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India’s feting of overseas PIOs SL only SAARC nation invited

India’s feting of overseas PIOs SL only SAARC nation invited

Sri Lanka is the only South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) country to be invited for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), which is celebrated today (09).

"We have not sent invitations for the PBD to any SAARC country except Sri Lanka," India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. The MEA further noted that India had invited sitting Parliamentarians of the various Parliaments.

"About 270 persons of Indian descent are sitting in various Parliaments," the MEA added.

About 124 MPs, 17 Mayors of Indian origin from 23 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, South Africa and Canada will participate in the conference.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to address the first Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference scheduled on the PBD. The first PIO-Parliamentary Conference is the government's way of reaching out to the Indian community overseas.

The PBD is celebrated on 9 January every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India and the particular date was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa and led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.

(Ceylon Today)

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