The Permanent Mission together with the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) celebrated International Day of Vesak virtually on 26 May 2021. This is the first occasion the International Day of Vesak has been celebrated at the UN Office in Vienna.
Most Venerable Dr. Vijayarajapura Seelavansa Thero, Chief incumbent of Nyanaponika Dhammacenter in Vienna conducted religious observances and offered blessings to the world to overcome the pandemic. The Venerable Thero explained the significance of Vesak and importance of it in the New Normal.
The Message of António Guterres UN Secretary General was read by Mr. Dennis Thatchaichawalit, Deputy Director General of the United Nations in Vienna. The message, while recognising the contributions Buddhism has made to human spiritually and culturally for more than two and a half millennia, highlighted that humility and deep empathy are essential to our wellbeing and that of our planet.
Ambassador Ananda Kumaraseri delivering his scholarly contribution and insight on the “Buddha’s teaching in the New Normal” stated that it is most relevant to each and every one of us in facing the reality of our day-to-day lives this very moment and adapting to and charting the future of our common humanity.
Ambassador Majintha Jayesinghe while emphasizing the importance of Vesak stated that universal significance of the teachings of Gautama Buddha is one of the underlying reasons why Sri Lanka, under the visionary leadership of Former Foreign Minister, late Lakshman Kadirgamar, took the initiative to recognize Vesak as an International Day at the United Nations. Ambassador reminisced and recalled the contribution of Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka addressed to the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1999.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand, Her Excellency Morakot Sriswasdi stated that it is timely for us, global citizens, to share understanding, promote compassion and sympathy, and live our lives in a more balanced way while extending support to each other to tackle cross-border challenges. Also emphasized the importance of working together as one strong and united global community, to create a resilient, healthier and sustainable future.
The virtual celebration attracted a large audience and was well received.
Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
03 June, 2021