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State Minister attends inaugural ceremony of 14th UN International Vesak Festival

14th UN International Vesak Festival Starts at BMICH in Colombo

[May 12 2017]

The inaugural ceremony of the 14th UN International Vesak Festival was held under the patronage of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo today (12th Friday, May 2017).

On arrival at the BMICH, Prime Minister Modi was warmly received by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene was also present at the occasion.

This year's festival is held under the theme of "Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable peace".

Chief Prelate of the Malwathu chapter the Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero presided over the religious observances and the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter, Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero conducted the sermon.

Making a brief welcome address, Minister of Justice and Buddhasasana Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe warmly welcomed the distinguished gathering for the event. Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe also highlighted the importance of the Vesak Day and Buddhist teachings.

Speaking at the event, President Sirisena stated that the Theravada Buddhism answers all social, economic, political and ethnic conflicts that occurred internally or internationally. The person who lives by the teachings of religion will be protected by the religion, he noted. Extracting from Buddhist teaching, President also pointed out that the quality of a person is only determined by the actions of each person.

Further, President also said that the naming the UN Vesak Day had also helped to uplift international attraction towards Buddhist teachings. Concluding his speech President Sirisena noted that Buddhism is the way for a peaceful society and thanked all the local and foreign members of the Maha Sangha and dignitaries for attending the event.

Prime Minister Modi also addressed the gathering.

Local and foreign members of the Maha Sanga, other religious dignitaries, former presidents, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition, ministers, members of parliament, Chief of Defence Staff, tri forces commanders, IGP, foreign dignitaries and a large number of distinguished invitees were also present at the occasion.


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