"You are the first visiting Head of State to visit Male after I assumed duties as the President, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said during the ceremony to welcome President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is an honor for me to welcome you. I am very pleased for this opportunity.
President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa, who arrived in a boat parade from the airport to the main jetty in Male capital, were afforded a red carpet welcome. Maldivian First Lady Fathima Ibrahim also joined the welcome ceremony, which was opened with a colorful dancing item performed by Maldivian students and youth. President Rajapaksa was accorded a 21-gun salute by the National Defense Force of Maldives.
National anthems of Sri Lanka and the Maldives were played followed by a guard of honor.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Higher Education Mr. S.B. Dissanayake, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Members of Parliament Mr. A.H.M. Azwar, Mr. Lohan Ratwatta, Mr. Udith Lokubandara, Mr. Ranjith de Zoysa and Mr. Thenuka Vidanagamag, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne are accompanying the President.