Narendra Modi announces direct Colombo-Varanasi flight
“From August 2017, Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi. This will ease travel of brothers and sisters from Sri Lanka to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Vishwanath,” Modi tweeted. .
The PM, who is on a two-day visit to the island nation said Sri Lanka takes pride in being among the most important nerve centres of Buddhist teachings and learning, and the Vesak Day celebrations “is an occasion for us to celebrate the unbroken shared heritage of Buddhism”.
Taking part in the 14th International Vesak Day celebrations Modi said, “Our relationship is spread across many layers”.
India will continue to be a “friend” of Sri Lanka and will help in its nation building, he said.
Modi highlighted the historic links between India and Sri Lanka and reiterated India’s unwavering support for Sri Lanka’s overall progress.
“I believe we are at a moment of great opportunity in our ties with Sri Lanka. You will find in India a friend and partner that will support your nation-building endeavours.”
Talking on strengthening ties in trade and economy, the PM said, “In trade and investment, we are already significant partners. We believe that trade across borders will be to our mutual benefit. India’s rapid growth will bring dividend to the entire region, especially Sri Lanka."
The two countries will cooperate in transport, energy, agriculture, education, health, power, culture, water, shelter, sports and human resources, he said.
Modi met Prime Sri Lankan Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena, who, he said, “reinforced our interest in common goals”.