New Delhi: In a major push to strengthen Buddhist cultural link between India and Sri Lanka, New Delhi has USD 15 million grant to Colombo. The development is the key outcome of Indian Prime Minister Modi and Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapakse’s more than one hour long virtual meet.

Joint secretary Indian ocean region in the ministry of external affairs Amit Narang said, “​Testifying to the long-standing civilizational links and cultural heritage, Prime Minister Modi announced grant assistance of US$15 million for the promotion of Buddhist ties between the two countries. The grant will assist in deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism”

The grant will be used for constructions and renovation of Buddhist cultural sites in the Indian ocean country, archaeological cooperation, the reciprocal study of Lord Buddha’s relics, strengthening of Buddhist scholarship, and supporting the clergy.

India will also facilitate the visit of a delegation of Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka in the first inaugural flight to the Sacred City of Kushinagar.

Recently, in a bid to promote Buddist tourism, Kushinagar Airport was designated as an international airport. Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is the place where it is believed that Buddha attained Parinirvana or death after achieving Nirvana.

India is already engaged in a number of cultural projects in the country including the building of the Jaffna Cultural Centre. In fact, during the virtual summit, PM Mahinda extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to inaugurate the project.

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