Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India Prasad Kariyawasam this week visited the State of Orissa now known as Odisha, with a view to exploring and reviving ancient links with Orissa region and Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner called upon the Chief Minister and the Governor of the State of Orissa during the visit. At his meeting with Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, the High Commissioner highlighted the ancient links between Sri Lanka and Orissa which was then known as Kalinga. Buddhism and connected civilization was the link between Orissa and Sri Lanka. Historical records describe as to how Buddha’s tooth relics was carried to Sri Lanka by a royal couple from Kalinga. People to people contacts as well as cultural and trade links were vibrant between Sri Lanka and Kalinga during ancient times. In this regard, High Commissioner emphasized that potential now exists for reviving cultural and trade contacts through measures that can benefit both Sri Lanka and Orissa and engendering greater people to people contacts.
During his visit High Commissioner visited Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology with 18,000 undergraduate students, and the Kalinga Institute of Social Studies, where 20,000 indigenous children are provided with a complete education free of charge.
High Commissioner also visited Mahabodhi Temple in Bhubaneswar and the ancient Buddhist sites of Ratnagiri and Udayagiri that reflect ancient Buddhist history of Kalinga and its links with Sri Lanka as well.