Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressing the media in Sri Lanka assured India's support in it's nation-building efforts, saying that New Delhi will be a friend and a partner, amid China's raiding in the Indian Ocean country.
On the International Vesak Day- the biggest Buddhist festival, PM Modi made his ideas the central theme of his charming address calling on India and Sri Lanka to uphold those ideas and promote values of peace, inclusiveness and compassion in policies and conduct.
"Our religion is blessed to have given to the world the invaluable gift of Buddha and his teachings," he said pointing the significance of the "shared heritage" between the two peoples.
Modi said that India and Sri Lanka have a great moment of opportunity in their relationship. He explained how Sri Lanka contributed to revive Buddhism in India, he said, "you took us back to our roots."
"The friendship between Sri Lanka and India was etched in time by the 'Great Master'… As close neighbors, our relationship spreads across many layers. It draws its strength as much tough our interconncted values of Buddhism as it does from the limitless possibilities of our shared future. Ours is a friendship that lives in the heart f our people and in the fabric of our societies," he said.
He also assured that India's commitment to the economic prosperity of "our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters". "We will continue to invest in positive change and economic growth to deepen our development cooperation."
"You will find in India a friend and partner that will support your nation-building endeavors," he said.
"We believe that free flow of trade, investments, technology and ideas across our borders will be to our mutual benefit. India's rapid growth can bring dividends for the entire region, especially in Sri Lanka," he said.
Modi, however said, " In infrastructure and connectivity, transport and energy, we are poised to scale up our cooperation."
The prime minister stressed that the social and economic well being of the Sri Lankan people is linked with that of 1.25 billion Indians. "Because, weather it is on land or in the waters of the Indian Ocean, the security of our socities in indivisible.
India and Sri Lanka are currently in talks to jointly operate oil tanks at the strategic Trincomalee port. A deal in this regard is yet to be announced and some worker's union and opposition parties have protest against any such agreement with India.
His remarks about the Indian Ocean and security assume significance as the Chinese strive to make inroads into the Island-nation. Sri Lanka is finalizing a paln to lease 80 per cent of its Hambantota port to China for 99 years.
Yesterday, a op Sri Lankan defence official confirmed that Chinese and requested to dock its submarine at the two Colombo harbor nest week but the Country refused the permission.
Talking about the Tamil worker of the tea industry, he said that India will fully support "active steps" of the country to improve living conditions of Tamil central Lanka.
He said that the people of both the countries need to strengthen , not separate, the threads of unity and harmony.
"Diversity calls all the people of the two countries and not confrontation. Sinhala and Tamil people and languages existed harmoniously, he said.
The prime minister also managed to add his famous election programme 'Chai pe Charcha' in his addressing, saying it "is mark of deep respect for dignity and integrity of honest labour."