Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated a hospital in Dickoya in Central Province of Sri Lanka, built with Indian assistance.
A large number of people lined the roadside, to welcome Prime Minister Modi, who later addressed a large gathering of Indian Origin Tamils at Norwood, in the presence of the Sri Lankan President, Lankan Prime Minister, and a large number of community leaders.
During his address, the Prime Minister spoke of the contributions of the Indian Origin Tamil community to Sri Lanka, and the long shared heritage between India and Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister also met representatives of the Ceylon Workers Congress, and the Tamil Progressive Alliance.
Click here for key excerpts from the Prime Minister’s address to an estimated audience of about 30,000 people, mostly Indian Origin Tamils, in Central Sri Lanka
International Vesak Day Ceremony
Modi also addressed the Opening Ceremony of the International Vesak Day Celebrations at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.
The Prime Minister was greeted on arrival at the venue by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. Ceremonial Drummers and Traditional Dancers welcomed Prime Minister Modi, who lit a ceremonial lamp at the entrance of the auditorium.
The function began with the recital of the 5 Buddhist precepts. The welcome speech was delivered by Mr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, Sri Lankan Minister for Buddha Sasana and Justice.
“For us in Sri Lanka, you are one of us, he said, addressing Shri Narendra Modi.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said it is a matter of great fortune, that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is present here today. He spoke of the ancient ties between the two nations, and said that Prime Minister Modi’s presence at the Vesak Day event today is of great significance, and will be taken note of, by the entire world. He brings a message of friendship and peace, the President added.
Prime Minister Modi, in his address, described Vesak as the most sacred of days, when humanity reveres the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Lord Buddha. He added that it is a day to reflect on the supreme truth and timeless relevance of Dhamma, and the four noble truths.
The Prime Minister said he was grateful to President Maithripala Sirisena Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, and the people of Sri Lanka, for inviting him as the Chief Guest at the International Vesak Day festivities in Colombo.
“On this auspicious occasion, I also bring with me the greetings of 1.25 billion people from the land of the Samyak-sambuddha, the perfectly self awakened one,” the Prime Minister said.
Click here for Key excerpts from the Prime Minister’s Vesak Day celebration speech