President gifts two baby elephants to Japan to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations

Thursday, 14 March 2013 01:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on an official visit to Japan, gifted two baby elephants to Tokyo’s Tama Zoo Tuesday to mark 60 years of friendly relations between the two countries. Symbolising the occasion, a photo of the two baby elephants, 8-year-old ‘Amara’ and 5-year-old ‘Vidura’, was also presented to the deputy Director General of Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Princess Tsuguko of Takamado, who participated at the occasion, noting the cordial relations the two countries enjoy, expressed her appreciation to President Rajapaksa for the gift of the two elephants. She recalled that Sri Lanka has previously gifted another baby elephant named ‘Anura’ to the Tama Zoo. Former Prime Minister of Japan, Yasuo Fukuda also participated in the event and later held a discussion with the President.

During President’s four-day official visit, the President and First Lady will make a state call on the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and the Emperor and Empress will host a court luncheon at the Imperial Palace in honour of the President and Mrs. Rajapaksa. Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe will hold a meeting and host a dinner with the President.

President Rajapaksa is scheduled to host a breakfast meeting for leaders of Japan’s corporate and industry sectors as well as attend the inaugural ceremony of the Sri Lanka Business Forum. In addition to several bilateral meetings with Japanese ministers and government officials, President Rajapaksa is also scheduled to attend a meeting of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League and meet with Ambassador Yasushi Akashi. The President is scheduled to leave on Friday, 15 March.

Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Jayaratne Herath, MP Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lankan Ambassador in Japan Admiral (Retd.) Wasantha Karannagoda also participated at the event.

                                                Pix by Sudath Silva