India-Sri Lanka ties getting stronger and stronger, says Modi; India to promote Buddhist tourism

India-Sri Lanka ties are getting stronger and stronger across different sectors and this augurs well for the people of the two nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after meeting Sri Lankan Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa

Oct 21, 2021
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India-Sri Lanka ties getting stronger and stronger

India-Sri Lanka ties are getting stronger and stronger across different sectors and this augurs well for the people of the two nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after meeting Sri Lankan Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa. The two met in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar where the prime minister inaugurated an international airport.

In a tweet, Rajapaksa, the son of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the greatest gift Sri Lanka received from India is Buddhism.

"We have always shared a close relationship between our nations and our people! It is the vision of HE President @GotabayaR & HE PM @narendramodi to strengthen this bond between our nations & our people," Rajapaksa said.

Tourism between the two countries has always been very “robust,” the minister further said, adding that Indians, in large numbers, visit his country too. “We also have Sri Lankans coming to different places in India, especially Varanasi, Prime Minister's (Narendra Modi) constituency. Now we believe that opening up Kushinagar will increase the number of travellers from Sri Lanka, and also those from all over the world, especially the Buddhists,” Rajapaksa was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying. 

During his meeting with Modi, Rajapaksa also handed over the first copy of the English, Sinhala and Tamil translations of the Bhagavad Gita to the prime minister.
 
"The translation of the sacred text was commissioned by HE @PresRajapaksa as a symbol of our people to people friendship and our cultural similarities," the Lankan minister tweeted.

Responding to Rajapaksa's tweet, PM Modi said, "Happy to have met you in Kushinagar, @RajapaksaNamal. India-Sri Lanka ties are getting stronger and stronger across different sectors. This augurs well for the people of our nations."

After receiving the Bhagavad Gita copies, Modi said, "This is a great initiative undertaken by my friend, @PresRajapaksa (President Gotabaya Rajapaksa). The teachings of Lord Buddha unite our nations and make our planet better."

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla greeted the Sri Lankan delegation which has over 100 Buddhist monks and dignitaries, carrying the Holy Buddha Relics for exposition.

 Modi inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh earlier Wednesday and said a slew of measures were being taken not only to boost the country's aviation sector but boost Buddhist tourism.