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PM Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka in May

21 April 2017

Yesterday, Sri Lanka's Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had informed that PM Modi will make his second visit to the country in the second week of May.

Modi will visit Sri Lanka in the second week of next month, mainly to participate in the celebrations marking the UN "Vesak Day", the most important in the Buddhist calendar.

The two sides will also hold discussions on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), a version of the free trade agreement, and will be taken forward during Mr. Modi's visit for International Vesak Day, the annual Buddhist festival on May 12, officials told The Hindu.

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PM Modi will visit Germany towards the end of May for inter-Government consultations with the German leadership. In March 2015, he came to Sri Lanka, marking the first bilateral visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Sri Lanka in almost three decades. The inauguration ceremony in Colombo will be attended by Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Modi and a host of other national and worldwide delegates. It also pointed to renewed Indo-Lanka ties following a change in leadership here.

It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha passes away in his 80th year.

In 1990, the UN General Assembly declared an International Day of Observance for Vesak following a request made by the then Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was later killed by the LTTE terrorists.

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This year's celebration, with the theme "Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace", will be marked through a series of programs from May 12-14, in which leaders from the region are expected to participate.

After Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister will be travelling to St Petersburg in Russian Federation to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) to be held from June 1-3.

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PM Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka in May