|Sri Lanka President Sirisena meets with Chinese Buddhist Delegation|
On 21 May, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena met with a 30-member Chinese Buddhist delegation led by Ven. Ming Sheng Thera, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and President of Guangdong Provincial Buddhist Association of China at the President's residence, the Mahanayaka of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thera and Secretary General of Hongkong World Buddhism Peace and Development Association Piao Yang were present.
While warmly welcoming the Chinese Buddhist delegation to visit Sri Lanka, President Sirisena said, the Buddhism exchanges between Sri Lanka and China enjoy a long history, a Chinese monk Faxian Thera came to Sri Lanka to study the the doctrine of Buddhism about 1600 years ago, since then, the Buddhist societies between Sri Lanka and China have maintained a very good relationship. The Ancient Silk Road promoted the economic and cultural exchanges among the neighbouring countries, and also facilitated the spread of Buddhism. Sri Lanka supports the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative proposed by China, and it is expected that the Buddhist societies between the two countries will take advantage of such opportunities to strengthen communications so as to enhance the understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Ming Sheng Thera said, Buddhism has great influence both in China and Sri Lanka, which is also an important link of the two countries' friendly relations. During the visit, Zhuhai Putuo Temple of China's Guangdong Province and the Ode Temple of Sri Lanka signed an agreement to establish friendly relationship, which would make new contribution to Buddhism and cultural exchanges between the two countries. With the presence of President Sirisena, the Ode Temple presented a Buddha Relic Shrine to Zhuhai Putuo Temple. President Sirisena and Ming Sheng Thra exchanged the gifts, including Buddha Statue, wooden elephant, etc.
In the afternoon, Minister of Buddha Sasana Hon. Karu Jayasuriya held a ceremony at the auditorium of the Ministry to welcome the Chinese Buddhist delegation, and witnessed the signing of the agreement to establish friendly relationship between Ode Temple and Zhuhai Putuo Temple. On the same day, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang also met with the delegation. The Political Counsellor of Chinese Embassy Ren Faqiang was present at the above-mentioned events.