Sri Lankan PM inaugurates Buddhist centre at Sanchi

by Indo Asian News Service, October 31, 2009

Bhopal, India -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnashri Wickramanayake Saturday said ties between India and his country are growing stronger after he inaugurated a Buddhist prayer centre at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh.

‘The center has been set up for the convenience of Buddhist pilgrims who come here in ample numbers and this will further strengthen ties between India and Sri Lanka,’ said Wickramanayake.

The three-storey prayer centre has been built on an area of 1,200 square meters.

Sanchi, a world heritage site in Raisen district, is known for Buddhist stupas. The biggest one is called the Great Stupa and it is believed that the relics of Buddha were buried inside this stupa by King Ashoka.

Wickramanayake also thanked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for announcing that the state government would provide land for a Buddhist university in Sanchi.

‘Funds for building the university will come from the Sri Lankan government while the role of the Madhya Pradesh government will be limited to providing land,’ said Wickramanayake.

The chief minister said that ’strong relations exist between India and Sri Lanka and the cultural, spiritual, religious and historical relations between the two countries were improving further.’