India to commission art gallery, Buddha statue in Lanka



New Delhi: India will hold an international conference in Sri Lanka in March to observe the 2600th year of the enlightenment of Lord Buddha and also commission an art gallery and a 16-feet high Buddha statue there.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Saturday informed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa about India's plans to organise an exposition of the sacred Kapilavastu relics and undertaking other activities in that country this year.

The seminar will be held in Kandy next month, a Lok Sabha Secretariat release said. India is also commissioning a gallery, including a 16-feet high statue of Lord Buddha, for the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy.

Kumar is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka as a guest of honour in the third Asian Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

While interacting with Rajapaksa, the Speaker also said that she is looking forward to a visit by the Sri Lankan parliamentarians to India.

Rajapaksa welcomed the Indian developmental activities in Sri Lanka and agreed that the two sides should promote parliamentary exchanges.

On Saturday, Kumar also called on Sri Lankan Prime Minister D M Jayaratne and discussed matters of bilateral interest with G L Peiris, the Lankan External Affairs Minister.

PTI