Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing commemorates the National Thripitaka Week

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, in collaboration with Buddhist Association of China organised a Dhamma Sermon and a Dhamma Discussion with Most Ven. Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thero, Chief Lekakadikari of the Asgiri Chapter of Siam Maha Nikaya of Sri Lanka, Adviser of the Executive Board of Shasanarakshaka of the Ministry of Buddhasasana as well as the Vice President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. The Chinese Buddhist scholar, Ven. Dr. Yuan Ci Thero, Executive Member of International Council of Day of Vesak and Director of the Buddhist Association of China also attended as one of the guests. This event was held at the Embassy premises on 22nd March 2019 to celebrate the Tripitaka Week initiated by the President with the participation of Chinese Buddhists and Sri Lankans.

The programme commenced with the observance of the five precepts conducted by Most Ven.  Dhammananda Thero followed by screening a brief documentary video and providing an introduction on historical evolution of composing the Thripitaka in Aluviharaya, Matale in Sri Lanka.  Welcoming the gathering, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in China, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku explained the President’s initiative of inscribing the Thripitaka in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “Memory of the World Register” as a world heritage and highlighted the importance of that initiative with the view in preserving it in the future. Further, the Ambassador explained that President Maithreepala has personally taken extra efforts to make this endeavor a success. Moreover, he highlighted the contribution made by Sri Anagarika Dharmapala to introduce Therawada Buddhism to the western world and the historical Buddhist relations between Sri Lanka and China since the visit of Rev. Faxian to Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 5th Century and introducing the Bhikkuni Sasanaya in China by Sri Lankan female Buddhist Therani Thisara a few years later.

Most Ven. Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thero appreciated the Government’s efforts to inscribe the Tripitaka as a World Heritage while recalling the history how the Buddhist theros scarified their lives to protect the Theravada Thripitaka in Sri Lanka despite the constraints they faced from foreign invaders.  While appreciating the cordial relation between the Embassy and the Buddhist Association of China, Ven. Dr. Yuan Ci thero expressed his gratitude for inviting them to the celebrations at the Embassy. Further, Ven. Dr. Yuan Ci thero identified Inscribing the Thripitaka written in Pali as a World heritage as a significant milestone and wished the success of the attempt of Sri Lanka’s government. Also the Venerable Thero expressed that the Chinese government would consider positively to provide its support for this initiative.

Following the Dhamma sermon there was a Dhamma discussion to provide clarifications to the questions raised by the devotees. Ven. Kirama Wimalathissa Thero, Senior Leturer and the Coordinator of the Unit of international Affairs of the Bhikku University of Anuradhapura, Ven. Prof. Yuan Liu Thero, Senior Lecturer of the China Buddhist College, and Ven. Bhikkuni Long Fa, also participated in the Dhamma discussion. Ven. Bhikkuni Long Fa raised an interesting matter that Sri Lanka, the country which introduced Bhikkuni Sasanaya to the rest of the world is no longer encourages Bikkuni sasanaya.

The day’s proceedings came to a close with the offering of Pirikara to the venerable theros and serving of light refreshments to all invitees to the event. Ms. Inoka Weerasinghe, Second Secretary who organized the event with the instructions of the Ambassador proposed the vote of thanks.

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