UN Vesak day celebrated in Thailand

Lanka Daily News, June 2, 2007

Bangkok, Thailand -- The Royal thai Government hosted the United Nations Day of Vesak observances in Thailand, from May 26 to 29 in conjunction with the Celebrations of Thailand king's 80th Birthday Anniversary.

Mahachulalongkornraja vidyalaya University was the main organiser of the events, which included an international conference of Buddhist leaders and scholars held at both Buddhamonthon and the United Nations Asia-Pacific Conference Centre in Bangkok.

The theme for the celebration was the Buddhist contribution to Good Governance and Development. The Urban and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was the special invitee of the occasion:

Thailand and Sri Lanka have been maintaining close Buddhist ties. About three centuries ago during the reign of king Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1753) the Great Bikkus of Sri Lanka visited Thailand and Ven. Upali Thera helped to carry on the Upasampada Ceremony and Tradition which is vital to the Sasana.

The great Buddhist sect acknowledged as the Siyam Nikaya came in to being. It is the largest sect in Sri Lanka with two highly respected and revered Buddhist Prelates namely the Mahanayakas of Malwaththa and Asgiriya heading the two interrelated chapters.