Shimla: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is all set for a two-day sojourn to Shimla, beginning from June 10. Rajapaksa, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, will reach Shimla on Thursday morning, government officials said here.
“Rajapaksa will get a glimpse of the legacy of the British era during his stay in this hill station. He will spend most of the time in the midst of grand buildings constructed during the Raj days,” state hospitality and protocol secretary Ajay Bhandari said. “The president will stay in the Oberoi group’s heritage hotel Wildflower Hall (on the outskirts of the town). He will also attend a reception hosted by Governor Urmila Singh in the historic Barnes Court,” he said.
Barnes Court is where the Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan was inked after the 1971 war. It is now the residence of the governor. Constructed in 1832, this elegant building was the residence of former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab Sir Louis Dane.
“Rajapaksa will spend most of the time at Wildflower Hall. There is no scheduled meeting with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. He will return to Delhi the next (Friday) afternoon,” Bhandari said. Built by the British, Wildflower Hall was once the residence of the commander-in-chief of the British Army.