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Sunday, 19 June 2016

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Thuraiappah Stadium - symbol of optimism and economic development


President Maithripala Sirisena exchanging pleasantries with Northern Chief Miniter C.V. Wigneshwaran at the commissioning of the renovated Thuraiappah Stadium in Jaffna. Pic: Sudath Malaweera

Although extremists were trying to create a wrong picture regarding the cordial relations between Sri Lanka and India, the mutual understanding between the two countries had paved the way for regional cooperation, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday in Jaffna.

He was participating in a landmark occasion, where Indian Premier Narendra Modi in New Delhi joined hands with President Maithripala Sirisena to unveil the plaque electronically to commission the renovated Thuraiappah stadium in Jaffna. President Sirisena said trade, economic and cultural relationships between the two countries were vital for Sri Lanka.

He said events of this nature were paramount for the two countries to boost bilateral relations and praised the Indian government's move to renovate the Thuraiappah Stadium for the benefit of the people of Jaffna.

Besides, Sri Lanka had received Indian assistance on many occasions. Sri Lanka received Indian assistance to eradicate terrorism, he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering from New Delhi through Video Conferencing Technology.

President Maithripala Sirisena said sports paved the way not only for a healthy lifestyle but also to strengthen ethnic harmony and the renovated Thuraiappah stadium is undoubtedly considered as a place for ethnic harmony and coexistence, since sports created strong bonds between each other, especially between ethnic groups.

"When considering sports, there is no ethnic or religious barrier," he said.

Addressing the garthering via video conferencing, the Indian Premier Modi said India will walk side by side with Sri Lanka as it charts its own path to progress and prosperity for all of its citizens.

The Indian premier said the Thuraiappah Stadium was not just brick and mortar but a symbol of optimism and economic development.

He added that Indo-Sri Lanka relations were not limited or confined to two governments.

But reside in the rich contacts of history, culture, language, art, and geography. "India strongly believes that its economic growth must drive and bring benefit to its neighbours," he said.

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