Pakistan hands over Sacred Buddhist Relics to Sri Lanka
The Government of Pakistan today handed over the most sacred relics of Lord Buddha to the Government of Sri Lanka in a special ceremony arranged at the historic Taxila Museum. The relics were handed over on behalf of the government of Pakistan, by the Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui to the Sri Lankan Minister for Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and his delegation. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pakistan Maj. General (R) Jayanath C.P. Lokuketagodage, Secretary Ministry of Buddhasasana Sri Lanka Mr. Wasantha Ekanayaka, Venerable Thiniyawala Palitha Thero, Chief Incumbent Nalandramaya, and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. The relics will be arriving in Sri Lanka tonight and will remain in Sri Lanka for exposition around the country. The exposition of the most sacred relics will commence at the Temple Trees on the auspicious day of Vesak on 21st May 2016 and will be exhibited at famous temples around the Island until Full Moon Poson Poya Day. The Prime Minister’s Advisor on National History and Literary Heritage, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy brotherly relations which have deep and historic roots. He said that the request for exposition of the most sacred relics was made by the leadership of Sri Lanka to the Prime Minister of Pakistan during the latter’s official visit to Sri Lanka in January 2016. Mr. Irfan Siddiqui elaborated that the decision to organize the exposition of the most sacred relics in Sri Lanka, reflects the desire of the government of Pakistan to promote cultural linkages between the people of the two countries. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain, said that the deep bond of cordial friendship and understanding between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has a solid and unblemished history of standing together for each other in difficult times. He said that the exposition of the most sacred relics from the Gandhara region of Pakistan will further strengthen the already existing deep rooted cultural relations between the two friendly nations. The Sri Lankan Minister for Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera thanked the Government of Pakistan for providing the most sacred relics and said that millions of Sri Lankan devotees are eagerly waiting for their exposition in Sri Lanka. The most sacred relics will be received today evening in Colombo by the Political and religious leadership of Sri Lanka along with Acting High Commissioner Dr Sarfaraz Sipra and Officers of the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.