World Buddhist Summit on schedule

Indo-Asian News Service, Nov 9, 2004

Yangon, Myanmar -- The Fourth World Buddhist Summit will be held on schedule in Myanmar, reports Xinhua. Earlier reports said the schedule might be affected by the withdrawal of co-sponsor Nenbutsushu Buddhist Sect of Japan.

The three-day event at the Maha Pasana Cave here starts Dec 9, the ministry of religious affairs said.

It aims at promoting friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation among Buddhist countries, maintaining Buddhist teachings and practices, enhancing Buddhist education and creating a peaceful world, the ministry said.

Devotees from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh, China, South Korea, Japan, Britain, the United States and Australia will participate.

Thousands of observers are also expected.

The summit follows earlier meets in Japan (1998}, Thailand (2000} and Cambodia (2002).

Myanmar is one of the world's biggest centres of Buddhism, boasting some 400,000 Buddhist monks and nuns. At least 80 percent of its population follows the religion.