Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Opens the International Buddhist Conference in Honor of the Supreme Patriarch
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed his
appreciation to Buddhist scholars from Thailand and abroad who are
participating in the International Buddhist Conference in Honor of His
Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of the Kingdom
of Thailand. He delivered remarks at the opening ceremony of the
three-day conference on 1 October 2009 at Sava Building, Wat
Bovoranives Vihara, in Bangkok.
This unique conference on Buddhism in the New
Century is being held to commemorate the auspicious 96th Birthday
Anniversary Celebration of the Supreme Patriarch.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister said, His
Holiness is one of the most prominent Buddhist scholars in Thailand and
this conference is a truly befitting tribute to His Holiness. The
conferences theme, Buddhism in the New Century, is most appropriate,
as Buddhists adapt religious teachings to their daily lives amidst
global challenges and changes. In Buddhism, the three main Buddhist
celebrations Maka Bucha, Asalha Bucha, and Visakha Bucha are
observed by Buddhists the world over. Our task, as Government, is to
strengthen the spiritual attachment of Buddhists to their religion,
through devoted observance of these holy days.
As a Buddhist myself, I fully understand that
Buddhism aims for compassion, the elimination of suffering, inner peace
and happiness, which would in turn lead to peace and happiness in the
world. This is evident from the words of the Lord Buddha himself when
he sent out his monks to disseminate Buddhism for the first time: Go
forth, O monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the
many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good,
for the happiness of the divine and men.
This august gathering of great Buddhist scholars
will not only facilitate the exchange of Dhammic views among scholars
themselves, but also serve as a medium of cooperation in disseminating
Buddhism to the global audience. This is indeed in keeping with the
Buddhist tradition of working hand in hand for world peace and
happiness. Most importantly, I have learnt that this Conference is
unique because this is indeed the first Buddhist Conference ever held
in Thailand that will use the Pali language as the medium of
discussion. I appreciate your noble efforts and I do hope that this
will be the beginning of the development of studies and the use of the
language in Thailand. In the future, it may well become the lingua
franca among Theravada Buddhist nations.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister also
presented the Tipitaka Studies Reference, the first special edition in
Thailand, to this international conference through Phra Prommuni,
deputy abbot and chair of the organizing committee.
Reference : http://thailandasean.prd.go.th