Sydney, Nov 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises visa-on-arrival for tourists from Australia, while addressing Indian Diaspora at Allphones Arena in Olympic Park here on Monday afternoon.
According to reports, over 16,000 members of the Indian diaspora have gathered at Allphones Arena. Big screens have been installed outside the venue, and there is a festive atmosphere prevalent for the people wanting to attend or watch the event.
The Prime Minister dedicated the warm welcome, respect and enthusiasm he received at the Allphones Arena in Olympic Park here to the 1.25 billion people of India.
Modi said: “This welcome; This respect; This enthusiasm I dedicate it to the people of India. These incredible scenes and this massive reception in Sydney will galvanize India.”
In what seemed like a repeat of the rock star reception he received at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York, Prime Minister Modi was greeted by wild applause and cheering from a 16,000 strong-crowd throughout his speech.
Modi said although it takes just one day to come to Australia, it had taken a Prime Minister of India 28 long years to arrive, and promised that it would never happen again.
“Leave at night and you’ll reach Australia in the morning. But it took 28 years for the PM of India to come here. My friends in Australia, I assure you…you won’t have to wait for 28 more years for such a visit to take place,” he pointed out.
He said: “Sydney is a beautiful city. Australia is a beautiful country. Neither Australia nor India can live without cricket. Cricket has joined us, but before that, we had a cultural history that had linked us. Australia and India share common values, democracy.”
He also explained that had it not been for democracy he would not have been present at the Allphones Arena today.
“The world looks at democratic counties with pride. Had it not been for a democracy would I be here? Let’s understand this strength of our democracy,” Prime Minister Modi added.
The Prime Minister also shared that he felt fortunate to be the first Prime Minister of India who was born in independent India, and hence, felt a greater responsibility.
He added: “We must pledge that we will live for the country and we will struggle for the country. We did not get the opportunity to die for the nation or spend our youth in jail. But we can surely live for the nation, that is something that everyone has the opportunity to do.”
The Prime Minister will reach Australian capital Canberra this evening, where he is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbot.
Modi will also address a joint session of the Australian Parliament on Tuesday.
(With Agency Inputs)