India assures safety of Sri Lankans

India says it 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.

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha told the Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters and Mahanayaka Maha Thero of Ramagna Chapter that the recent incidents targeting some Sri Lankan monks in Tamil Nadu were isolated incidents.

He said this while making farewell calls on the high ranking Buddhist monks, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today.

Kantha said 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 and had also 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.

The Most Venerable Mahanayake Theros of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters and Mahanayaka Maha Thero of  Ramagna Chapter appreciated the steps taken by the Government of India to address concerns in this regard and to make appropriate arrangements to provide security for Sri Lankan citizens visiting India, the Indian High Commission said.

High Commissioner Kantha also extended an invitation to Most Venerable Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters and Mahanayaka Maha Thero of Ramagna Chapter to visit India, who blessed him for the role played by him in further strengthening the friendly relationship between India and Sri Lanka and the steps initiated by him to enhance people-to-people interaction between the two countries.

The High Commissioner agreed that the cultural interaction between India and Sri Lanka had been intense, resulting in constant cross-fertilization in the spheres of art, literature, culture and philosophy.

He noted that the successful organization of an exposition of Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka last year, after a gap of 34 years, the visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India in September 2012 to inaugurate the University of Buddhist and Indic Studies at Sanchi and to Bodh Gaya in February this year, the installation of a 16-foot high statue of Lord Buddha in the Sarnath style from Gupta period at the entrance of the International Buddhist Museum, the process underway for setting up an Indian Gallery at the International Buddhist Museum and a series of events organized by the two countries to jointly commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Attainment of Enlightenment by Lord Buddha (Sambuddhatva Jayanthi), stand testimony to the fact that India cherished Buddhism as an important dimension of the common heritage between India and Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)