Colombo, February 3 (newsin.asia): The High Commission of India in Colombo organized an event to award winners of the ‘International Quiz on Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage’ on February 02, 2022 at Taj Samudra. The Minister of Education, Dinesh Gunawardena graced the event as the Chief Guest. Senior members of the Maha Sangha, officials and other dignitaries also attended the event.
The quiz focusing on the life of The Buddha and various sites/places associated with Buddhism, was organized by the High Commission in Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the State Ministry of Dhamma School, Pirivena & Bhikku Education of Sri Lanka. It was launched in about 800 Pirivenas Island-wide for youth and students in the age group of 14-22 years in December 2021 and was held in 3 rounds, the first at the level of Pirivenas, the second at the Provincial level and the third at the National level. About 6000 candidates participated in the quiz. The 3 winners of the quiz were awarded certificates and souvenirs by the Minister of Education and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay. The grand prize for the winners includes a five-day sponsored tour of the Buddhist circuit of India along with one companion each.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the State Ministry for their support in organizing the quiz. He mentioned that Buddhist heritage formed an important civilizational bond between India and Sri Lanka and this quiz competition would help in further promoting our shared cultural heritage of Buddhism and deepen our people-to-people bonds. He said that the Government of India looks forward to welcoming the prize winners to India. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Education highlighted that both India and Sri Lanka were celebrating the 75th anniversaries of their independence and recalled the close association between the freedom fighters of the two countries. He expressed his appreciation to the Government and leadership of India for extending their support to Sri Lanka in all spheres, particularly in strengthening the Buddhist ties.
The award ceremony formed a part of the series of special events organized by the High Commission of India to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence- ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, launched on the Republic Day of India, January 26, 2022, by the External Affairs Minister of India.
Recent measures by the Government of India to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism includes, a special grant of USD 15 million for promotion of Buddhist ties for which the Inter-Governmental MoU is being finalized by the two sides; inauguration of the international airport at Kushinagar, for which the inaugural flight was welcomed from Sri Lanka on the auspicious ‘Wap Poya’ day in October 2021; an exposition of the sacred Kapilvastu Buddha relics from the Rajaguru Sri Subhuthi Maha Vihara of Waskaduwa, in India in October 2021.