Rajapaksa worships Balaji at Tirumala

via www.newindpress.com published on July 12, 2008

TIRUPATI: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa prayed in the temple of Lord Venkateswara on Tirumala tonight, seeking peace and prosperity for his country and the world.

Accompanied by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Executive Officer KV Ramanachary, Rajapaksa entered Srivari temple through the Vaikuntam Queue Complex-I around 8 pm.

He worshipped Venkateswara in the sanctum sanctorum, where priests gave ‘Harathi’ and offered ‘theertha prasadams’ to him and also narrated the temple’s legend in brief.

He also prayed in the sub-temples of Vakula Devi and Yogi Narasimha Swamy, had darshan of Vimana Venkateswara Swamy and deposited his offering in Hundi.

Later, he was given ‘Vedashirwadam’ at Ranganaykula Mandapam by the temple priests led by Chief Priest AV Ramana Deekshithulu. TTD Executive Officer KV Ramanachary presented him with Srivari Prasadam. He spent about 35 minutes in the temple.

During a brief chat with mediapersons outside the temple, he was asked about LTTE. He refused to comment, saying that it was not the right time or place to speak on the issue. About SAARC meeting to be held shortly, he hoped it would be a success with the blessings of Lord Venkateswara.

Earlier in the day, the Sri Lankan President arrived by a IAF special aircraft at Tirupati Airport at 10:30 am amid tight security. He was accompanied by his senior aides.

After being given a warm welcome at the airport by District Collector M Ravichandra, Ralayaseema IGP RP Thakur, Superintendent of Police K Lakshmi Reddy and other officials, Rajapakse drove straight to Tirumala where he was received by TTD Executive Officer KV Ramanachary and Special Officer AV Dharma Reddy.

Rajapaksa is expected to have Suprabhata Darshanam of the Lord early on Saturday morning. Elaborate security arrangements have been made at Sri Padmavati Guest House, where he is staying and at the main temple.

Around 500 additional police personnel were deployed on Tirumala. Thakur and Lakshmi Reddy are supervising the security arrangements on Tirumala. Rajapaksa is expected to leave on Saturday evening.

Officials are tight-lipped over his schedule for security reasons.

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