Myanmar to issue new stamps to mark world Buddhist summit

Xinhuanet, Dec 5, 2004

YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar will issue two new stamps to mark the upcoming World Buddhist Summit scheduled for next Thursday in Yangon. The two new stamps, which are 5-Kyat and 30-Kyat ones, will be available on the day when the summit opens, the official newspaper The New Light of Myanmar reported Sunday.

The three-day event, to be hosted by Myanmar for the first time in the capital's Maha Pasana Cave, will be participated by representatives from over 40 countries and regions including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh, China, South Korea, Japan, Britain,the United States and Australia, according to the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Along with hundreds of Myanmar monks, thousands of observers will be present at the religious meeting as well.

The summit aims at promoting friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation among the Buddhist countries, maintaining Buddhistteachings and practices among such countries, enhancing Buddhist education and helping and creating a peaceful world.

Buddhism is one of four main historical religions of the world with over 360 million followers. Myanmar is a country with a majority of its population (about 80 percent) believing in Buddhism. It is estimated that there are more than 400,000 monks and nuns in Myanmar.

For nearly 1,000 years, the country has kept Theravada (Little Vehicle) Buddhism pure and intact. It established Buddhist scripture learning centers and other monastic education schools long ago.

Aimed at promoting the genuine Theravada Buddhism throughout the world and the study and comprehension of the canonical texts of Buddhism, Myanmar opened an International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University in Yangon in December 1998, the country's first permanent center of higher learning of the Buddhism in various languages.