The friendship between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is founded on historical bonds, and social, cultural, and linguistic linkages between the two peoples. The root of this special relation dates back to the beginning of Sri Lankan history with the legendary migration of King Vijaya from Bengal to Sri Lanka along with his 700 followers about 2500 years ago.
Common Buddhist history and heritage of the two countries forms a strong foundation of friendship and amity between the two peoples. Buddhists in both countries follow Theravada Buddhism. The hair relics of Lord Buddha, enshrined in a Buddhist Monastery in Chittagong, were handed over on the 18 July 2007 in a ceremony to then Foreign Minister Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama along with other four Ministers of Sri Lanka as a goodwill donation from Bangladesh. Again, on 20 April 2011, another portion of hair relics of Lord Buddha was presented by Bangladesh to the Sri Lanka through the then President of Sri Lanka Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Bangladesh recently completed work on the the decoration of the Bangladesh Gallery of the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy of Sri Lanka.
In the recent history, the common traditions of the Commonwealth have also consolidated the affinity and kinship between the peoples of the two countries.
People-to-people contact has naturally been the mainstay of the bilateral relations between the two countries. About five hundred Sri Lankan students study in medical and dental colleges of Bangladesh. About two hundred Bangladesh Buddhist monks study in Pirivenas (monastic colleges) of Sri Lanka.
An estimated number of 10,000 Sri Lankan technicians and professionals are employed in garment, freight forwarding, banking, medicine, ICT manufacturing, logistics and health sectors.
There are occasional exchanges of cultural troupes and youth delegations between the two countries.
Direct flights by Mihin Lanka have been helping greater movement of tourists, professionals and businessmen. It is expected that visa waiver for official and diplomatic passport holders would facilitate greater people-to-people contact.