President Wickremesinghe congratulates India’s new President, Droupadi Murmu

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe extends warm felicitations to India’s new President, Droupadi Murmu who took oath today (25).

“Your appointment to this chief responsibility in one of the largest democracies is testimony to the trust and confidence the Government and the people have placed in your caliber and political acumen,” Wickremesinghe said in a letter addressed to his Indian counterpart.

Highlighting the long-standing relations between the two countries, Wickremesinghe said that he is glad that the “time tested bonds of friendship” between the two nations continue to be reinforced through ever-growing cooperation and support in many spheres of mutual strategic interests.

The Sri Lankan President expressed his desire to working closely with President Murmu to further strengthen these ties.

64-year-old Droupadi Murmu is a tribal politician and former teacher from Odisha (Orissa) state who also had a stint as a state governor.

Murmu is the country’s first tribal leader in the top post.

“My elevation as president is not just my achievement but that of everyone in the country, that they can dream of reaching this level,” Murmu said after taking the oath.

The President in India is the head of the state, but does not exercise executive powers.

He or she is elected by the members of both the houses of parliament and of the legislative assemblies of states and federally-administered union territories.

Murmu registered a comfortable win against the opposition’s candidate – veteran politician Yashwant Sinha. Sinha, who was a senior minister in the BJP government led by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the 1990s and early 2000s, is now a vocal critic of the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Murmu replaces outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind, whose term ended on 24 July.