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POSTED AT 12:37 PM 20-04-2017

Modi among foreign diginatries set to take part in UN Vesak celebrations

Image Courtesy: www.unvesak2017.org

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has confirmed his participation at the 14th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations 2017.

The Celebrations will take place in Sri Lanka from 12th May - 14th May, and is sheduled to to be held in Kandy and Colombo.

The Inidan Prime Minister Mr. Modi will be the chief guest for the first day celebrations at the BMICH while  Nepalese President Bidhaya Devi Bhandari will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy.

Minister of Justice and Buddhasansa Wijeyadasa Rajapakse said, that top delegates from 72 countries have confirmed their presence at the celebrations thus far.

Delegations from Thailand, Japan, China, Australia, Vietnam, the UK, US and numerous others have confirmed their participation.

“This is the first time that we have been able to host this international Vesak Celebration,” Minister Rajapakshe said.

“As far back in 1950 there had been a suggestion at the World Buddhist Forum in Sri Lanka by the late Professor Malalasekara to have a resolution before the United Nations to recognise the Vesak Day and celebrate it globally. It was passed but was presented before the United Nations in 1999 by the then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgarmar and was adopted in 2001. Since then the event had been held 11 times in Thailand and twice in Vietnam,” the Minister said.

Mr. Rajapaksa, speaking of the importance Buddhism has to the people of Sri Lanka said, “If not for the efforts of Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks in preserving The Buddha’s teachings-the Thriptaka Canons at the Matale Aluviharaya, the present day Lankans would not know what the buddhism is.”

The theme for this year’s Celebration is to be “Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace”.