Written by Bella Dalima
14 Mar, 2015 | 8:19 pm
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two day official visit to Sri Lanka, began the second day of his visit on Saturday by paying homage to religious and sacred sites in the country in the morning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years. In all his addresses made during official ceremonies held on Friday, Modi stressed on the importance of Buddhism and its effects on the betterment of society.
Thereby, Indian Prime Minister Modi commenced Saturday by paying homage to the Jaya Sri Mahabodi in Anuradhapura. A group including President Maithripala Sirisena and other public representatives were present at the occasion. Atamasthanadhipathi, Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero and the Maha Sangha invoked blessings on the heads of states at the premises of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
Prime Minister Modi then paid homage to the Ruwanveli Maha Seya despite the bad weather experienced in the area. The two leaders who arrived at the Ruwanweli Maha Seya received the blessings of its Chief Incumbent Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Thero.
Prime Minister Modi made history once again, to become the first Indian Head of State to tour the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. He is also only the second foreign head of state to visit the North, the first being British Prime Minister David Cameron.
A train service, which renewed ties between the North and South of the country, took another step forward under the auspices of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A 63-kilometre rail track from Talaimannar to Madu, with six railway stations and three sub-railway stations on its route, were constructed with funds from India amounting to 149.7 million US dollars.
Prime Minister Modi also inspected the Jaffna Public Library today. During this visit, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stated that he is pleased to be the first Indian Prime Minister to have visited the North.
“Friendship, co-existence and commitment is essential in order to progress in the development of a country. India will assist Sri Lanka in all of its development programmes,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi then vested the newly constructed housing project in the Ilawalai area in the presence of a large public gathering. These houses were constructed with funds from India, for those who were displaced by the conflict.
Although he has visited many countries around the world, Prime Minister Modi said, the bond between India and the people of Sri Lanka is incomparable with any other nation. Issuing a communique, the Presidential Media Unit said that Prime Minister Modi made this statement at a state banquet hosted by President Maithripala Sirisena last night in honour of the visiting premier last night.
Prime Minister had stated that he is thankful to the president and people of Sri Lanka for the warm welcome and hospitality that he has received. The Presidential Media Unit’s communique reads that the Indian Premier had assured his utmost commitment to strengthen the friendship, mutual understanding and trust between the two countries.
A group including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva were present for the occasion.
Meanwhile, a special tea reception was also hosted for the visiting Indian Prime Minister in Parliament on Friday. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in a cordial discussion with members of the government and opposition.
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