Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dr Subramanian Swamy on Thursday met Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, becoming the first foreign visitor to call on the ousted Sri Lankan president, following his return to Colombo after fleeing the country amidst unprecedented protests against his government's mishandling of the island nation's economy.
Swamy, a close friend of the Rajapaksa family, also met with Gotabaya's brother Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday evening and attended the Navratri pooja at his residence.
"Swamy, a close friend of the Rajapaksa brothers attended the Navaratri pooja held at Mahinda Rajapaksa's official residence last night before calling on Gotabaya Rajapaksa this morning," a source said.
Swamy has become the first foreign visitor to call on Gotabaya since he returned early this month after his self-imposed exile after facing a violent nationwide protest for mishandling the country's economy and causing an acute shortage of basic necessities.
Rajapaksa fled the country on July 13 to the Maldives. He then left for Singapore and then to Thailand. Currently, he is staying in Colombo under heavy security.
Swamy, who is accompanied by a delegation including a battery of lawyers, also called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo and had a wide range of consultations.
He also attended the inauguration ceremony of the 15th International Research Conference on “Economic Revival National Security & Sustainability through Advancement of Technology & Innovation" organised by the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in Colombo.
Sri Lanka's defence secretary Kamal Gunaratne, members of the Diplomatic Corps, chief of defence staff, army and navy commanders, Vice Chancellors of other Universities, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and eminent speakers from foreign nations were also present at the occasion.
"In 30 hours hectic visit to #SriLanka,Dr @Swamy39 had a wide range of consultations & programmes and meeting with Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, @PresRajapaksa @GotabayaR PM Dinesh Gunawardena, addressing KDU & participating in Navaratri celebrations & meeting Tamil Hindu leaders," one of the delegation members tweeted.