Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Sri Lanka on May 11 to attend the biggest Buddhist festival, ‘Vesak Day’. The ‘International Day of Vesak’ celebrations, to be held in Colombo from May 12 to 14, will include an International Buddhist Conference in which over 400 delegates from more than 100 countries will participate. Vesak, the most important day in the Buddhist calendar, marks commemoration of Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away.
During the two-day trip, his second to Sri Lanka since becoming the Prime Minister, Modi is also likely to visit Kandy in the Central Province which is famous for production of Ceylon Tea, officials said here today. In the Central Province, the Prime Minister is expected to address the tea garden workers, the officials said. He is also expected to visit some Buddhist temples.
Nearly 6,000 police officers will be deployed by the host country as part of special security for Modi, according to the Sri Lankan media reports. Modi had travelled to Sri Lanka earlier in 2015. The visit to Sri Lanka comes close on the heels of a trip by his counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe here. During that visit, the two countries signed a pact to boost economic ties as Modi and Wickremesinghe discussed a range of bilateral issues and matters of mutual interest.
The pact provides a framework to identify the infrastructure projects where India can invest. Modi had stressed on India’s commitment to promoting prosperity in the neighbourhood and affirmed the continued support for realising the vision of the Sri Lankan leadership for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.