ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government on Thursday handed over Holy Relics of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, where they would be exhibited on the occasion of Vesakh Festival from 21st May to 30th June, all over Sri Lanka.
Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui on behalf of Pakistan government handed over the Holy Relics to Sri Lankan Minister for Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera here at Taxila Museum.
Chief Incombent Nalandramaya, Nugegoda Ven ThiniWala Palitha Thero, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan Maj. Gen (R) C.P. Lokuketagodage, Secretary Ministry of Buddhasasana Wasanatha Ekanayae, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Gen. (R) Shakeel and Secretary National History and Literary Heritage S. Mohsin Haqqani, Joint Secretary NH&LH Mashood Mirza and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion Advisor to Prime Minister said that “today we are here to renew our deep rooted cultural relations by sending an exhibition of the Holy relics of Lord Budha to Siri Lanka coinciding with the upcoming Vesak festival from May 19 to June 30 at different venues in Sri Lanka for the devotees,”. He said that the exhibition is the outcome of the visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to Sri Lanka from January 4 to 6, 2016, wherein he offered to send the Holy relics of Lord Budha to Siri Lanka on regular basis.
He said that there has been an active and persistent cooperation between the government of Pakistan and the Government of Sri Lanka in the field of Art and Culture.
Irfan Siddiqui said that the government of Pakistan has sent a number of such exhibitions of Ghandhara objects to Sri Lanka in the past.
He said that “We are sending three Holy relics of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, which include a stone reliquary in stupa shape, golden casket and two fragments of bones from the collection of the Taxila Museum.”
He said that government of Pakistan has specially invited a 50 members delegation comprising of Buddhist Monks and pilgrims from Sri Lanka to Pakistan from May 29 to June 1, 2016, for celebrating the Vesakh Festival in Pakistan.
Culture Minister Sri Lanka Gamini Jayawickrama Perera thanked the government of Pakistan for sending the Holy relics. He said that the thousands of people from across Sri Lanka would pay homage to the relics during religious rituals. He said that Sri Lanka gives high importance to its relation with Pakistan. He said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are enjoying very friendly and cordial relations.
In order to be part of the most important annual Vesakh Buddhist Festival falling on May 21, the government of Pakistan is providing the most sacred bone relics of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka for exposition throughout the country.
The exposition is being organized on the request of the Sri Lankan government under the bilateral cooperation agreement in the field of Culture.
The relics will be arriving in Sri Lanka for an extended period on the auspicious day of Vesak on May 21, 2016 and will be exhibited until Full Moon Poson Poya Day.
The exhibition will further strengthen the already existing deep rooted cultural relations between the two friendly nations.