On the 07 November 2019, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Viet Nam Prasanna Gamage met with Chairman of Government Committee for Religious Affairs of Viet Nam Dr. Vu Chien Thang at their Headquarters in Ha Noi.
Chairman Dr. Thang having conveyed his best wishes to the Ambassador for a successful tenure, elaborated the functions and work being performed by the Committee for Religious of Affairs on formulating and implementing government policies, rules and regulations with regard to observance of religions/faiths in Viet Nam. Dr. Thang referred to the common religious and cultural aspects shared by Viet Nam and Sri Lanka, with special emphasis to Buddhism. The Chairman explained the open and welcoming policy of Vietnam on religions and faiths, which the Government of Viet Nam uses as a tool to promote peace and social cohesion. Under the open policy on religion, Viet Nam currently has 16 religions and 43 organizations that are recognized by Vietnamese law. Dr. Thang shared his perspectives on the history and value of Buddhism in the unification and independence of Vietnam. He said that “Buddhism has close relationships with many countries, and has also united many communities in foreign countries. The core values of Buddhism “peace, kindness and love” have enabled Viet Nam and its people to establish strong bonds with may peoples and countries”. Dr. Thang also conveyed his appreciation to Sri Lanka for spearheading the campaign at the UN to adopt the resolution in 1998 to recognize Vesak Day as an international day of significance.
In his response, Ambassador Gamage conveyed his appreciation on the commendable efforts being undertaken by the Government of Viet Nam in securing religious freedom, under which Vietnamese citizens have been able to observe their religions and faiths freely. Referring to longstanding Buddhist Cultural connectivity between Viet Nam and Sri Lanka, Ambassador Gamage reaffirmed his commitment to further enhance this vital aspect of Viet Nam/Sri Lanka relations. Mr. Gamage also conveyed Sri Lanka’s appreciation and gratitude to Viet Nam on the successful completion of celebrations of the UN Vesak Day in Viet Nam in May, 2019. He also mentioned that both countries should organize religious activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries next year.
Chairman Dr. Thang appreciated the sentiments expressed by the Ambassador and assured his fullest cooperation in the aforementioned proposals.
During the meeting the Ambassador was assisted by Third Secretary (Commercial) of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ha Noi Prasadi Boomalwage, Head of International Relations Department Nguyen Duc Huy and Head of Buddhism Department of the Committee for Religious Affairs Nguyen Van Long associated with Dr. Thang during the meeting.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
07 November 2019
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