Thai Buddhist pilgrims - a beacon of blessings and hope | Sunday Observer

Thai Buddhist pilgrims - a beacon of blessings and hope

The Thai tourists
The Thai tourists

A group of 80 Thai tourists led by the Maheyong Monastery Chief Prelate Ven. Phra Bhawana khemakum arrived in the island on pilgrimage last week were warmly welcomed by officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

The arrival of the delegation, is the first of its kind since the deadly attacks on April 21. The delegation which pursued their travel to Sri Lanka with much enthusiasm even after it was cancelled, wished to convey a sense of hope that the country and its tourism industry is returning to normalcy. The Buddhist delegation comprising five disciples and 70-members of the Dayake group. The group is due to return today.

Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Kishu Gomes said, “The visit is very timely, to send positive messages to the rest of the world , with regard to the prevailing security situation in the country.

“Buddhist tourism, for us, is a new segment that has grown over the past few years. Not just within the region, but across the entire world with a significant number of tourists from the western world visiting the country, to study Buddhist philosophy and meditation, he said.

The group took part in a ceremony to donate a Buddhist statue to the Thai Vihara in Mabima in Kelaniya. Senior officials of the SLTPB and representatives of Bernard Tours (Pvt) Ltd were also present.

They hope to showcase Sri Lanka as a safe place to travel to, and that the spiritual traveler will find it to be a rejuvenating destination. In Sri Lanka, they are under the custodianship of Most Ven. Rassagala Seewali Thera.