A video claiming to depict Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath along with Union Ministers receiving the pious stone on which Sita Mata sat in Ashoka Vatika (Sri Lanka) brought to Ayodhya by Sri Lankan airlines is being widely across social media platforms. Through this article let’s look into the veracity of the assertions attributed to the video.
Claim: Video of Yogi Adityanath along with Union Ministers receiving the pious stone on which Sita Mata sat in Ashoka Vatika (Sri Lanka), brought to Ayodhya by Sri Lankan airlines.
Fact: The viral footage shows Buddhist monks transporting religious relics from Sri Lanka for the inauguration of a new international airport in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, in October 2021. Simultaneously, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda, donated a ‘shila’ (stone) from the Sita Mandir in Ashok Vatika to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. There is a likelihood that this news might have been misconstrued and associated with the aforementioned visuals. Hence the claim made in the post is Misleading.
The viral visuals indeed show Buddhist monks bringing some religious relics from Sri Lanka; however, it is not the pious stone on which Sita Mata sat in Ashoka Vatika as claimed in the viral post but a Buddhist relic. Furthermore, these artifacts were being presented for the inauguration of a new international airport in Kushinagar, not Ayodhya.
A search on Google using pertinent keywords provided us with news articles that depicted scenes similar to viral images (here & here). These reports, dating back to October 2021, described the event as follows: “A Sri Lankan flight was greeted at Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar International Airport on Wednesday. Yogi Adityanath welcomed the Buddha relics at the airport, accompanied by a delegation of 123 Sri Lankan representatives.”
Further search led us to tweets from Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and Kishan Reddy, who posted pictures from the event. In their tweets, the ministers mentioned their participation in a ceremonial reception marking the arrival of the Sacred Buddha Relic from Sri Lanka, coinciding with Ashwin Poornima and Abhidhamma Day at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.
After a six-day period, the relics were returned to Sri Lanka, as reported by the Indian embassy in a Twitter post. The tweet included an image of the Buddha relic, which is being circulated as a stone from the Ashok Vatika.
It is important to highlight that, according to reports, Milinda Moragoda, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, donated a ‘shila’ (stone) from the Sita Mandir in the island country’s Ashok Vatika to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as conveyed by Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra.
This news may have been misunderstood and linked to the visuals in question. Nevertheless, the widely circulated footage depicts the ceremonial reception of the Buddha relic, which was brought for the inauguration of the Kushinagar airport.
To sum it up, the viral visuals depict Buddhist relics transported from Sri Lanka for the inauguration of Kushinagar Airport.