Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the International Vesak Day celebrations in the Sri Lankan capital, the biggest festival of Buddhists.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 12, 2017
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that Modi, on his second visit to Sri Lanka in two years, was received by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the venue amid traditional fanfare.
The prime minister, who is the chief guest at the event, lit lamps – a traditional practice. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Srisena was also present on the occasion.
Several Buddhist monks chanted prayers during which Modi closed his eyes and kept his hands folded.
Speaking at the event, Wickremesinghe thanked Modi for being the chief guest at the event.
“Proud to host Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo. I want to thank Prime Minister Modi for being the chief guest during the celebrations,” Wickremesinghe said.
“Teachings of Buddhism are relevant in today’s world. Buddhism shows a moderate path and need to consolidate social justice,” he said.
Later today, Modi will inaugurate a hospital built with India’s assistance of Rs 150 crore.
He will also address Indian-origin Tamils against the backdrop of India’s insistence that Sri Lanka should undertake devolution of power to the ethnic community as part of the reconciliation process.
Modi arrived here yesterday on a two-day visit which is mainly aimed at reinforcing the traditional connect between India and Sri Lanka at a time when China is seeking to make inroads in the island nation