Sri Lankan Vesak celebrations overseas | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankan Vesak celebrations overseas

5 June, 2021

The country's Heads of Missions in several countries along with the staff, the Sri Lankan community and a host of others celebrated Vesak Poya Day 2021. The celebrations were held in Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Tokyo and Beijing as well as in several other countries.

Xu Shi at Beijing Vesak celebrations

Xu Shi Yin’e, a descendant of King Parakramabahu VI of Kotte and who is affectionately called the “Lanka Princess” attended Vesak celebrations 2021 at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing on 26 May 2021.

Prior to the event, the princess met Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona at his residence and shared details of her family tree. She is a 19th generation descendant of a prince from the court of King Parakramabahu VI of Kotte. She showed photographs of the burial site of her royal Lankan ancestor.

Princess Xu enjoys prominence in China and contributes significantly to strengthening the bilateral relationship. Under the guidance of Princess Xu Shi Yin’e, in 2009, Quanzhou city, the hometown of the Princess, entered into a sister city relationship with Colombo. Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte and Licheng District of Quanzhou became sister cities in 2017 also.

The Ambassador welcomed the Princess and said that she is a living example of the close people to people contacts between Sri Lanka and China spanning several millennia. He called upon the Princess to promote Sri Lanka - China people to people contacts even more actively. The Princess invited the Ambassador to visit her in Quan Zhou.

Celebrations in Oman

The Embassy of Sri Lanka and the Buddhist community in Oman celebrated the Vesak Poya Day 2021 by abiding with the health instructions of the host country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chancery and Sri Sambuddhatwa Jayanthi Viharaya which is located in the Embassy premises were decorated with Buddhist flags and illuminated with colourful Vesak lanterns.

Sri Sambuddhatwa Jayanthi Viharaya organised a special Dhamma sermon and Buddha Pooja delivered by Ven. Borelle Kovida Thera and Ven. Marathuwela Vijithasiri Thera from Sri Lanka on May 26, 2021 and May 27, 2021 in a virtual platform.

The Embassy staff and the Buddhist community in Oman participated at this virtual event..

Vesak at Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo invited Ven. Mawarale Bhaddiya Thera for Vesak Day Dhamma Sermon organised at the Embassy premises on May 28, 2021 which was attended by the Ambassador, all staff members and their families. The Dhamma sermon was broadcaste through the mission’s official Facebook live and over 2300 devotees had participated in this meritorious event.

Keeping Sri Lankan traditions and value to the Vesak ceremony, the chancery was decorated and illuminated with Vesak lanterns.

Dubai Vesak Sathiya 2021

The Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai and Northern Emirates Nalinda Wijerathna and the staff of the Consulate General office in collaboration with Dubai Lankaramaya and Sri Lanka community associations in the UAE organised a “ Vesak Sathiya 2021” from May 24 - 29 in the Consulate General premises. The main objective of the program was to invoke blessings for the whole world gripped by the Covid -19 pandemic.

The program included Vesak Bakthi Gee and Vesak drama presented by the Consulate General staff and Sri Lankan community organisations in the UAE.

A Sath Budu Wandana, as the main event of the Vesak week was conducted on Vesak Full Moon Poya Day by the incumbent of Dubai Lankaramaya Ven. Namalgamuwe Vijayaseela thera. A “Seela Viyaparaya” was held on May 29 with the participation of devotees of the Lankaramaya temple and the staff.

Parallel to the Dubai Vesak Week, there was an alms-giving to a selected group of people and a blood donation campaign at Dubai Latifa Hospital were also organised in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Welfare Association (SAHANA) in the UAE.

The blood donation campaign attracted a large number of Sri Lankan community members as well as other nationals.

The Consulate General staff also participated in the blood donation campaign.

The week-long program was conducted adhering to all safety and health protocols.