Rajapaksa lauds Ambedkar's service to Buddhism
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has lauded the contribution of Dr. BR Ambedkar to Buddhism.
"He had pioneered the renaissance of Buddhism in India and was responsible for millions embracing Buddhism in the land of its birth,"
Rajapaksa said in a message to the two-day International Buddhist Conference which began on Saturday at Mumbai.
The meet is to mark the 50th anniversary of Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism. Rajapaksa said that it was a "joyous" occasion.
According to media reports about 100,000 Dalits are expected to convert to Buddhism during the conference.
"I call upon Buddhists in India, Sri Lanka and worldwide, to promote the teachings of the Buddha, especially metta (loving kindness),karuna (compassion), mudita (rejoicing in other's good fortune) and upeka (equanimity)," Rajapaksa said.
"The Buddha's teachings could contribute to the evolution of a world in which peace and harmony reign."
"Dr. Ambedkar's mission should live long, guiding humanity on the correct path, " Rajapaksa said.
Ambedkar observed Buddhism in Lanka
The Sri Lankan President recalled that Dr.Ambedkar had visited Sri Lanka in 1950 as Indian Law Minister and had participated in the International Buddhist Conference held in Kandy.
"His lectures delivered here then were very popular," Rajapaksa recalled.
Ambedkar actually converted to Buddhism only on October 14, 1956, six years after he came to Sri Lanka to study the practice of Buddhism in the island, the only country in the South Asian region where Buddhism had survived.
His conversion became a reality a good 22 years after he organised a conference of Mahars (Dalits of Maharshtra) to get a stamp of approval
on conversion from Hinduism to other faiths.
During the Kandy conference on May 25, 1950, Ambedkar had said that he wanted to find out to what extent Buddhism was a "living thing" among the people of the island country.
"I am here to find out to what extent there is dynamics in the Buddhist religion as far as the people of this country are concerned," he said.
According to sources, initially, the Sri Lankan government wanted to send a delegation for the Mumbai meet, but they gave it up because such a gesture might become controversial. They were not sure if the Hindutva forces would take the mass conversion from Hinduism with equanimity.
Mayawati's victory welcomed
The astounding and unexpected victory of Mayawati in the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly elections has been welcomed in Sri Lanka.
The Dalit leader had become the favourite subject among the intelligentsia and the middle class.
Mayawati's frontal assault on India's "arrogant and hegemonic ruling class" is hailed here as a healthy development.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Embassies of the US, UK, Canada, Germany and others sent tweets late on Monday warning that security forces had surrounded a group of young people in the Sanchaung neighborhood of Yangon. People in surrounding areas swarmed the streets as videos of the situation spread on social media.
- The surge in optimism on bilateral ties came on the back of Joe Biden’s election as the new US president, AmCham China chairman Greg Gilligan said.
- The aim of the test was to ensure no one on the plane carried the coronavirus or could infect others. But masks were still mandatory for the duration of the 12-hour flight.
- The family claims in the lawsuit in US District Court that both the actions of the Rochester police and an “attempted cover-up” by the department and city government violated Prude's constitutional rights, attorneys for the family said.
- The US proposal states that a “transitional peace government of Afghanistan” will be formed once the peace agreement is signed
- In a two-hour tell-all interview by Oprah Winfrey, the legendary talk show host, the former royal couple painted a deeply unflattering picture of life inside the royal household.