Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in Sri Lanka for his two-day visit to the island nation. During his visit, Modi will participate in the International Vesak Day celebrations, the biggest festival of Buddhists, and will also address the Indian-origin Tamil community.
“This will be my second bilateral visit there in two years, a sign of our strong relationship,” he said in a Facebook post prior to his departure.
“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,” Modi wrote.
Colombo: PM Narendra Modi arrives in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit, recieved by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe pic.twitter.com/MWBnAUbKNg
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 11, 2017
The prime minister said it was an honour for him to join the celebrations with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “My visit brings to the fore one of the most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka – the shared heritage of Buddhism,” Modi said.
Recalling his previous visit in 2015, Modi said that he had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO world heritage site and a leading centre of Buddhism for centuries.
“This time, I will be privileged to pay respect at the revered Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic,” he said.
Modi said his trip will commence in Colombo with a visit to the Seema Malaka at the Gangaramayya temple where he will take part in the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony. He will be meeting with Sirisena, Wickremesinghe and other eminent dignitaries.
“I will also visit the up country region of Sri Lanka where I will inaugurate the Dickoya Hospital that has been built with Indian assistance, and have an interaction with the Indian-origin Tamil community,” Modi said.