Narendra Modi Sri Lanka visit: PM lauds spirit of Indian origin Tamils

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New Delhi | Updated: May 12, 2017 7:07:38 PM

PM Narendra Modi's second visit in two years come at a time when China is trying to make inroads in the island nation.

Sri Lanka: PM Narendra Modi meets Sri Lankan leader of opposition R.Sampanthan & his party Tamil National Alliance’s leaders. (ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Colombo on Wednesday on a two-day visit. PM Modi’s second visit in two years come at a time when China is trying to make inroads in the island nation. The visit is mainly aimed at reinforcing the traditional connect between India and Sri Lanka. PM Modi participated in the International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists, today. The Prime Minister said, “biggest challenge to sustainable world peace is from mindsets rooted in hate and violence, and not necessarily from conflict between the nation states.:”

See Pics: PM Modi attends International Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka

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06: 33 PM: PM Narendra Modi has left for New Delhi. This will conclude his two day tour of Sri Lanka.

06: 09 PM: PM Narendra Modi meets Sri Lankan leader of opposition R.Sampanthan & his party Tamil National Alliance’s leaders

2:13 pm: PM Narendra Modi meets leaders of regional Tamil community in Dickoya.

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2:00 pm: I have decided to extend 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service. It is currently operating in western and southern provinces, to all other provinces, says PM Modi.

1:57 pm: Under Indian housing project in Sri Lanka 4000 houses being constructed in up country areas, happy to announce an additional 10,000 houses, says PM Modi

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1:48 PM: The Government and people of India are with you in your journey towards peace and greater prosperity, says PM Modi.

1:46 pm: We have decided to extend 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service, currently operating in Western & Southern Provinces, to all other Provinces, says PM Modi.

1:44 pm: Am aware the Government of Sri Lanka is taking active steps to improve your living conditions including a 5-year National Plan of Action, says the Prime Minister.

1:41 pm: In more recent times, you have gifted to the world one of the finest spinners in cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan, says PM Modi.

1:39 pm: Another national icon of India from later years, Puratchi Thalaivar MGR was born on this very soil, establishing a life-long connection, says PM Modi.

1:37 pm: Diversity calls for celebration and not confrontation. Sinhala and Tamil people and languages existed harmoniously, says PM Modi.

1:35 pm: We need to strengthen, not separate, (these) threads of unity and harmony, says the Prime Minister.

1:33 pm: You and I have something in common, as some you may have heard, I have special association with tea:

1:32 pm: You speak one of the oldest-surviving classical languages in the world. It is a matter of pride that many of you also speak Sinhala, says PM Modi.

1:28 pm: If Sri Lanka today is third largest exporter of tea, it’s because of your handwork: PM addressing Indian origin Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

1:26 pm: We remember your forefathers. Men & women of strong will & courage, who undertook the journey of their life from India to then Ceylon, says PM Modi.

1:23 pm: People the world over are familiar with famous Ceylon Tea that originates in this fertile land, says PM Modi.

1:21 pm: It is a great pleasure to be here today. And, I am most grateful for your warm and enthusiastic welcome, says PM Modi.

1:09 pm: PM Modi to address Indian origin Tamil community shortly, at Norwood Grounds in Dickoya, Sri Lanka.

ANI image

12:42 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Dickoya Hospital, built with Indian assistance.

12:08 pm: PM Modi said direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi will allow “my Tamil brothers and sisters” to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath.

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12:06 pm: At a distance of 10 kilometres from Varanasi, lies Sarnath, one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centres.

12:04 pm: It is believed that after attaining the enlightenment at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, it was in Sarnath that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon, sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Parivartan.

12:02 pm: The direct flights will aid pilgrims from Sri Lanka, a Buddhist-majority country, to visit Sarnath.

12:00 pm: Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is the parliamentary constituency of the prime minister, from where he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

11:57 am: The prime minister lit a lamp – a traditional practice -initiating the UN ‘Vesak Day’ celebrations, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha, as per PTI report.

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11:55 am: Several Buddhist monks chanted prayers during which Modi closed his eyes and kept his hands folded.

11:18 am: Sadly these ideologies of hate and their proponents in our region are not open to dialogue & hence only open to causing death, destruction, says PM Modi.

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11:15 am: On Vesak let us light the lamps of knowledge to move out of darkness; let us look more within & let us uphold nothing else but the truth, says the PM.

11:12 am: It is from the mindsets, thought streams, entities and instruments rooted in the idea of hate and violence, says the PM.

11:11 am: The biggest challenge to Sustainable World Peace today is not necessarily from conflict between the nation states, says PM Modi.

11:10 am: The themes of Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace, chosen for the Vesak day, resonate deeply with Buddha’s teachings, says the PM.

11:09 am: Lord Buddha’s message is as relevant in the twenty first century as it was two and a half millennia ago: PM Narendra Modi.

11:08 am: I believe we are at a moment of great opportunity in our ties with Sri Lanka, says the PM.

11:07 am: My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath, says PM Modi.

11:06 am: I have the great pleasure to announce that from August this year, Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi from August this year, , says PM Modi.

11:05 am: Vesak is an occasion for us to celebrate the unbroken shared heritage of Buddhism, says PM Modi.

11:04 am: Sri Lanka takes pride in being among the most important nerve centres of Buddhist teachings and learning, says the PM.

11:02 am: Buddhism and its various strands are deep seated in our governance, culture and philosophy, says PM

11:01 am: Our region is blessed to have given to the world the invaluable gift of Buddha and his teachings, says PM

11:00 am: I also bring with me the greetings of 1.25 billion people from the land of the Samyaksambuddha, the perfectly self awakened one, says PM Modi.

10:59 am: Grateful to Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and people of Sri Lanka for extending to me the honour to be Chief Guest at Vesak Day, says PM Modi.

10:57 am: PM Modi has begun his speech at International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

10:44 am: Teachings of Buddhism are relevant in today’s world. Buddhism shows a moderate path and need to consolidate social justicem, says Sri Lankan PM.

10:42 am: Proud to host Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo. I want to thank PM Modi for being the Chief Guest during the celebrations, says Sri Lankan PM.

10:22 am: Check out official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Gopal Baglay’s tweet

10:16 am: International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo

9:50 AM: PM Narendra Modi attends International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

(Source: ANI)

9:25 am: The Prime Minister will arrive at the President’s Palace for a lunch hosted by the Sri Lankan President.

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9:10 am: The Prime Minister will also hold a meeting with representatives of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TBC).

8:55 am: PM Modi will meet representatives of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (TBC).

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8:40 am: The Prime Minister will then inaugurate the 15-bed Dickoya Hospital, a base hospital in the same province which has been built with Indian grant.

8:25 am: Prime Minister Modi will also address the Indian origin Tamil community at Norwood Grounds.

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8:10 am: He will also deliver a celebratory address at the Bandarnaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BIMCH) on the occasion of International Vesak Day.

7:52 am: PM Modi will also interact with leading Buddhist spiritual leaders, scholars and theologians,

7:50 am: PM Modi will be attending the International Vesak Day celebrations.

PM Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Srisena had a meeting during which the two leaders are understood to have reviewed the status of the bilateral relations. “Delighted to meet President @MaithripalaS in Colombo,” tweeted the Prime Minister. Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa last night called on PM Modi and praised bilateral cooperation over the years. “Rajapaksa’s talks with Modi was a very cordial discussion and he was happy with India-Lanka cooperation over the years,” Indian High Commissioner Taranjith Singh Sandhu told media.

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