SL Embassy in Turkey marks Vesak


The Sri Lankan Embassy in Turkey celebrated Vesak for the first time at the Chancery premises with Buddhist religious activities on 24 May 2022. On the invitation of the Embassy, Venerable Bhante Pannawansa Thera, presently residing in Athens Buddhist Viharaya, conducted a meditation session followed by a pirith chanting and almsgiving to celebrate Vesak 2022.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of Thailand in Turkey, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Cambodia in Turkey, staff of the Embassies of Thailand and Cambodia in Turkey, Turkish university students, Sri Lankans living in Turkey, and the staff of the Mission. Turkish students showed great deal of interest and posed many questions to the Venerable Thera about the meditation session. Sri Lankans living in Georgia and Ukraine had the opportunity to witness the session virtually.

During his brief introductory remarks on Vesak, Ambassador Rizvi Hassen highlighted the importance of Vesak to Buddhists worldwide and the value of meditation in life irrespective of religion, to cope with the busy lifestyle led by most people.

During his brief stay in Turkey, Bhante Pannawansa Thera had the opportunity to meet Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş, President and Dr. Selim Argun, Vice President of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey to exchange views on interreligious cooperation. Bhante Pannawansa Thera was also invited by the Embassy of Thailand to conduct a brief religious event.

Venerable Bhante Pannawansa Thera has engaged in teaching meditation for more than three decades and has translated many books into the Sinhala language including publications by Khalil Gibran, Omar Khayyam, and Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi.