Cambodia to Host Regional Buddhistic Tourism Forum

Xinhua, April 26, 2010

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- Cambodia will host regional Buddhistic tourism forum on Tuesday, the first such forum to be held in Cambodia aimed at raising the interconnection between Buddhism and tourism in the region, a government official said Monday.

Chea Kean, deputy secretary general of the National Committee for Organizing National and International Festivities said the event with a total of 20,000 participants including more than 3, 000 Buddhist monks, of which 181 monks will be coming from other 13 participating countries in the region.

The event is called "The Trail of Civilization and Art Performance" and is scheduled for April 27 through April 29 at Bayon temple, one of the many temples built in Angkor Wat area in northern province of Siem Reap.

The three-day event will show religious processions and artistic performances about Biography of Buddha, the Supreme Teacher, while he was born, achieving Enlightenment and attaining Nirvana, by Cambodian and foreign artistic performance groups.

It is also to mark the eminent event to fulfill great merit during the Visakh Bochea Day.

According to Chea Kean, governments' representatives and Buddhists of the member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, India, Japan, and South Korea--will take part.

The 27-member Chinese delegation headed by Wang Jian, general- secretary of the Buddihist Association of China will participate in the event. Meanwhile, Buddhist performance group from Hangzhou Lingyin Monastery of Zhejiang province will give their Buddhist performance.

He said it is the 4th time of such event, but the first time held in Cambodia--is held annually with a rotative format among the six signatory countries of Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The six countries agreed in the Borobudur Plan of Actions (BPA) which was held in Borobudur, Indonesia in 2006.

The BPA has a five-year timeframe covering the period from 2007 to 2011.

Chea Kean said Sar Kheng, deputy prime minister and minister of interior will preside over the event as a high representative of Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen.