President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the timeless message of Buddhism provides a foundation for understanding and tolerance among people of all nations, cultures, beliefs and traditions. He said this in a video message to the International Vesak Day celebrations held on Wednesday (May 21) in a grand scale at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
First Lady Madam Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga were the Chief Guests at the event.
President Rajapksa stated in the message that Buddhist teaching can have a positive impact in helping to resolve the many crises faced by the international community today. Also would see the great need for truth, understanding, tolerance and honesty in international relations; and especially in the important search for reconciliation in a world engulfed by crises among nations, regional groups, and those wielding economic and military power, he said.
“This annual celebration of Vesak by UNESCO, since it was recognized as a UN holiday, underlines the importance of the timeless message of Buddhism in the modern world,” President Rajapaksa said.
President's International Buddhist Affairs Consultant Ven.(Dr.) Bodagama Chandima Thero, is the main organizer of the event from the Sri Lankan side.
A photography exhibition organized by the President's Media Unit on the theme "Buddhism and Sri Lankan Culture" too was held at the UNESCO Headquarters, parallel to this event.