Sri Lankans in Johannesburg and Pretoria of South Africa joined residents of Thai and Nepal origin to celebrate the International Day of Vesak at the Johannesburg Thai Temple (Johannesburg Meditation Center – JMC – in Midrand, South Africa), on June 3, 2023. Over 100 residents from the three countries attended the event.
The Chief Monk of JMC, Rev. Kitsakol, conducted the religious ceremonies and delivered blessings of Vesak to those gathered. He highlighted the universal applicability of Buddha’s preaching based on the four noble truths and extended Vesak blessings to people of all religions in the world.
High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Prof. Gamini Gunawardane, at the invitation of the Chief Monk, led the gathering in reciting the traditional Pali verses for Offering of Picked-up Robes. He also mentioned how Buddhist relationship between Thailand and Sri Lanka goes back to the introduction of the Sihala Sangha to Thailand in 1425 and the introduction of Siam Nikaya to Sri Lanka in 1753 under Upali Maha Thera from Thailand and Sarankara Thera from Sri Lanka.
Ambassador of Nepal in South Africa, Dan Bahadur Tamang highlighted that Buddhism has remained one of the strongest links between the peoples of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is one of the most desired destinations in Nepal which is visited by thousands of Thai and Sri Lankan nationals every year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka.