High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

Sri Lanka High Commission Celebrates Vesak PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Sunday, 26 May 2024 13:07

The staff of the Sri Lanka High Commission, New Delhi observed Vesak, the thrice blessed day for Buddhists the world over on 23 May 2024 with several activities.

The main event was held at the High Commission premises with the participation of Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India Meenakshi Lekhi as the Chief Guest. Additional Secretary of the Indian Ocean Region Division of the Ministry of External Affairs Puneet Agrawal and representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, Heads of Mission and representatives of the Delhi-based diplomatic corps, members of Sri Lankan community and students in Delhi also attended the event.

A large rotating Vesak lantern crafted by a committed team was displayed at the main entrance of the High Commission on the road adjoining the Mission, visible to passers-by. The lantern was officially illuminated and inaugurated by State Minister Lekhi during the event and will remain open for public viewing until 27 May 2024. Octagonal lanterns adorned the Mission perimeter also added to Delhi’s cultural landscape, not only beautifying the environs but also symbolically offering the wisdom of Buddhism to the world, encompassing the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

The Bhakthi Gee segment jointly presented by the High Commission Staff and the India-Sri Lanka Cultural Council offered a devotional musical interlude within the realm of faith and culture.

Noting that the life of the Buddha and his philosophy are well entrenched in the annals of history and contemporary cultural practices especially of the countries in South and Southeast Asia, High Commissioner Kshenuka Senewiratne, in her remarks, highlighted that Sri Lanka and India will forever be bound by the bonds of Buddhist heritage, which has made people-to-people connectivity the living legacy of the two countries’ relations. She added that in an international environment challenged by conflict and division, it is timely to contemplate on the Buddha’s doctrine, which offers profound insights into the nature of peace and the path to harmony.

State Minister Lekhi observed that Buddhism serves as a profound cultural bridge between India and Sri Lanka, fostering centuries of shared heritage, spiritual exchange, and mutual respect. She added that at a time the world faces multiple crises, the teachings of the Buddha can offer guidance and resolution, and underscored that the path of moderation in Buddhism can complement the practice of sustainable development, aimed at creating social solidarity and equality and harmony with nature.

Earlier in the day, reinvesting faith in one of the cardinal principles of Buddhism - Daana - the staff of the High Commission offered alms to the Buddhist monks at the New Delhi Centre of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, followed by a Dansala of cooling refreshments to those driving by the Mission premises.

It is notable that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption in 1999 of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 54/115 titled “International Recognition of the Day of Vesak” which was spearheaded by Sri Lanka under the guidance of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs the Late Lakshman Kadirgamar.

Sri Lanka High Commission

New Delhi

25 May 2024