MYANMAR: Sitagu International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) in Yangon — the largest city in Myanmar— presented 30 metal idols of Lord Buddha to Nepal.
SIBA founder Sitagu Sayadaw presented the Buddha idols in different postures to Nepal through President Bidya Devi Bhandari who is presently on the five-day state visit to Myanmar and her delegation which includes Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Lumbini Development Trust treasurer Suresh Shakya as well.
On the occasion, Minister Gyawali recalled the unforgettable contribution of the United Nations former Secretary-General (the late) U Thant (Myanmar) to the development of Lumbini. He made it clear that the idols symbolised the sustainable relations between Nepal and Myanmar. He said he was hopeful that the bilateral ties between the two countries having a common culture and philosophy would be further deepened in the days ahead. Peace, compassion, friendship and non-violence, the principles of Buddhist philosophy were still relevant in the present society, he said, calling on the people of Myanmar to visit Nepal and particularly Lumbini during the Nepal Visit Year 2020.
Myanmar’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Aung Ko (Thura) said the Buddha’s idols would remain as a symbol of Nepal-Myanmar relations.
Likewise, SIBA founder Vikkhu Sayadaw said the Buddha had toured through several places for the publicity of Buddhism after he attained enlightenment and the Buddha’s idols had been taken to those places where he could not visit and the replica of those idols were given back to Nepal. Trust treasurer pledged the idols would be protected at the Lumbini-based Museum.
On the occasion, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Secretary at the Office of President, Dr Hari Poudel, President’s Chief Private secretary Dr Bheshraj Adhikari, Nepal’s Ambassador for Myanmar Bheem Krishna Udas and senior officials at the Ministry and Office of the President are on the President’s entourage.