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President Ranil Wickremesinghe to attend funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

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Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he would attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, his office announced on Sunday.

Wickremesinghe visited the British High Commission in Colombo on Sunday morning to sign the book of condolence placed there. The monarch, who celebrated her 70th year on the throne this year, passed away on September 8 at Balmoral Castle.

The state funeral for the Queen will be held at Wesminster Abbey on September 19.

As a mark of respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Sri Lanka’s national flag is flown at half-mast at all state buildings while a day of mourning has been declared for September 19.

Queen Elizabeth II was Sri Lanka’s head of state until May 1972 when the island left the British sovereign to become a republic.

The Queen had visited Sri Lanka twice in 1954 and 1981 and later was represented by Prince of Wales at visits in 1998, 2004 and 2013 for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting hosted here in Colombo.

Queen’s body will be brought down from Scotland to lie in state in Wesminster Hall for four days, from September 14 until 6.30am on the morning of the funeral, to give the public an opportunity to pay their respects.

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