India PM arrives in Sri Lanka for UN Buddhist celebration

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Sri Lanka to attend a U.N. celebration of Buddha's birth and hold talks with leaders of the island nation.

Modi was welcomed at the airport Thursday by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Indian leader will participate in the U.N. celebration on Friday, after which he is to travel to the tea-growing hill country to open a hospital built with Indian assistance for the benefit largely of tea plantation workers who were brought from India by British colonial rulers in the 19th century.

He is also scheduled to hold talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and meet ethnic Tamil leaders to discuss political solutions to the decades-long ethnic conflict.