Mahinda Rajapaksa paid tribute to the former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam in a condolence message today.
Remembering his own discussions with the former Indian leader, Mr. Rajapaksa honoured Dr. Kalam’s contributions to science, to his country and to the youth.
Full Text of the Message
His Excellency Shri Pranab Mukherjee
President of India
It is with a great sense of sadness that I learned of the passing away of the Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, one of the most iconic leaders this subcontinent has ever produced.
As the “Missile Man of India” who played a leading role in India’s nuclear programme, the world came to know Dr. Kalam as a great scientist and a notable statesman. But those of us who had the privilege of interacting with him can also speak of his humility. It is what made him endearing to millions of people.
On a number of occasions when we met, Dr. Kalam always spoke of the potential of Sri Lanka and its people. As a part of his vision for South Asia, Dr. Kalam also saw an important role for Sri Lanka in the region.
Apart from the great contributions he made to science and to India during his presidency, what I most admired about Dr. Kalam was his dedication and commitment to youth. He saw that a country’s future is nothing without its youth and, in his words, encouraged them to “dream, dream, dream.”
I know all Sri Lankans share my admiration for this great leader and we join our brethren of India in mourning this irreparable loss. The impact Dr. Kalam has made through his work and through his humanity will be felt for generations.
My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Kalam’s family and the people of India during this difficult time.
Former President of Sri Lanka