Colombo, May 12: Speaking at the International Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Indian-origin Tamil people in the island nation to visit Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, the temple city of Varanasi is PM Modi's parliamentary constituency also.
"From August this year, Air India will operate direct flight between Colombo and Varanasi. It will ease travel to the land of Buddha (Sri Lanka)," said PM Modi.
"My Tamil brothers and sisters will also be able to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Viswanath," he added.
During his address, PM Modi said that he was most grateful to President, PM and people of Sri Lanka for extending him the honour to be the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations.
The PM also spoke about world peace in times of conflict.
"The biggest challenge to sustainable world peace today is not necessarily from conflict between the nation states. It is from the mindsets, thought streams, entities and instruments rooted in the idea of hate and violence," said PM Modi.
"Menace of terrorism in our region is a clear manifestation of this destructive emotion. Sadly, these ideologies of hate and their proponents in our region are not open to dialogue and hence only open to causing death and destruction," PM added.
PM Modi stressed on the need to adopt the teachings of Lord Buddha to end violence.
"I believe that Buddhism's message of peace is the answer to growing arc of violence all over the world."