Day of Vesak Observed at the United Nations

May 31, 2007

Source: Columbo Page

May 31, (UN_NY): Sri Lanka, together with several other Member States of the UN participated in the annual International Recognition of the Day of Vesak at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 29 May.

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 Thero.

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.