All arrangements had been made to accord a red carpet welcome with all state honours to the visiting head of government from Lion-city.
The guard of honour, the unfurling of the national flags and the singing of the national anthems of the two counties and all other customary formalities to honour the foreign visitor were duly observed at this ceremony where our own Number One was duly associated with the former.
Arrangements also had been made on the Galle Face Green to fire 21 salvoes in honour of the distinguished guest. However, the visitor from Lion-city and our own boss stepped down from the dais and walked away soon after the initial formalities and by the time the 21 salvoes were fired, both of them were nowhere near the venue of the state ceremony.
This incident is unprecedented in that no foreign dignitary in the country’s post-independence history had missed a 21-salvo gun-salute as on this occasion, they say.
This blunder had occurred due to the failure on the part of the foreign Ministry authorities concerned to brief the foreign visitor and our own boss on the arrangement, knowledgeable sources say.