A Progress Review Meeting was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to evaluate the arrangements being made to celebrate the United Nations Day of Vesak in Sri Lanka in 2017, as well as to inquire into the preparations for the World Buddhist Conference, at the President’s Official Residence, yesterday(27).
Receiving an opportunity to host the United Nations Day of Vesak festival and the World Buddhist Conference in 2017, is a great privilege to Sri Lanka as a country which is a Centre for the Theravada Buddhism.
This United Nations Day of Vesak will be celebrated in Sri Lanka under the theme of Buddhist teachings for a sustainable world peace and social justice and international delegates from 85 countries in the world will attend the event.
The Festival will be held in Sri Lanka from May 12 to 14, 2017, and the special Vesak zones will take place at the premises of the BMICH, Nelum Pokuna Theatre and the Waters Edge, Battaramulla.
In parallel to this event, the national Vesak festival will be held in the Wattarama Raja Maha Viharaya in Kegalle on May 09.
The President pointed out the importance of organizing all these ceremonies under the guidance of the Mahasangha while paying special attention to the programmes which focused on spiritual values. The President further pointed out the importance of organizing all these events nationally and internationally in an exemplary manner.
President Sirisena instructed all the relevant authorities to implement quality programmes which enhance the Inter-religious relationship with the assistance of all the relevant sectors.
With the commencement of the Vesak Week from next May 07 to 13, Vesak programmes covering all Island will be launched daily under the themes of Environment and Buddhism, Health and Buddhism, Literature and Buddhism, Sila- Samadhi programmes, Art and Buddhism, Public Service and Buddhism and Social development/Economy and Buddhism.
Similarly, Seela Programmes will be conducted for children of all Buddhist schools on May 08 and 10. Seela Programmes will be conducted for devotees, including public and private school children at the temples.
The President further instructed the officials to apprise the public about all these events.
The Maha Sangha of the Tri-Nikaya including the Most Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa Mahanayaka Thera, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Gayantha Karunathilaka,Ravi Karunanayake,S.B. Nawinna,Sagala Rathnayake,Patali Champika Ranawaka,Deputy Ministers,Ministry Secretaries, Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs, Inspector General of Police and public servants participated in this meeting.