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Modi visits Temple of Tooth in Sri Lanka

Modi visits Temple of Tooth in Sri Lanka

Modi arrived in Colombo on Thursday on a two-day visit at the invitation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

He hailed the Indian-origin Tamils, many of them tea plantion workers, saying, "You are that indispensable backbone of the thriving Sri Lankan tea industry that justly prides itself on its success and global reach today". Bridging the geographical distance between the two communities, he thanked them for gifting Sri Lankan fast bowler Muttiah Muralitharan to the world and national icon "Puratchi Thalaivar" MG Ramachandran, the Kandy-born actor and politician of Tamil Nadu.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry today parried questions on reports that Sri Lanka has rejected China's request for its submarine to dock at Colombo next week after a similar visit in 2014 triggered a strong protest from India. "I want to thank Prime Minister Modi for being the chief guest during the celebrations", Wickremesinghe said.

Making Lord Buddha and his ideals the central theme of his charming address at the inauguration of the International Vesak Day - the biggest Buddhist festival, Modi called on India and Sri Lanka to uphold those ideals and promote values of peace, inclusiveness and compassion in policies and conduct. The visit and the agenda is mainly to re-emphasise the traditional connect between India and Sri Lanka, particularly in the context of Buddhism, which is a shared heritage.

"What I can say is that China and Sri Lanka have always had a tradition of friendly relations", Geng told reporters.

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Speaking about his origins, PM Modi said he hails from the land of Gujarat from where Mahatma Gandhi also came. "We will continue to invest in driving positive change and economic growth to deepen our development co-operation".

India's rival China also has been courting Sri Lanka with trade deals. "Language is not just a tool of communication but it also unifies cultures and people", he said. "We will never forget leaders like Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman, who worked hard your upliftment and economic prosperity", Mr. Modi said, referring to the late iconic leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress.

It is also seen an attempt to build confidence among Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese Buddhists who have viewed India with suspicion over its interest in resolving a decades-old conflict with minority Tamils.

Speculations swirl about the Indian PM's impromptu meeting with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa Fri, May 12, 2017, 08:48 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Modi was hailed by a mammoth crowd when he referred to their leaders like Saumiyamurthy Thondaman and appreciated their bid to keep the social fabric of the attractive nation intact.


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