Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his visit to Sri Lanka beginning today is a sign of New Delhi’s strong relationship with Colombo.
"I will be in Sri Lanka for a two-day visit starting today. This will be my second bilateral visit there in two years, a sign of our strong relationship," PM Modi said in a Facebook post.
He will be inaugurating a hospital in Sri Lanka built with Indian assistance.
"During my visit, I will join the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo on May 12, where I will interact with leading Buddhist spiritual leaders, scholars and theologians," the Prime Minister said.
He also said that it was an honour for him to join these celebrations with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Prime Minister emphasised that his visit brings to the fore the "shared heritage of Buddhism" calling it "one of the most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka".
Recalling his last trip to the island country in 2015, Modi said: "I had the opportunity to visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO world heritage site and a leading centre of Buddhism for centuries."
"This time, I will be privileged to pay respect at the revered Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic," he added.
The Prime Minister said that his trip will commence in Colombo with a visit to the Seema Malaka at the Gangaramayya temple where he will take part in the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony.
He will inaugurate the Dickoya Hospital, built with Indian help in an umscale area.
He will interact with the Indian-origin Tamil community there.
(With IANS inputs)