vietnam hosted the formal events to mark the day in 2008 and 2014, Sri Lanka is hosting the event this year.

Keeping in view of the upcoming visit of President Bhandari, the government sent the newly-appointed ambassador Biswambher Pyakuryal to Sri Lanka. Pyakurel submitted his credentials to the Sri Lankan president on Monday.

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