Sri Lankans living in Beijing and Tianjin together with Chinese well wishers gathered at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing, early morning on 21st May 2011 to commemorate the 2,600th Sambuddhattva Jayanthi celebration which was organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing in collaboration with the Beijing-Sri Lankan Youth Forum. Sri Lankan Buddhists observed Astanga seela administered by Ven. Lunugamvehere Wimalananda Thero. Ven. Wimalananda Thero was flown in especially for the Vesak Day celebrations in Beijing and Shanghai, with the assistance of Sri Lankan Airlines.
The full day programme included Dhana, Seela and Bhavana and featured two Dhamma Sermons by Ven. Wimalananda Thero titled “Lessons that can be learnt through the qualities of Lord Buddha” and “Qualities of human beings and Buddha teachings”, which rejuvenated the minds of all participants. The Dhamma discussion on ‘Adolescence and Buddhism’ facilitated by Ven. Lunugamvehere Wimalananda Thero and Ven. Kanatthegoda Saddharatana Thero was fruitful, well received and appreciated by all those who attended the observances including over 60 University students who were present. The programme was made more meaningful with the pirith chanting, meditation, Buddha Pooja and alms giving along with other Buddhist rituals.
An 18 feet Vesak Pandol displaying the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha was indeed a rare and felicitous opportunity to the Sri Lankan community in Beijing and also to the Chinese and other foreign friends of Sri Lanka who attended this event to share the message of Buddha and his compassion and devotion to the service of humanity. Further in keeping with the age-old tradition of lighting Vesak lanterns, the Beijing-Sri Lankan Youth Forum had created 60 Vesak lanterns which illuminated the Embassy premises. Buddhist flags along with 100 oil lamps and 100 vesak lights in the Chancery attracted the Chinese residents giving an authentic taste of local culture.
Copies of five Dhamma books and leaflets especially prepared and brought from Sri Lanka by the Association for the Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation were distributed among all devotees.
Mr. K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, Charge d’ Affaires while thanking the gathering and the members of the Clergy, appreciated President Rajapaksa’s vision to celebrate events of national and cultural interests overseas which had paved the way to hold this event in Beijing with the meritorious assistance and support of the Sri Lankan community. He further stated that this year’s event had a special significance not only due to the commemoration of 2,600th Year of Sambuddatthva Jayanthi but also because it was among the most successful Vesak Day celebrations held all over Sri Lanka after defeating terrorism.
A separate religious programme was organized on Sunday 22nd May 2011 at the famous Jade Temple in Shanghai by the Sri Lanka Consulate with the assistance of the Sri Lankan community. Ven. Lunugamvehere Wimalananda Thero conducted Dhamma Sermons and religious observances along with the Chief Incumbent and 40 other Buddhist Monks of the Jade Temple.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
23rd May 2011