- Published on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:51
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Sri Lanka's official delegation comprising Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, State Resources and Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratna and Chief Opposition Whip- UNP MP John Amaratunga will attend the installation ceremony of Pope Francis I, at the vatican today.. They are expected to hand over a special message of greetings from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Pontiff.
Pope Francis is due to be inaugurated in Vatican City Tuesday in front of an expected one million people.
World leaders flew in for Pope Francis's inauguration mass in St Peter's Square on Tuesday where Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the mass laden with rituals and spectacular imagery, which will begin with a tour of the famous Vatican plaza by the Argentine pope after his election last week.
Large crowds are also expected in Buenos Aires in the Pope's native Argentina, where big screens have been erected outside the city's main cathedral.
The Vatican will be in security lockdown for the event, with 3,000 officers deployed including sharpshooters on the rooftops and bomb disposal experts.
Francis will receive from his cardinals the pallium -- a lambswool strip of cloth that symbolises the pope's role as a shepherd -- and the "Fisherman's Ring", a personalised signet ring representing his authority.
The ring is named in honour of St Peter, a fisherman by trade.