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.
Speaking as the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, the prime minister said that the themes of social justice and sustainable world peace, chosen for the Vesak day, resonate deeply with Buddha’s teachings.
Speaking in the presence of Lankan President Maithripala Srisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, diplomats, politicians and several Buddhist leaders from across the world, Mr Modi added that the menace of terrorism in our region is a concrete manifestation of this destructive emotion.
The Prime Minister said, Lord Buddha’s message is as relevant in the 21st century as it was two and a half millennia ago. Our region is blessed to have given to the world the invaluable gift of Buddha and his teachings, he said, adding that Buddhism and its various strands are deep seated in our governance, culture and philosophy.
Earlier, the prime minister lit a traditional lamp initiating the UN ‘Vesak Day’ celebrations, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. Several Buddhist monks chanted prayers on the occassion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he firmly believed that Buddhism’s message of peace was the answer to growing arc of violence all over the world.
He 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.
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.