The first batch of students from the University of Vienna who completed the inaugural Diploma in Buddhism was felicitated in Austria yesterday. The 15 Austrians were conferred with a Diploma after passing the examination conducted by the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka through the Academy of Buddhism and Christianity of the University of Vienna.
In honour of the students who were awarded the Diploma, the Embassy of Sri Lanka organized a ceremony to invoke blessings on the students and staff of the Embassy. The Most Venerable Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero, Chief Prelate of the Vienna Buddhist Centrum, conducted the ceremony, followed by a sermon delivered by The Venerable Wilachchiye Kassapa Thero from Sri Lanka.
Having invoked blessings on the participants, the Venerable Wilachchiye Kassapa Thero explained to the audience the Buddhist concept of humanity, which emphasised mutual understanding and accommodation, reaching out to people of all communities and from all walks of life.
The Chief Prelate of the Vienna Buddhist Centrum stressed the importance of working towards achieving peace and harmony among different religions and traditions. The Most Venerable Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero had pioneered the course of study in Buddhism at the Academy, following an agreement signed between the two Universities, facilitated by the Embassy.
The 15 Austrian students, who were awarded the Diploma in Buddhism, have expressed interest in pursuing higher studies in this field at the Buddhist and Pali University.
Earlier on, the students had been presented with Diploma certificates by Ambassador Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Austria at a Certificate Awarding Ceremony that was held at the Academy of Buddhism and Christianity.