PM Modi leaves for home after Lanka visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured Sri Lanka that India will continue to provide its full support to the country.

It was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1999 and then Sri Lanka had played a very important role and India too had supported the Sri Lankan initiative.

"Thank you Sri Lanka!"

Earlier in the day, Modi was the chief guest at the inauguration of the UN-recognised 14th International Vesak Day meant to mark the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a public rally in the tea-growing town of Norwood some 80kms east of Colombo on May 12, 2017.

By taking the names of Muralitharan and MGR, Modi tried to bridge the physical gap that divide the Tamil population in Sri Lanka and India.

The move will benefit the large worldwide shipping traffic passing the southern coast of Sri Lanka and will certainly pave the way for blue economy.

In fact, India's business interests in Sri Lanka are being opposed vehemently by Rajapaksa backed politicians and trade unions.

Theme of the Vesak Day is "Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace".

Talking about the sensitive issue of language diversity, Modi said: "There is no better sight than a multilingual society living in peace and harmony".

"India's development cooperation with Sri Lanka amounts to United States dollars 2.6 billion and its aim is to support Sri lanka in realizing peaceful, prosperous and secure future for its people", said Prime Minister Modi.

He hailed the spirit of Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka and announced the construction of additional 10,000 houses in upcountry areas and the extension of the emergency ambulance service. Praising the hard work of the plantation Tamils, he said Ceylon tea is famous the world over but it is less known that the sweat and toil of the Tamils are behind it. Sri Lanka is the third largest exporter of tea globally and earns $1.5 billion as foreign exchange for the country.

He reiterated Indias commitment to the economic prosperity of “our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters”. He is also set to visit Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple (The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic), where he will sign the visitor's book and interact with Mahanayaks.

The Prime Minister arrived in Colombo on Thursday evening for a two-day visit.

Recalling his last trip to the island country in 2015, PM Modi said: "I had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO world heritage site and a leading centre of Buddhism for centuries".

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