The Sri Lanka Embassy commemorated Vesak with a dana at the Embassy premises on May 5, 2007. It was the third celebration of Vesak at the Embassy, the continuation of a decision taken to celebrate at least one religious event of each religion followed by Sri Lankans.

The dana was held with the participation of the Washington Buddhist Vihara and the International Buddhist Center (IBC) in Wheaton. Nine Buddhist priests from the two temples participated in the dana. Ven. Katugastota Vidura Thera of the Washington Buddhist Vihara administered pan-sil, while Ven. Danthure Pannaratana Thera of the IBC delivered the anusasana and Ven. Dr. Beligalle Dhammajothi Thera, a visiting priest at the Washington Vihara engaged in the transfer of merit (punya anumodhana).

Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke who spoke at the event, said that Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrate two very important religious events, every year - Poson, as the day that Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka and Vesak as the day the Prince Siddhartha was born, achieved Enlightenment and attained Nibbana as the Buddha. However, Buddhists all over the world have one special celebration, which is Vesak. He said that historically, Sri Lanka has been instrumental in spreading the Buddha’s word the world over, first in South-east Asian countries like Thailand, Laos Myanmar etc., subsequently, in the west as well, a trend that intensified after receiving independence in 1948. The Ambassador said that currently there are over 40 Sri Lankan Theravadha Buddhist temples in the U.S. In the recent past, Sri Lankan Buddhist temples were established in Minnesota, North Carolina, Boston and Pittsburgh.

The Ambassador thanked the members of the staff of the Embassy who helped organize the event and every one who participated, including the representatives of the Sri Lankan organizations in the Greater Washington area, who were present at the dana.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

08 May 2007

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