Underscoring the strong cultural and historical relationship between India and Sri Lanka, the departing High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha said that the attacks on Buddhist monks in the Tamil Nadu state of India are isolated incidents and did not reflect the strong people-to-people bonds.
The High Commissioner made this point when he visited the Central Province earlier this week to pay farewell calls on the Chief Prelates of the three main Buddhist chapters.
During his visit to Kandy, Kantha paid farewell calls on the Most Venerable Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte Chapter on 22 April and the Most Venerable Mayanayake Thero of Asgiriya Chapter and Mahanayaka Maha Thero of Ramagna Chapter on 23 April, 2013.
Responding to Chief Prelates' concerns about the two unfortunate incidents involving assaults on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu state of India, High Commissioner Kantha underlined that these were isolated incidents and did not reflect the strong people-to-people bonds that have been an integral part of the close historical, cultural and civilizational ties between the two countries.
He also informed that the state government of Tamil Nadu had taken immediate action to identify and prosecute the miscreants responsible for these incidents and that the Government of India, in consultation with the concerned state governments, had taken and would continue to take all possible measures to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Sri Lankan visitors to India, including to Tamil Nadu.
During the meetings, High Commissioner Kantha noted the strong and close bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka and highlighted various developmental projects being implemented in Sri Lanka with Indian grant assistance, especially in Central Province to uplift the standard of living of the estate workers.
He noted that construction work at the 150-bed base hospital at Dickoya, Hatton, was progressing smoothly and that the fully-equipped hospital would be handed over by August/September 2013.
The High Commissioner also paid farewell calls on Governor of Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, and Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake.
The Governor and Chief Minister of Central Province appreciated the Indian government's sustained efforts towards the upliftment of plantation workers in the upcountry areas.
They thanked the Government of India for constructing the 150-bed hospital at Dickoya, setting up three Vocational Training Centres, providing CEWET and Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for higher education and also making available buses for improved access and connectivity in the estate areas.