Sunday, 22 March 2015

Delhi plays Buddhist card in Lanka to send signal to China


From The Indian Express
by Sushant Singh

"Moving to deepen its engagement with Colombo and counter Beijing’s influence in the region, New Delhi is hosting a dialogue on vinaya (code of conduct) between high-ranking Theravada monks from Sri Lanka and counterparts of the Nalanda tradition — the first dialogue at this level between the two Buddhist traditions.

In another first, the Dalai Lama will be meeting the Sri Lankan monks Thursday and they plan to invite him to their country. A formal invitation is likely to be extended after President Maithripala Sirisena wraps up his first official visit to Beijing later this month.

Later Thursday, the two delegations will meet again over tea at the official residence of Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Samdhong Rinpoche, former prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, is also attending the dialogue as a member of the Nalanda delegation.

This engagement comes days after the change of government in Colombo and the visit last week to Sri Lanka by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sri Lankan and Nalanda monks met Tuesday for a dialogue on vinaya. It has been organised by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a two-year-old NGO recognised as a “cultural organisation with national presence” by the Indian government.

Jangchup Choeden, who heads the Gaden Shartse monastery, told The Indian Express that the last such interaction had been organised by Emperor Harshavardhana in the 7th century AD..."  more



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