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
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
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.