World Buddha Day 2019 (Wesak) , marking the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha, observed in the House of Commons
The world’s Buddha Day 2019 (Wesak) was held for the second year in succession in the Houses of Parliament on 30th April 2019 with a community with diverse background and beliefs including Multi faith forums in UK .
This refreshing and calming evening started with the observance of a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka and some Buddhist chanting by Venerable Gunnepana Sumanarama Chief priest Samadhi Meditation Centre, Edmonton together with the other Buddhist Monks present.
The event was organised by Conservative Women’s Organisation London region as part of community outreach. Ajantha Tennakoon, Secretary Conservative Women’s Organisation London Region in her introductory speech expressed gratitude to Bob Blackman MP for sponsoring the event. Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK Her Excellency Manisha Gunasekera and Mayor of Barnet Cllr. Reuben Thompstone graced the evening. Venerable Italawetunuwewe Gnanathilake the Chief monk of the Mirisawetiya Maha Vihara Anuradhapura graciously participated the occasion all the way from Sri Lanka with a precious gift, a replica of the Temple Stupa. Mr. Rohan Samant First Secretary (Political & Immigration) attended on behalf of the Indian High Commissioner to the UK Her Excellency Ruchi Ghanashyam.
The theme of the programme was “The significance of World Buddha day, Women’s role in Buddhism and the Positive contribution Buddhists make to the British society”.
Bob Blackman MP welcomed the guests and spoke on behalf of all the diverse communities and Gonul Daniels The Deputy Chair National CWO in her welcome speech on behalf CWO explained the importance of community engagement .
Among the speakers were Venerable GB Kassapa Thero, Dr. Sunil Kariyakarawana- Buddhist Chaplain to the British Armed Forces, Dr. Elizabeth Harris – Senior Honorary Research Fellow Edward Cadbury Centre, Dr Lucia Dolce- SOAS University of London, Kamontip Evans- Author of “Taming the Truant Mind”, Dr. Zimar Sivardeen- Chair BRISLA.
Message on “ Day of Wesak” from Ishaya Edirisinghe- a student and Jayamangala Gatha Singing by Sudam Kariykarawana – a student were valuable contribution to this peaceful and warm gathering.