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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Sri Lanka, UP to strengthen ties by promoting Ramayana, Buddhist trails

Sri Lanka and Uttar Pradesh are planning to strengthen ties by promoting the Ramayana trail in the island nation and the Buddhist trail in the Indian state through a formal framework.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry in Colombo, the decision was taken following a meeting between Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday in Lucknow.

“The discussions centred on the ancient and strong cultural and religious affinities between Uttar Pradesh and Sri Lanka and the ways to further strengthening them through tourism as well as religious and cultural exchanges,” the statement said.

Wednesday’s talks were a follow up of an initial meeting between the envoy and the Chief Minister in October 2021.

Symbolising the close ties between Buddhism and Hinduism and Uttar Pradesh and Sri Lanka, High Commissioner Moragoda proposed to plant a Bo sapling from island’s southern city of Rumassala in Ayodhya.

According to popular beliefs, Rumassala is part of the mythical Sanjeevani mountain which was carried by Lord Hanuman when he was
assigned to bring a herb of the same name to cure Lord Rama’s brother Lakshman who was severely injured in a battle with Ravana’s son.

During the meeting, two large photographs of Sri Lankan origin were presented to the Chief Ministe to be installed at the Varanasi International Airport, marking the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Indo-Lanka diplomatic relations this year.

The photographs feature two murals painted by the eminent Sri Lankan painter Solias Mendis in the Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara, depicting the arrival of Arahat Mahinda in Sri Lanka from India to delivering the message of the Buddha to King Devanampiyatissa.

The second marks the arrival of Theri Sanghamitta to Sri Lanka, bearing the right-hand branch sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree.

Similar photographs have been installed at the Kushinagar and Ahmedabad airports; the RSS Headquarters in Nagpur; and office of the State Minister of External Affairs and Culture at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.

As part of an ongoing programme to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Indo-Lanka diplomatic relations, action has been initiated to install similar photographs at Bodh Gaya International Airport as well, the High Commission stated.

High Commissioner Moragoda also presented Adityanat, a stone obtained from the stream flowing besides the Seetha Amman Temple in Seetha Eliya (Ashoka Vatika) in Sri Lanka, which is believed to be the site where Sita was held captive By Ravana.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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