Colombo, Jan 13 (IANS) Pope Francis arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday for a two-day visit which will be focused on promoting reconciliation in the island nation troubled by ethnic divisions.
The Pope was welcomed by the newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Xinhua reported.
The main mass will be held at Galle Face Green in Colombo and a public holiday has been declared Wednesday.
This is the second visit by a Pope to Sri Lanka.
Pope Francis will also be the first Vatican head to visit the once war-torn northern regions of the country in a gesture that is expected to improve reconciliation between the minority Tamils and majority Sinhalese.
He will also declare Sri Lanka’s first saint.
Pope Francis is the first foreign dignitary to visit Sri Lanka after presidential elections last Thursday, which ousted former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.