Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday evening, left for a two-day visit to Sri Lanka to attend the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo. Earlier in the day, PTI quoted PM Modi as saying that his visit to the neighbouring country is a sign of a ‘strong relationship’ between the two nations and will also bring to fore the ‘shared heritage of Buddhism’.
During his two-day visit to the neighbouring country, PM Modi will participate in the Vesak Day celebrations which is considered as one of the biggest Buddhists festivals. He will also inaugurate a hospital built with the assistance of India and address the Indian-origin Tamil community. PM Modi will also attend some other programmes during his visit.
Hours before leaving for Sri Lanka, PM Modi took to Facebook and shared a post that said: “I will be in Sri Lanka for a two-day visit starting today, 11th May. This will be my second bilateral visit there in two years, a sign of our strong relationship.”
“During my visit, I will join the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo on 12th May, where I will interact with leading Buddhist spiritual leaders, scholars and theologians. It is my honour to join these celebrations with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” he added further.
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Sanjay Pandya who is the Joint Secretary (Indian Ocean Region), External Affairs Ministry has said that no official talks have been scheduled during PM Modi’s visit to the neighbouring country, however he would be interacting with Sri Lankan leaders there. “We do not envisage any formal talks but he will be interacting with the leaders and review the relationship in its entirety. Nothing is specifically earmarked for discussion during the current visit,” Pandya told reporters.
During his last visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015, both New Delhi and Colombo had signed a pact to boost the economic ties, said PTI. Both Indian and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers had then discussed upon some prominent bilateral issues and matters that are of mutual interest. The pact signed in 2015 also highlights the framework to some crucial infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka where India could invest.