Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arrived in Colombo Thursday evening on atwo day visit. He was received at the airport by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramsinghe, and other senior Ministers.
Both Prime Ministers later arrived at the Seema Malaka Temple, where they were received by the Chief Monk of the Temple, among other dignitaries.
The Prime Minister offered flowers at the altar of the Temple. Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Wickramsinghe together pressed a switch for the lamp-lighting ceremony on the eve of Vesak Day, characterised by brilliant multi-coloured lights and a fireworks display.
Before leaving for Sri Lanka, In a post on his Facebook account, the Prime Minister 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.
My visit brings to the fore one of the most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka- the shared heritage of Buddhism.
During my last visit in 2015, I 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.
My visit will commence in Colombo with a visit to the Seema Malaka at the Gangaramayya temple where I will take part in the traditional lamp lighting ceremony.
I will be meeting with President Sirisena, Prime Minister 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.
I will be sharing more from Sri Lanka on social media. You can watch all my programmes in Sri Lanka live on the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App.’”