|Sunday, 30 May 2004|
Hindu-Buddhist Friendship Society soon
by Elmo Leonard
A Hindu-Buddhist Friendship Society, among devotees from the subcontinent and Sri Lanka is in the pipeline. The architects of this move are, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who has unified the Hindus of India, the Ven Rassagala Seewali Thera, attached to the Thai-Sri Lanka Buddhist Centre, and prominent Sri Lankan Hindus and Buddhists.
Hinduism and Buddhism has a common heritage and unity between these two religions would spread amity between the peoples of the two nations, and prevent Sri Lanka from dangers which could arise from outside its boarders, Swami Saraswati said.
A conference between Hindus from India with around 200 prominent Swamis and other Hindus participating with Sri Lankan Buddhists, will be held in Colombo in December. The move is being perused by Connaissance Holdings, its deputy chairman, Suranimala Senaratne, told the media in Colombo.
As a first step, a Hindu ashram in Jaffna, has asked for a scholastic teacher and Ven Seewali Thera has been seconded to teach there.
Swami Saraswati, a recluse, is revered worldwide for his scholastic work in the vedas and Sanskrit and the gathering of Hindus, globally, under one body. He has also played a role in creating amity between religions, worldwide. In the subcontinent, he had set up the All India Movement for Seva or service, taking education and poverty alleviation to rural India. He wants to launch similar activities in Sri Lanka as well. "In India, we are not a charitable organisation," he said. The funds for the Indian service organisation comes from corporates. "We spread the message of sharing and caring," the Indian Swami said. Poverty elimination programmes begun in the subcontinent are linked to Indian government poverty elimination programmes and government funding, he said. The same could be done in Sri Lanka, he added.
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