Vesak Celebrated in Turkey with International Participation
By Janaka Alahapperuma
June 4, 2016
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara celebrated 2560th Vesak which commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of Lord Buddha on the 30th May 2016, with participation and collaboration of several countries, in Antalya, Turkey.

The event was held at the Nepalese garden at EXPO-2016 in Antalya. The Nepalese garden was chosen as the venue given the fact that the Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini which is situated in present day Nepal.

This celebration is most significant as it is the first time in the known history that Vesak was celebrated in Turkey with international participation.

Recalling the spirit of partnership that prevailed among thirty three nations, when the Vesak day was declared as an International Day of Observance by the United Nations in the year 2000 sponsoring resolution Number 54/115 of 8th February 2000, the Embassy invited the Diplomats of the resident Missions in Turkey of those 33 countries to participate at the event to celebrate Vesak acknowledging the contribution that Buddhist philosophy has made for over two and half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity. In addition, the Turkish officials and visitors to EXPO – Antalya 2016 were present at the event. The Commissioner General of EXPO Antalya 2016, Ambassador Erdogan Kok graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Speaking to the press, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Turkey P M Amza stated that the doctrine of Lord Buddha is based on tolerance and ahimsa which are the core ingredients for prevailing and spreading peace towards all humanity.

In the backdrop of a serene stupa with more than 1000 Buddhist flags swaying in the breeze, the Sri Lanka National Youth Dance Troupe evoked blessings of Lord Buddha by reciting Buddha vandan? g?th?, sutra and Bodu Bethi Gee (Devotional Songs). The young dancers also performed Pooja dances to the background music of famous Buddhist songs such as “Buddhanu bhawena sith neth pahan wee”.

Source: Embassy of Sri Lanka, Ankara, Turkey

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