Sri Lankan PM to attend Arafat funeral

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will attend the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a spokesman said Thursday. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will attend the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a spokesman said Thursday. “The prime minister will be at the funeral although he had arranged to launch a new initiative for reviving the country’s southern region this weekend,” the spokesman said.

Arafat’s funeral will be held in Cairo on Friday.
Sri Lanka’s premier was a close ally of Arafat and for the past 25 years was president of the Sri Lankan Committee for Solidarity with Palestine.

Rajapakse hosted Arafat in Colombo during his last visit here in March 1997.

Sri Lanka has close links with the Palestinians and supports their bid for statehood, but is also an ally of Israel and receives military support from the Jewish state. (AFP)