The Sri Lanka Embassy commemorated Vesak with a dana at the Embassy premises on May 16, 2008. It was the fourth celebration of Vesak at the Embassy in recent times, as part of a program to celebrate at least one religious event of the major religions in Sri Lanka, initiated by the Embassy since 2005.

What was unique about this event was the participation for the first time, of all three Buddhist institutions in the Greater Washington area - the Washington Buddhist Vihara, the International Buddhist Center (IBC) in Wheaton and the Bhavana Society of West Virginia. Sixteen Buddhist priests and two Bhikkhunis participated in the dana. Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayake Thera of the Washington Buddhist Vihara and Ven. Katugastota Uparatana Nayake Thera of IBC jointly administered Pan-Sil, while Ven. Henepola Gunaratana Nayake Thera delivered the anusasana.

Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke, who spoke at the event, said that these religious programs at the Embassy are meant to remind Sri Lankan expatriates in the U.S. that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and a multi-religious society, where all communities participate in one another’s religious events in harmony and amity. Ambassador said that Sri Lanka is right now experiencing difficult times, and needed the goodwill, support of all communities and blessings of al religions, to see the country through to more peaceful and prosperous days.

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

20 May 2008

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