Foreign Bhikkus in Sri Lanka to participate in Poson Festival

ColomboPage News Desk, June 20, 2005

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Buddhist monks and laymen from several countries arrived this morning at the Bandaranaike International Airport to participate in religious ceremonies connected with the Poson Poya.

Poson Poya day is a very significant day for Buddhists as they believe this was the day Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka by Ven. Mihindu Maha Rahathanwahanse, son of King Asoka, when the Sinhala King Devanampiyatissa ruled the country in the third century BC. The first Buddhist missionaries arrived at Mihintalaya and they were here along with Ven. Mihindu (Mahinda) Thera for about 48 years.

The group this morning included Buddhist monks from Singapore led by Ven. Dr. K. Gunarathna Thera. The group during their stay here will also provide assistance to tsunami victims to rebuild their lives.

Another group of 220 including monks and laymen from Thailand also arrived today. Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Mahipala Herath received them at the airport in Katunayake.