Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the biggest challenge to sustainable world peace is from mindsets rooted in hate and violence, and not necessarily from conflict between the nation states.
He said, he firmly believed that Buddhism’s message of peace was the answer to growing arc of violence all over the world. The prime minister said, India and Sri Lanka will work together to uphold ideals of peace taught by Buddha and strive for peace in the region and beyond.
Speaking as the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, Mr Modi said that the themes of social justice and sustainable world peace, chosen for the Vesak day, resonate deeply with Buddha’s teachings.
The Prime Minister added that the menace of terrorism in our region is a concrete manifestation of this destructive emotion. He said, Buddhist teachings are the true path to free individuals as well as nations from hatred and ignorance.
He said, teachings of Lord Buddha today are as relevant as they have been centuries back.
Mr Modi also announced that Air India would start a direct flight between Colombo and Varanasi from August to make it easier for people of both the countries to visit each other. Varanasi, apart from being on the Buddhist circuit, is also Mr Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.
The Prime minister said, India will continue its development assistance to Sri Lanka in various sectors and would like to see that fruits of fast development in India also reach to Sri Lanka.
Mr Modi informed that Air India will start direct flight between Colombo and Varanasi to ease the travel from August this year.
He expressed belief that free flow of trade, investments, technology, and ideas across the borders will be to both countries’ mutual benefit. He also said India’s rapid growth can bring dividends for the entire region, especially in Sri Lanka.
The Prime Minister later inaugurated a 150 crore rupees super-speciality hospital in Sri Lanka built with India’s assistance in Dickoya. Famous for tea plantation, Dickoya is home to Tamil speaking Indian-origin population.