President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka will always remember the former Indian Prime Minister Shri I.K.Gujral for his contribution to strengthen Sri Lanka-India ties.
"Sri Lanka will always remember with gratitude, Shri I K Gujral's contribution towards strengthening India-Sri Lanka relations and regional cooperation," the President said in a message of condolence sent to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the death of former Indian premier.
President Rajapaksa offered his condolences and support to the former premier's family and friends, and to the people of India in the statement sent to Prime Minister Singh.
The President described Gujral as an outstanding public figure who worked for the well-being of Indians and the people of South Asia as a whole.
"Shri Gujral was ahead of his times in a rapidly globalising world," he said in his message.
Full text of the letter is as follows:
On hearing the demise of former Prime Minister of India, Shri I. K. Gujral, I, on behalf of the government and the people of Sri Lanka, convey our deepest sympathies to the government and people of India and family and friends of this distinguished son of India.
Shri I.K.Gujral served his country with deep commitment and worked for the wellbeing of the people of India and South Asian region in different capacities for long years. A distinguished leader and an outstanding public figure, Shri Gujral was ahead of his times in a rapidly globalizing world. His visionary approach on foreign policy stands as a model for strengthening South Asia’s regional relations.
Sri Lanka will always remember with gratitude, Sheri I. K. Gujral’s contribution towards strengthening India- Sri Lanka relations and regional cooperation.
Undoubtedly, the people of India and the South Asian region have lost a wise and erudite leader whose empathy with the people of South Asia made him a much loved leader of the region.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Shri Gujral’s family and friends as well as the people of India at this time. I wish them strength and fortitude to face this loss.