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August 19, 2012

Kapilavastu relics arrive in Lanka from India for exposition

Colombo: The sacred Kapilavastu Relics arrived here on Sunday by a special Indian Air Force aircraft and will be part of a 17-day exposition of such relics in Sri Lanka from August 19 to September 4. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the Sacred Kapilavastu relics on the tarmac during a colourful ceremony at the Bandaranaike Airport in Katunayake from Kumari Selja, India’s Minister of Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. A large number of Buddhist monks chanted the religious Pirith on the occasion. The Sacred Relics were then taken in a procession to the first venue of the exposition at the Manelwatta Maha Viharaya, Kelaniya. Earlier in the morning, according to a High Commission of India release, a special religious ceremony was organized at Delhi airport before the Sacred Relics left for Sri Lanka . It was attended by the Buddhist monks, senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India . Kumari Selja, accompanied by the High Commissioner of India and senior officials of the delegation, called on the President of Sri Lanka following the arrival of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics. The President of Sri Lanka thanked the minister for bringing the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics to Sri Lanka . It is for the second time since their discovery, that the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics have travelled to Sri Lanka from India ’s National Museum situated in New Delhi . The first Exposition of the Sacred Relics in Sri Lanka was in 1978. The exposition of the sacred relics in Sri Lanka has been organized on the request of the President of Sri Lanka to the Prime Minister of India, as this would provide an opportunity to the followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the relics. During the next 17 days, the relics will on display in Kelaniya, Pelmadulla, Anuradhapura , Kantale, Gampola, Wariyapola and Matara. The exposition of the relics is a grand finale to the joint activities undertaken by India and Sri Lanka to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha - Sambuddhatava Jayanthi. India has taken a number of other initiatives to jointly celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the Attainment of Enlightenment by Lord Buddha – Sambuddhatva Jayanti - with Sri Lanka , which, inter alia, include: . Organisation of an International Buddhist Conference in Kandy . Installation of a 16-foot high statue of Lord Buddha in the Sarnath style from Gupta period at the entrance of International Buddhist Museum in Sri Dalada Maligawa complex in Kandy . Launch of a new Buddhist pilgrimage circuit train “Damba Diva Vandana” originating from Chennai and touching key Buddhist sites in the Northern India; . Organisation of dance-dramas, photographic exhibitions and screening of documentaries on Buddhism. A publication containing the proceedings of the International Buddhist Conference “Cultural Interface between India and Sri Lanka will also be released during the exposition. On the occasion of the exposition, the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS), Pali and Buddhist Studies Unit, University of Colombo in association with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) are organizing a half- day symposium on “Relic Worship: History, Archaeology and Religion” at LKIIRSS Auditorium on Monday August 20. The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2500 years old and is built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic ties.

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