Delegates from SBS attended and gave speech at the UN Vesak in Bangkok, Thailand, 27 to 30 May 2015
SBS Board member Phra Maha Boontin and SBS Secretary Katja Panova attended the UN Vesak in Bangkok as delegates from the Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council.
Royal Government of Thailand is a host for the UN Vesak in Bangkok since 2004, with Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) as the main organizer. About 5000 participants are attending this year, they are Buddhist leaders and representatives from various Buddhist organizations from over 80 countries.
The main theme for the UN Vesak in Bangkok this year were Buddhism and World Crisis. The main theme was then divided into four discussion- and seminar sub-themes:
1. Buddhist response to social conflict.
2. Buddhist response to environmental degradation.
3. Buddhist response to educational crisis.
4. Buddhism and the ASEAN community.
First day of the UN Vesak began with an inauguration ceremony in the spacious and nice conference hall, at the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. HH Somdet Phra Maharatchamangkalacharn and Venerable Professor Dr. Phra Brahmapundit, rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and a member of the Council of the Supreme Sangha made the inauguration speech. Her Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha represented Thailand's King, also made an inauguration speech.
Later during the day Buddhist leaders and representatives from different countries and Buddhist traditions made speeches in the conference hall.
In the afternoon, Katja Panova read the greeting in English from the Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council to the audience at the UN Vesak.
Katja Panova reading SBS congratulatory speech and Refuse Hate! -statement.
The topic of the SBS congratulatory speech closely corresponded to the theme of this year's UN Vesak, which among other things deals with social conflict and how we can support each other in the community, by this maintaining peace and harmony. After the SBS congratulatory speech, Katja read the statement of the campaign Refuse to Hate! before the audience in the vast conference hall.
SBS greeting and Refuse to Hate! statement were widely acclaimed and appreciated by the audience. Many from the audience wanted to know more about the project, on how the Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council works and more information about Refuse to Hate! campaign in Sweden.
Here you can read the article on SBS -message, selected for publication at the Buddhist Channel's website June 2, 2015
The text and title are in English: Buddhist Cooperation Council of Sweden participates in "Refuse to Hate!" programs.
The text of Refuse Hate! statement has also been published on the website of Buddhistchannel.tv in several other languages: Chinese, Swedish, Burmese, Vietnamese and Thai. The website of the Buddhist Chennel is followed by more then two million Buddhists worldwide.
More information about the Refuse to Hate! Campaign
On the next day, 29 May, workshops were arranged at the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. For the workshops, participants could choose among the aforementioned four topics, each workshop held in one of the four separate conference rooms. The participants could see the PPT presentations of the speakers and ask questions to the panel.
Delegates at the United Nations Conference Center.
On the last UN Vesak day all the delegates were invited to the UN Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok. Among the speakers at UNCC were Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon and General Director of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
UN Vesak-delegates waiting for the buses, which will take them from the UNCC to the Buddhamonthon park.
In the afternoon on 30 May, all the delegates travelled in buses from the UNCC to Buddhamonthon park lighting ceremony, in honor of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's 60th birthday. The speeches were held in the large tent, where guests were invited for protection from the still outside blazing sun.
UN Vesak participants going to the light ceremony.
After about an hour the candle ceremony started. Participants were given candleholders with lighted candles, to carry up to the famous more than 15, 9 meter high statue of the standing Buddha in Buddhamonthons park. It was a nice completion to the three UN Vesak days in Thailand.
Monks recite Prajna Paramita Sutra in front of the Buddha statue in the Buddhamonthon Park.
Many Buddhists from different countries and Buddhist traditions read sutras and reciting prayers in front of the huge, impressive statue, while the bright sunset melted into dusk.
Statue of standing Buddha in the Buddhamonthon park.