Protest on the conduct of the annual London Advanced Level Exams on Wesak Day

by Gamini Perera, The Buddhist Channel, May 9, 2006

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The period during which the annual London Advanced Level Examination that is conducted worldwide, embraces the Wesak Day. This unfortunate situation has occured this year and on previous years too.

This is a popular examination which is sat by a large number of Buddhist students from Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and other countries in the region and also from the United Kingdom.

The Wesak Day has been declared and is observed as an International Day of Buddhist Religious Observance by United Nations. It is a Public Holiday in a number of countries and a large majority of Buddhists the world over including students of all ages engage themselves in religious observances throughout this Day.

Buddhist students throughout the world sitting the London A`level examination every year are deprived of participating in religious observances on this most important day of the Buddhist calendar.

The instution conducting this examination may be unaware or ignorant of the international acceptance of Wesak Day for Buddhist observances and the adverse consequences on Buddhist students of holding this examination on this day.It is most unlikely that they would be insensitive to the religious feelings of Buddhists and deprive them of a fundamental religious right under Human Rights Covenants, if this matter is duly brought to their attention.

It therefore behoves Buddhist organisations in the countries affected to take up this matter with the institution conducting the London Advanced Level Examination and also with their respective governments with a view to having the Weask Day omitted from the calender for this examination.