Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Sri Lanka’s Minister for Justice and Buddhasasana, on 19 April 2017 announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the UN Vesak Day. PM Modi will inaugurate UN Vesak Day on 12 May 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In addition, Modi will also hold meetings with the Sri Lankan leadership. The two nations will discuss key issues, including the Palk Bay fisheries conflict, apart from finalising development cooperation agreements. It will be Modi’s second official visit to Sri Lanka. In March 2015, he made the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the island nation in nearly three decades.
Vesak Day is also known as Buddha Poornima. It is a traditional holiday commemorated by Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhists. In the year 623 B.C., the Buddha was born on the Day of Vesak. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha passes away in his 80th year. The UN General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized internationally the Day of Vesak to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism. The theme of the 2017 Vesak Day is Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace.