First Ever Establishment of the Korea – Sri Lanka Buddhist Vihara in Pyeongtaek in the Republic of Korea
Embassy of Sri Lanka, Seoul
May 12, 2014
The historic landmark of the “Korea–Sri Lanka Mahaviharaya”, the first-ever Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in South Korea, was ceremonially inaugurated in the city of Pyeongtaek, situated about 80 km away from the capital city of Seoul, on Sunday 4th May, 2014. The foundation stone laying ceremony was held with the participation of a large number of representatives from the Sri Lankan and Korean communities, including Korean and Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and devotees residing in the Republic of Korea.

This ceremony marked a significant moment for the history of Sri Lankan and Korean relations since diplomatic ties were initiated in 1977 as it is the first time that a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple will be established in Korea. Additionally, the foundation ceremony was made possible by the dedication of Venerable Thalgamuwe Dhammakiththi Thero and the generous financial support offered by the “Sadaham Mithuro” organization in Korea and other well-wishers from the Korean Buddhists.

Ambassador Tissa Wijeratne attended as the Chief Guest of this momentous occasion. In his speech, Ambassador Wijeratne stated that the establishment of the Korea–Sri Lanka Buddhist Vihara in Pyeongtaek will attract a number of people from different parts of Korea who are all keen to understand and engage in the noble teachings of the Buddha, which promote loving kindness, compassion, nonviolence, tolerance and service to all sentient beings. He further stated that this auspicious and joyous event promotes friendship and cooperation between two countries, especially among the Sri Lankan and Korean Buddhist communities in Korea and that this Vihara will be invaluable in propagating the doctrine of Metta, a symbol of a reality where everyone lives in harmony and mankind can exist in peace and friendship. Ambassador Wijeratne ended with a wish for continued success and prosperity for the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple.

The Embassy further recognizes that this project would not only accommodate the spiritual needs of Buddhists but would also cater to the variety of needs of Sri Lankan expatriates in South Korea and Korean nationals with teachings of Korean & Sinhala languages, practice of meditation and promotion of Sri Lankan traditions.

The noble task of building the Temple will be initiated in a 38-parch valuable block of land with a scenic beauty that will be further extended up to 108 perches with the rising of a balance fund. The Temple will be temporarily set up at the site shortly in line with the Vesak festival giving an opportunity for devotes in South Korea to worship and practice Buddhism appropriately. Construction on the Viharaya and Dageba are expected to be completed by the year 2017.

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