Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalls days as tea seller during visit to Sri Lanka

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 12, 2017  | 15:56 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalls days as tea seller during visit to Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tried to make an emotional connect with the people of Sri Lanka when the PM said that he has special association with tea.

The Prime Minister, who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka, today addressed Indian origin Tamil community at Norwood Grounds in Dickoya where he said: "You and I have something in common, as some you may have heard, I have special association with tea."

Sri Lanka is the world's third-largest producer of tea. In 1995, it was the world's leading exporter of tea with 23 per cent of the total world export. The Prime Minister was referring to his small time association with tea when he used to work with his father as tea seller.

Prime Minister Modi also praised the effort of Sri Lankan people for record tea production and said: "If Sri Lanka today is third largest exporter of tea, it's because of your handwork."  He also said that people the world over are familiar with famous Ceylon Tea that originates in this fertile land.

Prime Minister underlined Sri Lanka's contribution to the world and said, "In more recent times, you have gifted to the world one of the finest spinners in cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan."

"You kept your bonds with India alive, (I) assure you that India will support Sri Lanka's efforts towards your socio-economic development," he further said.

PM Modi also extended 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service, currently operating in western and southern provinces, to all other provinces. During the visit, he inaugurated the Dickoya Hospital which was built with Indian assistance.

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