Modi, Sirisena inaugurate Jaffna stadium, renovated by India
The Duraiappah Stadium has a seating capacity of 1,850 and will provide the necessary infrastructure to promote sports and recreational activities, and assist the overall development of the youth of the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. Photograph: (Getty)
While Sirisena was present at the Duraiappah Stadium for the inauguration, Modi, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar joined the event through video-conferencing from New Delhi.
The stadium, which is named after former Mayor of Jaffna, late Alfred Thambirajah Duraiappah, has been renovated by India at a cost of over $1,043,646.80.
Modi said that the stadium embodied the spirit of cooperation between the two countries.
"Our relations are not limited to the confines of our two governments. They reside in the rich context of our history, culture, language, art and geography. India strongly believes that economic growth must drive and bring benefits to its neighbours. Duraiappah Stadium embodies the spirit of our cooperation," said Modi.
Stating that India desired to see an economically prosperous Sri Lanka with unity and integrity, Modi said that New Delhi would walk side by side with Colombo in its path to progress.
Meanwhile, Sirisena lauded India's "fullest" cooperation in its development process.
"I have to mention here specifically that Indian government has been extending fullest cooperation for the development of Sri Lanka for quite a long period," Sirisena said.
The Duraiappah Stadium has a seating capacity of 1,850 and will provide the necessary infrastructure to promote sports and recreational activities, and assist the overall development of the youth of the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. The stadium has not been in use since 1997.
The renovated stadium will provide the necessary infrastructure to promote sports and recreation activities and benefit more than 50 thousand students from different schools and educational institutions in the northern province.
Modi and Sirisena also witnessed the first major event at the renovated stadium which was the celebration of the second International Day of Yoga.
While 8,000 people performed yoga on the ground, around 1500 to 1800 people watched the event from the stands.