PM Modi to be chief guest at UN Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest for the UN Vesak Day celebrations to be held in Sri Lanka from 12th to 14th of next month.
Sri Lanka’s Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe announced on Wednesday that Indian Prime minister will be chief guest during opening ceremony on 12th of May in Colombo.
Prime minister is scheduled to participate in couple of other public functions during his two day visit apart from bilateral meetings with Sri Lankan leadership.
- The UN Vesak Day celebrations is being hosted for the first time in Sri Lanka.
- Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has confirmed her participation for the closing ceremony to be held in Kandy on 14th of May.
- Delegates from 74 countries will be participating in the celebrations.
- The theme for this year celebrations will be ‘Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable peace’.
- The day is celebrated since 2001 after UN passed a resolution to this effect.
The UN celebrates Vesak Day (or the Day of Vesak) with Buddhist organizations and communities worldwide. Celebrations include:
- Cultural performances featuring song and dance.
- Plays about Buddha’s life and teachings.
- Public messages given by religious and community leaders.
Temples are adorned with decorations and flowers on Vesak Day. Some community groups organize acts of charity, like releasing caged animals or donating food and gifts to the poor.
About Vesak Day
Siddhartha Gautama, also commonly known as Buddha (enlightened one), lived in present-day India and Nepal between the sixth and fourth century BCE. His teachings focused on messages about compassion, peace and goodwill. Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha today. The Day of Vesak commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death.
In 1999, the UN recognized internationally Vesak Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over 2500 years. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices and missions.