Full text: PM Modi's remarks while jointly inaugurating stadium in Jaffna
India strongly believes that its economic growth must bring benefits to its neighbours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as a stadium in Jaffna renovated by India was jointly inaugurated by him along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
Modi, along with Sirisena, inaugurated the Duraiappah Stadium, named in honour of a former Mayor of Jaffna late Alfred Thambirajah Duraiappah. The stadium, in disuse since 1997, has been renovated by the Indian government at a cost of over Rs.7 crore.
Here's the full text of Modi's speech:
Subah Udesanak Veva, Ayubowan
Last year, in March, I was in Jaffna.
The warmth and affection that I received from the people of Jaffna is still fresh in my mind. It was a historic day because it was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Jaffna.
Today is another landmark day.
When, once again, we celebrate our partnership with the people of Sri Lanka and with residents of Jaffna. Today, along with President Sirisena, we dedicate the renovated Durraiappah Stadium to the people of Sri Lanka.
And, we are not alone. The modern tools of communication have enabled 1.25 billion people of India and the friendly people of Sri Lanka to join us in this celebration.
After a wait of nearly 20 years, your applause and cheer will once again rekindle the soul of Durraiappah Stadium. Even while we are sitting thousands of kilometres away in Delhi, we can feel the pulse of vibrancy and atmosphere of change in Jaffna.
The Durraiappah Stadium is not just brick and mortar. It is a symbol of optimism and economic development. An arena for a prosperous and healthy future for Jaffna's youth.
It demonstrates your determination to shed the legacy of violence and pursue the path of economic progress. Its foundations are supported by your courage and great sacrifices. Its successful completion is a signal that you have left the past behind and are looking to the promise of a prosperous future.
I also salute your visionary leadership and of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe the Governor and the Chief Minister of the Northern Province in ensuring the success of this project.
Our relations are not limited to the confines of our two governments. They reside in the rich contacts of our history, culture, language, art, and geography.
India strongly believes that its economic growth must drive and bring benefit to its neighbours. Durraiappah Stadium embodies the spirit of our cooperation. Indeed, India's support for Sri Lanka's development is a promise of our friendship.
And, that it will be based on your priorities and your needs is an assurance that you can rely on. This is what makes our enduring ties relevant to our present, as also to our future.
India's desire is to see an economically prosperous Sri Lanka. A Sri Lanka where: -unity and integrity; -peace, harmony and security; and -equal opportunity and dignity prevails throughout the country among all its people.
Excellency Sirisena and Friends,
In about seventy-two hours from now, the world would be celebrating the second anniversary of the International day of Yoga on 21 June. Sri Lanka was among the first supporters of the UN resolution on this subject in 2014.
And, today, we have celebrated the start of the International day of Yoga with a curtain raiser from Jaffna, from this Durraiappah Stadium.
The 'Surya Namaskar', performed just a short while ago, has sent the message of holistic healthcare, harmonious and sustainable living with nature to the world. We could not have asked for a more fitting start and tribute to the International Day of Yoga.
Excellency President Sirisena
I once again thank you; the entire leadership present on your side, and the lovely people of Jaffna for this opportunity. Durraiappah Stadium will stand as yet another symbol of our lasting friendship.
India will walk side by side with Sri Lanka as it charts its own path to progress and prosperity for all of its citizens. I once again convey greetings to the people of Sri Lanka from 1.25 billion people of India.
Bohoma Stuti, Mikka Nandri, Thank you very much.
(With PTI, PIB inputs)