Meeting on the International Buddhist Community’s proposal for official recognition and celebration of the Day of Vesak at the White House
On 15 July 2015, upon invitation of Ambassador Pisan Manawapat, Ambassadors and representatives from various Asian embassies in Washington, D.C., including Bangladeshi, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand, participated in a meeting at the Royal Thai Embassy to discuss and learn more about a proposal of the International Buddhist Community (IBC) led by Prof. B.N. Hebbar and Chaplian J. Siafa Johnson at George Washington University regarding official recognition and celebration of the Day of Vesak by the President of the United States at the White House.
At the meeting, together with Ambassador Pisan (Chair) and Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka (Co-chair), other participants including Ambassador Kyaw Myo Htut of Myanmar, Ambassador Budi Bowoleksono of Indonesia and Ambassador Chum Ban Rung of Cambodia expressed their supports to the IBC’s proposal and willingness to help campaign and reach out to their respective communities to gain more supports and signatures to this noble initiative.
In addition to rendering their diplomatic supports, all participants also agreed that the IBC’s initiative should seek wider supports, not just among Buddhist communities but also among Americans with as many backgrounds as possible, including those of congressional supports.
The aforementioned meeting was a subsequence of a recent visit of the IBC group to the Royal Thai Embassy, where Ambassador Pisan had agreed to help organize diplomatic supports to the IBC’s initiative on official recognition and celebration of the Day of Vesak at the White House – as part of efforts to promote Buddhism and raising awareness of the International Day of Vesak.
The Day of Vesak marks the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha and has been given international recognition by the United Nations since 1999.