Foreign leaders began arriving here from Wednesday evening for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first to arrive was Bangladesh President Mohammed Abdul Hamid.
Mr. Modi’s swearing-in is to be attended by Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering, President of Myanmar U Win Myint, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, and President of Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov. With the exception of Mauritius and Kyrgyz Republic, rest of the invitees are from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping. Most of the leaders will land here by Thursday afternoon.
Thailand, which is a leading member of BIMSTEC, will be represented by Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach. He will be a Special Envoy of the country to the evening ceremony.
However, there is uncertainty over the presence of Tibetan President or Sikyong in Exile Dr. Lobsang Sangay in the swearing-in ceremony. Tibetan sources indicate that they have not received any information from the Indian authorities. It is learnt that Dr. Sangay had left for an official tour of the United States and was unlikely to be present in Delhi during the swearing-in ceremony.
Dr. Sangay’s presence in the swearing-in ceremony of 2014 had created ripples and hinted at India’s continued commitment to the Tibetan cause. Tibean spiritual leader Dalai Lama had congratulated Mr. Modi on May 23 after he won a landslide election victory and his recent comments indicated at a desire for dialogue with China.
Mr. Modi is expected to meet with President Xi Jinping in Bishkek during the June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the presence of President Jeenbekov is likely to contribute to building the atmospherics for the SCO meet where President Xi and Mr. Modi are expected to interact.
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