Sri Lanka and India poised for quantum jump in partnership: Modi
May 12, 2017 12:25 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka and India is poised for a 'quantum jump' in relations with expanded exchanges and connectivity and co-operation in transport and energy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
"We are committed to the economic prosperity of our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters," Modi told an international conference in Colombo marking Vesak, the birth, enlightenment and death of The Buddha.
"In infrastructure and connectivity in transport and energy we are posed to scale up our co-operation."
Sri Lanka has invited India to invest in the North Eastern Trincomalee port as part of efforts to counter-balance Chinas investments in the South of the country.
Indian firms have already bid with Sri Lankan consortia to build a container terminal in Colombo. A growing volume of Indian international trade is routed through Colombo.
Sri Lanka and India had an opportunity achieve 'quantum jump' in the bilateral relations, Prime Minister Modi said.
"We believe that free flow of trade, investments, technology and ideas across our borders will be to our mutual benefit," he said.
"India's rapid growth can bring dividends to the entire region, especially to Sri Lanka."
Air India will soon start direct flight to between Colombo and Varanasi allowing Sri Lankan Buddhists to visit locations of importance in the areas, he said.
Tamil speaking Hindus would also have the same opportunity to visit Hindu places of worship there, he said.
Sri Lanka is part of Indianized Hindu-Buddhist cultures that spread with increasing Indian influence and colonization from, Burma to Thailand, Vietnam and as far as Indonesia and beyond.
Sri Lanka is an important repository of Buddhism which originated in India, he said.
India has also benefitted from revival of Buddhism by Sri Lankan activists, Modi said.
In addition to Varanasi tens of thousands of Sri Lankans travel to places like the Bodh Gaya Temple in India, perhaps the most popular destination for pilgrims following a religious revival that occurred during the British period. Sri Lankans are also involved in preserving the site.
Bodh Gaya Temple came to the limelight after Sir Alexander Cunningham, a British officer, who later headed the Archaeological Survey of India, restored the site in 1880. (Colombo/May12/2017)