Nepalese president Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi joined Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena at United Nations Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka. The program was held from May 11-14 on the theme of “Buddhism, sustainable development, and world peace,” the events included representatives from 72 countries in all.
“As Buddhists, we know that the solutions for the social, economic, political, and cultural issues arisen both nationally and internationally are in the Buddhist philosophy,” said President Sirisena in his opening address..
Narendra Modi said : “I believe that Buddhism’s message of peace is the answer to the growing arc of violence all over the world” .
He also said, “The world also owes a debt of gratitude to Sri Lanka for preserving some of the most important elements of the Buddhist heritage. Vesak is an occasion for us to celebrate the unbroken shared heritage of Buddhism. A heritage that connects our societies across generations and through centuries.”
In the closing ceremony, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, president of Nepal, said that “Buddha is the light of the world. We should practice his teachings to create a better world.” She also outlined plans for the continued development of Lumbini, a World Heritage Site.