On Sunday, 29 April 2018, Vesak was celebrated in grand style at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing with the participation of a number of Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps representing Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Maldives, Afghanistan, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Slovakia, Singapore, Bulgaria, Peru, Uruguay, and Ethiopia. Chinese Buddhist Associations, Sri Lankan community, and well wishers also took part in the celebrations.
The morning session of the Vesak Programme consisted of observing Sil and sermons, which were conducted by Venerable Gangodavila Ariyagawesi Thero, Venerable Gangodawila Santhamanasa Thero, and Venerable Batheegama Meththaji Thero.
The evening session of the programme commenced with the observance of five precepts. Chinese Buddhist monks led by Ven. YAN JUE, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China conducted the chanting to bless the gathering.
Addressing the gathering, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku stated that the Vesak Festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the demise known as ‘Maha Parinirvana’ of the Lord Buddha and that by holding this festival annually, the Embassy of Sri Lanka venerates and celebrates the highest achievement of human wisdom. Further, he wished goodness, happiness and prosperity to everyone who were involved in the celebrations.
A photographic exhibition on Buddhist sacred places in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist Studies Information Centre by the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Batiks and Chinese handicrafts with a Buddhist theme, a medical clinic conducted by a team of Sri Lankan doctors, a Dansela that offered vegetarian food and Ceylon tea, and a ‘Belimal Dansela’ organized by Sri Lanka Air Force officers in Beijing were among the salient features of the celebrations.
Vesak devotional songs were sung by the staff of the Embassy, students of the Tianjin University, Sri Lanka Air Force officers in Beijing and Chinese University students who study Sinhala language.
The Embassy premises were illuminated with Vesak lanterns, the largest of which had 42 branches.