August 19, 2016

The World Buddhist Peace Conference concludes

Dr Rev Nanissara delivering the closing remarks. Photo: Khin Yandana
Dr Rev Nanissara delivering the closing remarks. Photo: Khin Yandana

The following is the concluding remarks by Sitagu Sayadaw Dr. Ashin Nanissara, Chancellor of Sitagu International Buddhist Academy

Our Sitagu International Buddhist Academy World Buddhist Peace Conference is nearing an end.
This great and grand conference was an enormous success thanks to the collective efforts and invaluable contribution of you: keynote speakers, distinguished speakers from different faiths, leading members of the Buddhist Sangha, eminent scholars and panelists, and enthusiastic participants.  All have worked towards global peace and security during our three-day conference.
I would particularly like to thank Venerable Dhammasami, Venerable Sugandho, Venerable Kumara and Venerable Dhammapiya for organizing and moderating the conference.
I would like to thank all of the members of the organizing committee, working committee, and especially to all of the donors and volunteers for their countless hours of service.
To each and every one of you, I express my heartfelt thank to you.  Without you none of this would be possible.
Over 200 representatives from 51 countries were represented here and many of you traveled great distances from around the world to attend, some as far as the Americas and Africa.
Please know that Sitagu International Buddhist Academy along with Sitagu International Buddhist Missionary Association exerted an all-out effort to ensure that this special gathering was a success.  I hope we met your needs and exceeded your expectations.
According to the Buddha, we as living beings have experienced countless number of past lives and will face the same occurrence until we reach Nibbana.  In this journey of lives, we must have been related to each other because of our Kammic connection.  It is this same connection that leads to us to being gathered here today in this “abode of holy recluses” – Sagaing Hills.
We’ve made great strides forward, 62 messages and papers were presented at this conference, along with one panel discussion.  Despite different presentations on different perspectives, all the papers converge on an unique aim to find a common platform and common ground to maintain world peace and security.
We have to work together a lot more in the future. I’m confident that frequent discussions and meetings of this kind will bring us better results in our collaborative efforts towards the prevalence of peace in the world.
Working with this goal in mind, I suggest that the next conference be organized at a place and time convenient to all.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my special thanks to the religious leaders from different faiths that attended the conference: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam and Jewish particularly, to the Islamic leaders from Iran for their enthusiastic participation and speech. Even though we have different faiths, I firmly believe that we are walking towards our common goal of peaceful co-existence in ensuring peace and security in the world.
We had two extraordinary events during this conference.
First, I would like to thank H.E. Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche and the 67 Tibetan Buddhist monks that brought the Buddha’s relics from Ladhak, India for display at Sitagu, and additionally in Sagaing and Mandalay.
Secondly, I would like to thank Venerable PhraBrommasith’s the Buddhist Minister for the Overseas Thailand Missionary Office for granting us to be the first ASEAN country to display the Ancient Ghandharan Buddhist Manuscript, which is on loan from the Schoyen Institute in Norway.  This manuscript is on display in the front near the Buddha.
Tomorrow, we have arranged for you to travel to Bagan – the cultural heartland of Myanmar.  With more than 2,000 temples located in 16 square miles, it is the richest archaeological site in Southeast Asia.  Bagan flourished from the 11th-13th century AD and you will see the best of Myanmar’s architecture, including sculptures and mural paintings.
Later in the day you’ll travel to either Mandalay or Yangon.  For those going to Yangon, in the evening you will visit the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s uniquest religious symbol.  After returning to your respective hotels, you will all have time to prepare for your journey home.
Again, I thank each of you and look forward to us meeting again soon to discuss the actions taken since this meeting for world peace and security.
A compilation of your papers will remain on file at Sitagu Buddhist Academy’s library as a reference for the students.
Personally, I’m very pleased that your ardent participation, along with noble spirit of universal brotherhood, will benefit endeavors for world peace and stability.


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