Colombo, August 8 (newsin.asia): Conveying a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay on Saturday informed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa that India would like Sri Lanka to operate the first international flight to the newly upgraded Kushinagar airport in Uttar Pradesh.
The offer is particularly significant to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist pilgrims since the airport is located near a number of sites sacred to Buddhists.
In June this year, the Indian Government took a decision to declare the Kushinagar airport in Uttar Pradesh an international airport. High Commissioner Baglay further said that Prime Minister Modi is keen on promoting Buddhism, and has placed a “specific focus” on initiating Buddhism-related projects, not only in the area of tourism but also other sectors such as archeology.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa expressed condolences to all those impacted by the Air India aircraft crash that has so far killed 18 people. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister expressed his condolences on Twitter: “I’m shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic plane crash at Kozhikode, Kerala. On behalf of the Government and People of Sri Lanka, I express my deepest condolences to bereaved families and wish the injured a speedy recovery. Our prayers are w/the people of India at this hour of grief.”
In addition to ongoing projects, High Commissioner Baglay said India would also be happy to assist Sri Lanka in areas such as water and sanitation. Prime Minister Rajapaksa said irrigation is another important area on which the two countries can collaborate. Prime Minister Rajapaksa also said he was happy to receive Prime Minister Modi’s call yesterday, even before the final results were declared.
“It was clear as the sunrise,” the High Commissioner said about the election results. “With your blessings, we look forward to moving forward.”
(The picture at the top shows Indian envoy conveying Modi’s suggestion to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa)