Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined other leaders from South Asia in condoling the death of former Indian premier I K Gujral, describing him as a distinguished leader who was ahead of his times.
In a message of condolence sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Gujral was an outstanding public figure who worked for the well being of Indians and the people of South Asia as a whole.
"Shri Gujral was ahead of his times in a rapidly globalising world," he said.
"Sri Lanka will always remember with gratitude, Shri I K Gujral's contribution towards strengthening India-Sri Lanka relations and regional cooperation," he said in his message.
In his condolence message, Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf recalled the "admirable role" Gujral played in bringing India and Pakistan closer and said the region had lost a noble and distinguished politician.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is sending a senior leader of her party Awami League to represent her at the funeral of Gujral.