3,000 monks at global Buddhist youth convention

Indo-Asian News Service, Nov 6, 2004

Patna, India -- Over 3,000 monks from 30 countries will attend a convention of Buddhist youths in Bihar Sunday to be inaugurated by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The three-day meet is being held in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

A source said monks from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, US, New Zealand, Nepal, Myanmar and Japan had already arrived in Bodh Gaya and more would arrive Sunday.

Kumaratunga is expected in Bodh Gaya Sunday.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and High Commissioner to India Mangala Moonasinghe will accompany her on a special flight.

Kumaratunga, who is on a four-day visit to India, will be the second Sri Lankan president to visit Bodh Gaya after Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Heavy security arrangements have been made for the president's visit to the Mahabodhi temple, situated near the Bodhi tree, a banyan tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago.