May 12, 2017 (LBO) – Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi from August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, speaking at the international Vesak day celebrations in Sri Lanka. “I have the great pleasure to announce that from August this year, Air India will operate direct flights between Colombo and Varanasi,” he said. “My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath.” Varanasi, a major religious hub in India is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Speaking at the main event of the Vesak day celebrations at the BMICH, Modi highlighted that India’s development cooperation with Sri Lanka now amounts to 2.6 billion dollars. “Our conversations with President Sirisena and PM Wickramasinghe have only reinforced our will to join hands in achieving our common goals,” he said. “You make important choices for the harmony and progress of our society you will find in India, a friend who will support your nation building endeavors.
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PM Modi further said that in trade and investment, two countries are already significant partners.
“We believe that free flow of trade, investment, technology and ideas across our borders will be to our mutual benefit.”