Lanka joins member states to celebrate Vesak at UN
UNITED NATIONS-- Sri Lanka, together with several other Member States of the UN participated in the annual International Day of Vesak at United Nations Headquarters in New York last week.
The Ceremony consisted of religious observances from the Vajrayana and Theravada sects and colourful cultural performances from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, in veneration of the Buddha.
The Theravada observances were led by the Chief Priest of the New York Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Thera.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issuing a message on this occasion, recalled the timelessness of the principles of compassion, understanding and peace preached by Gautama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Highlighting that events of recent years have created a growing gulf between communities and nations, leading to a rise in intolerance and cross-cultural tensions he urged that both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike resolve to deal with fellow human beings graciously and objectively, without hatred or ill will.
Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka quoted from President Rajapaksa’s message on the Day of Vesak that true development should be both material and spiritual.
The Ambassador paid special tribute to the memory of Late Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kadirgamar, who initiated the move to declare Vesak as a Day of International Recognition at the UN.