Prime Minister Narendra Modi has concluded his two-day visit to Sri Lanka today. He participated in the International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists. He also joined celebrations along with the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He inaugurated the Dickoya Hospital that has been built with Indian's assistance and visited Sri Lanka's Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple. He also addressed Indian-origin Tamils against the backdrop of India's insistence that Sri Lanka should undertake devolution of power to the ethnic community as part of the reconciliation process. Yesterday, he visited the Seema Malaka at the Gangaramayya temple where he took part in the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony. This is PM Narendra Modi's second bilateral visit to Sri Lanka in two years. His visit is aimed toward reinforcing the traditional connect between India and Sri Lanka at a time when China is seeking to make inroads in the island nation.
Here are the live updates of PM Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Addressing Sri Lankans In Dickoya
It is a great pleasure to be here today. I am most gratueful for your warm and enthusiastic welcome.
You and I have something in common. Some of you may have heard - I have a special association with tea.
People all over the world are familiar with the famous Ceylon tea that originated on this fertile land.
We remember your forefathers. Men and women of strong will and courage, who undertook the journey of their life from India to then-Ceylon.
You speak one of the oldest surviving classic languages in the world. It is a matter of pride that many of you speak Sinhala.
We need to strengthen and not separate the threads of unity and harmony.
PM Narendra Modi Addressing Sri Lankans On Occasion Of Vesak Day
Our key national symbols, such as the wheel - chakra - is taken from Buddhism.
Today, Sri Lanka takes pride in being one of the most important centres of Buddhism.
Though Buddhism started and spread from India, Sri Lanka has preserved some of its most sacred teachings. You have taken us back to our roots.
Mahindra and Sanghamitra, the children of Emperor Ashoka, made their journey from India to Sri Lanka to spread the biggest gift of Dhamma.
We will start a direct flight between Varanasi and Colombo.
My Tamil brothers and sisters will be able to visit the Kashi Vishwanath.
We are committed to the progress and success of Sri Lanka. Our strength lies in sharing our knowledge and prosperity.
Free flow of trade, technology and ideas will benefit us mutually.
We share important goals in infrastructure, connectivity, transport and energy.
My decision with the Sri Lankan President Sirisena and PM Wickeremesinghe has only strengthened our relationship to stand together as partners.
The path shown by Lord Buddha speaks to us all. It has been a unifying force among nations.
The themes of social justice and sustainable world peace, chosen for Vesak Day, resonate deeply with Lord Buddha's teachings.
The biggest challenge to sustainable world peace today is not necessarily from conflict between the nation states.
It is from the mindsets, thought stems, entities and instruments rooted in the idea of hate and violence.
You will find in India, a friend and partner that will support your nation-building endeavors.
On Vesak Day, let us light the lamps of knowledge to move out of darkness; let us look more within and let us uphold nothing else but the truth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka
PM Modi is the Chief Guest of the International Vesak Day in Sri Lanka. He is attending the celebrations of the Buddhist event with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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