India is organising an international conference on Buddhism in Kandy in March to commemorate the 2600th year of Buddha’s enlightenment.
The upcoming conference and the commissioning of an Indian gallery, including a 16-feet high statue of Lord Buddha, for the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy came up for discussion during a meeting between visiting Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar and President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday.
"In this context, she noted the concurrence of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to arrange an exposition later this year of the sacred Kapilvastu relics in Sri Lanka, following a request that had been made personally to him by the President of Sri Lanka,’’ a statement from High Commission of India said.
It was also agreed that the two sides would promote parliamentary exchanges, especially between young parliamentarians. Meira Kumar said that she looked forward to the visit to India in the near future of a Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation led by Sri Lankan Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa welcomed these initiatives and also referred to the various developmental activities being undertaken by India in Sri Lanka such as the housing project and the rehabilitation of the railway network in the north, the statement said.
The Lok Sabha Speaker is in Colombo as the guest of honour at the 3rd Asian Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), which began on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, following the inaugural session of the conference, Kumar paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Hon’ble DM Jayaratne.
Foreign minister, GL Peiris hosted her for breakfast on Saturday. The two sides discussed matters of bilateral interest as well as major areas of economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. Kumar conveyed to Peiris that there was a strong national consensus in India in favour of a very close partnership with Sri Lanka.