Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 20 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shrigla has said that Buddhism is civilisational between India and many South Asian nations, underlining the presence of multiple countries' ambassadors at the inaugurations of the Kushinagar International airport here on Wednesday.
"We have ambassadors from Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and also south-east Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, Mongolia, Japan," Shringla said while speaking to ANI here.
"They have come because it is very important for them and their countries that this medium of Buddhism is a bridge between our countries. It is a civilisation link between our countries," he added.
Shringla with several envoys visited the Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, paying respects at the site of Lord Buddha's cremation.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a tweet: "Buddha's message is for the whole world, Buddha's Dhamma is for humanity! Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla with members of the diplomatic corps visited the Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, paying respects at the site of Lord Buddha's cremation."
Underlining that today is Abhidhamma day, Shringla said that it is a very auspicious day. "A day is when Lord Buddha returned back to Earth, according to Buddhists belief."
"And from that point of view nearly 100 monks have come from Sri Lanka all the way," he added.
Shringla emphasised that they have come to be present on this occasion and are led by senior cabinet minister Namal Rajapaksa.
"There are other ministers who came from Sri Lanka for this special occasion," the secretary added.
"When the Namal Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he presented him a copy of Bhagwat Gita in the Sinhala language, in which his father Mahinda Rajapaksa, the prime minister of Sri Lanka, has written a personal message to PM Modi," Shringla informed.
"So that is also very important. That, he has seen the occasion as very important. The links between India and Sri Lanka are through the medium of Buddhism but also through Hinduism," he added. (ANI)