India-organized international conference on Buddhist values ends
Posted on February 19th, 2021

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, February 19 ( A three-day international conference on Buddhist Philosophy and its Role in Inculcating Values among Youth” concluded on February 19.Held in the virtual mode, the conference had participants from 29 countries including Sri Lanka.

It was organized in the virtual mode by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development. It was inaugurated by the Indian Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju.

The objectives of the conference were to disseminate the core values of Buddhist philosophy, its culture and its relevance for instilling in the youth ethical and moral values.

In his inaugural address the Minister Rijiju said that by 2030, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world and fostering national and time-honored values among its youth is one of the key priorities of youth development of India. Rijiju dwelt on the Three Universal Truths, Four Noble Truths, The Five Precepts and The Eightfold Paths of Buddhist philosophy and mentioned that this is the best foundation for world peace, for equitable use of natural resources, and for proper care of the environment.

The inaugural session was also addressed by Director General, ICCR and senior officials from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The inaugural session was followed by addresses by other distinguished persons, including Ven. Gathare Chandananda Thero of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka on the topic, Role of Buddhist Philosophy behind Positive Mental Health”. Ven. Thero is an eminent educationist. His address  was appreciated by all participants.

The 2nd and 3rd days of the conference included addresses by other eminent persons on various topics related to Buddhism, including an address by Dr. Rajitha P. Kumara of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at University of Kelaniya on ‘Early Buddhist Theory of Cognitive Development and its influence on the Individual’ and by Ven. Pusselle Wineetha Thero on ‘Influence of Buddhist philosophy among the Youth of Sri Lanka’. 

The shared heritage of Buddhism is one of the strongest and most abiding links between India and Sri Lanka. In order to further deepen people-to-people linkages between our two countries in the sphere of Buddhism, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced, during the Virtual Bilateral Summit held in September 2020, India’s grant assistance of US$ 15 million for promotion of Buddhist ties in the two countries. Its utilization is being worked out in discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka and other relevant stakeholders, the Indian High Commission said in a release.

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