Officials honour Ho Chi Minh's City Buddhist Sangha for work

Vietnam News, July 26, 2007

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -- The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Buddhist Sangha received the Labour Order Third Class for its great contributions to the construction and defence of the nation at a solemn ceremony yesterday in Tan Binh District’s Pho Quang Pagoda.

The chairman of the HCMC Fatherland Front Committee, Tran Thanh Long, handed over the award on behalf of the President to the Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, head of the sangha’s Executive Board.

Speaking at the function, Quang said the sangha had been honoured for its contributions to the national cause, particularly during the two wars of resistance against France and the US.

Huynh Ngoc Thanh, head of the HCMC Religious Affairs Committee said, as espoused by the sangha’s charter of Dharma-Nation-Socialism, its clergy and followers had stood in solidarity for many years to make an important contribution to the country’s development.

At the ceremony, the sangha announced the formation of nine new committees for Clergy Affairs, Clergy Education, Buddhist Guidance, Propagation, Rituals, Culture, Social Charity, Economics and Finance, and International Buddhist Affairs.

The function was attended by nearly 400 nuns and monks of the city sangha’s executive board and 24 district-level sanghas, devotees living in the city, and officials from the city People’s Committee, city Fatherland Front Committee, and the city Religious Affairs Committee.

Later that day a forum was proposed to celebrate the life and career of the late Most Venerable Thich Thien Hoa, formerly member of the Dharma Patronage Council and vice-chairman of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha’s Dharma Executive Council. He was also former head of the HCMC Buddhist Sangha’s Dharma Executive Board.