New Delhi, May 16
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his one-day visit to Nepal on Monday, said the ever-stronger friendship between India and the Himalayan nation and their closeness will benefit entire humanity in the emerging global situation. He described the ties between the two neighbors as “unshakeable like the Himalayas”.
Modi visited Nepal at the invitation of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. He started his day in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, visiting the Mayadevi Temple with Deuba and paying homage to the Marker Stone, which “identifies” the exact birthplace of Buddha.
Addressing the International Buddhist Conference, Prime Minister Modi said, “Common heritage, culture, faith and love are our greatest assets. And the richer this capital is, the more effectively we can bring Lord Buddha’s message to the world.
He said the two countries would work to resolve global issues with Buddha’s ideologies. The Prime Minister also referred to the Hindu culture which “links” India and Nepal. “Our Ram is also incomplete without Nepal. I know that today when a great temple of Lord Shri Ram is being built in India, the people of Nepal are equally happy,” he said.
The Prime Minister also participated in the stone laying ceremony of the Indian International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini Monastic Area.
He then held bilateral talks with Deuba, after which they signed four memorandums of understanding and two agreements. Three of the MoUs were between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Nepalese universities and the fourth between IIT Madras and Kathmandu University. There was also a university-level letter of agreement. An agreement between SJVN Ltd and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for the development and implementation of the Arun 4 project has also been signed.
Six inked pacts
- Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Lumbini Buddhist University on Dr. Ambedkar’s Chair; other universities on the Indian Studies Chair of the ICCR
- Kathmandu University and IIT-Madras for Joint Degree Program at Masters Level
- Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Nepal Electricity Authority for the development of the Arun-4 project
Airport built in China in Lumbini
- After Prime Minister Modi’s departure, Deuba opened a Chinese-built airport in Lumbini.
- $76 million project financed by the AfDB and the OPEC Fund for International Development.
- Deuba calls it a historic day in the aviation and tourism sectors.