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* Pope, Sri Lankan President hold bilateral discussions
Tue, Jan 13, 2015, 10:50 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 13, Colombo: Pope Francis, who arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday on a three-day visit, called on the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon.

The Pope and Sri Lankan President held discussions on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and after the one-on-one talks Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe also joined the meeting.

The Holy Father presented a collection of nautical charts of 14 countries including Sri Lanka produced in 1562 by Bartolomeo Olives. President Sirisena presented a gold decorative pitcher engraved with Sri Lankan carvings to the Pope.

A special commemorative stamp along with a first day cover issued by the Sri Lanka Postal service and a commemorative silver coin released by the Central Bank to mark the Pope's visit were also presented to the Pontiff.

The Pope blessed personally blessed the gathering which included the First lady Jayanthi Sirisena, Prime Minister and Mrs. Wickremasinghe, coordinating minister of Pope's visit Ravi Karunanayaka, ministers and other political party representatives.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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