Opposition Leader R.Sampanthan has stated that it is his prayer that this year's deliberations and celebrations at the International Buddhist Conference would once again proclaim the true teachings of Lord Buddha, fostering lasting peace and social justice in societies around the world.
He made this observation in his message to mark the Vesak festival. The message said: “It is my privilege and honour to extend my good wishes to the celebrations of the 14th United Nations International Day of Vesak and the International Buddhist Conference, which will be held from 12th to the 14th of May 2017 in Sri Lanka. It is indeed significant that this year's celebrations would be graced by participants from over 100 countries worldwide.
The three most significant events in the life of Lord Buddha - the Birth, the Enlightenment, and the Passing away, took place on the full moon Poya day in the month of May. Commemorated by Buddhists world over with great devotion, Vesak was recognised internationally through a resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1999 on a proposal mooted by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the late Lakshman Kadirgamar.
Lord Buddha was born a Hindu. Lord Buddha originated the Buddhist Philosophy based on Hinduism with strong compassion towards all living beings. According to Lord Buddha's teachings, all human beings should be treated equally irrespective of race, religion, caste, wealth, gender or any other difference. Lord Buddha also expounded the noble Eightfold path to be followed by the people in the pursuit of righteousness.
The theme for this year's celebrations "Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace" is very relevant not only to the people of Sri Lanka but to the entire world. My prayer is that this year's deliberations and celebrations at the International Buddhist Conference would once again proclaim the true teachings of Lord Buddha, fostering lasting peace and social justice in societies around the world.
"All tremble at punishment. Life is dear to all. Likening others to oneself, one should neither slay, nor cause to slay. "- Dhammapada 130
I express my best wishes to the organizers and the participants of the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations and the International Buddhist Conference.”