A resounding 21-Gun Salute punctuated the air as Jamaica officially welcomed the President of the Republic of India, His Excellency the Hon. Ram Nath Kovind to the island on Sunday (May 15) for a four-day State Visit.
President Kovind, who is the first President of India to visit Jamaica, was greeted at the Norman Manley International airport in Kingston by a delegation of State and Government officials led by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
The President’s ceremonial welcome also featured a Guard of Honour formed by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) which rendered a Royal Salute. The anthems of Jamaica and India were also delivered by the Guard of Honour.
President Kovind was accompanied by First Lady, Savita Kovind and other delegates from India.
Jamaica’s official welcome party also comprised the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith; Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams; Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui; President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Thomas Tavares-Finson; Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bryan Sykes; Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss-Gorman; Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams; Leader of the Opposition, represented by Lisa Hanna; Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Sandra Grant Griffiths; and Lead Medical Doctor, Dr. Nicole Lowe Fahmi.
President Kovinds visit coincides with Jamaica’s 60th Independence anniversary celebrations and also marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and India.
During the visit, the Indian President will pay a courtesy call on the Governor-General. He will also meet with Prime Minister Holness and engage in other activities including laying a wreath at the shrine of Jamaica’s first National Hero the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey and hold an engagement with the Indian community in Jamaica.
President Kovind will leave Jamaica on Wednesday, May 18.