Plans afoot for Buddhist meet

The Nation, October 27, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- The government has allocated a budget of Bt15 million (US$ 405,405) for the fourth world Buddhist summit, which Thailand will host next week, Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop said yesterday.He said the summit would run from Tuesday to Saturday at the auditorium at the Chumporn Khet Udomsak building.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening ceremony.

Buddhist leaders from all denominations will be allowed to chant Buddhist canons to bless His Majesty the King on the occasion of his 60 years on the throne.

The event will be celebrated by 3,700 participants from 23 countries, he said.

The summit will be held under four topics: Buddhism and Information Technology, Propagation of Buddhism in a Globalisation Age, the Religion of Human Beings by Human Beings but for all Sentient Beings and the Role of Buddhist Community against Terrorism and Natural Disasters.

Its purpose is to attain ecumenical Buddhism where Hinayana, or Theravada Buddhism, becomes one with Mahayana, or Acariyavada Buddhism.

Suwat said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra approved the Bt15-million budget for the summit.

The event was previously held in Japan in 1998, Thailand in 2000 and Cambodia in 2002.