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Buddha Purnima Celebrated in Bangladesh with Warm Greetings from the President and Prime Minister 

From bdnews24.com

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vaishakhi Purnima or Vesak Day, is the biggest religious festival for Buddhists and was celebrated across Bangladesh, where it is observed as a public holiday, on 22 May with dignity and solemnity.

Buddha Purnima, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and mahaparinirvana Shakyamuni Buddha, celebrates these momentous events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in around 2,600 years ago, attained supreme enlightenment at the age of 35, and then attained final nirvana at the age of 80. 

During the festival, activities such as lighting lamps, peace processions, religious discussions, morning chanting, congregational prayers, meditation, and worship of the Buddha were conducted in monasteries across the country. 

“We Buddhist monks are praying for the happiness and prosperity for humans and all living beings,” said Ananda Mitra Mahathero, the abbot of the Sabujbag monastery in Dhaka. “May humankind live in peace and the nation remain happy.” (Bdnews24.com)

Bangladesh’s president, Mohammad Sahabuddin, and prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, each delivered messages to greet the members of the nation’s Buddhist community.

In his message, the president emphasized that Shakyamuni Buddha had preached a message of equality and friendship throughout his life, with the goal establishing a harmonious and peaceful world.

“People of all religions in this country have been observing their respective religions and rituals with great splendor, which is a bright tradition of the people of this country,” said President Sahabuddin, noting that Bangladesh was a country of communal harmony. (The Daily Star

President Sahabuddin also highlighted the importance of the Buddha’s philosophy in today’s turbulent and intolerant world, emphasizing its role in establishing peace in society and preventing the degradation of values, war, segregation, and various forms of violence based on religion.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin conveys warm greetings to Buddhists in Bangladesh at a reception ceremony on 22 May. From dhakatribune.com

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conveyed her sincere greetings to the Buddhist community, and reaffirmed her government’s commitment to maintaining a non-communal spirit. “We believe religion is for individuals while festivals are for all,” she said. (The Daily Star

The prime minister stated that Shakyamuni Buddha had illuminated the world with his life and actions, demonstrating the values of truth and beauty, while overcoming greed, hatred, and lust. 

“In today’s world, it is necessary to follow the teachings of [the] Buddha to suppress the brute force maddened by violence, prevent the degradation of values, and build a peaceful society,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina noted. (The Daily Star

The prime minister emphasized her government’s efforts to guarantee a dignified and secure living environment for all communities. She also acknowledged the long-standing contributions of Buddhists in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and expressed hope that everyone would contribute to making the country peaceful by upholding the ideals of Shakyamuni Buddha.

President Sahabuddin and his wife, Dr. Rebecca Sultana, welcomed Buddhists at an afternoon reception held at the president’s residence, Bangabhavan. More than 1,000 people, including guests and diplomats, attended the event. Minister of Religion Md. Faridul Haque Khan, Minister of State for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Kujendra Lal Tripura, Buddhist community leaders, and secretaries from the president’s residence were also in attendance.

Marking the day, national newspapers published articles while Bangladesh Television and private TV channels broadcast special programs highlighting the significance of the festival.

See more 

Buddha Purnima today (The Daily Star)
Bangladesh observes Buddha Purnima to celebrate message of peace, non-violence (Bdnews24.com)
President, PM emphasize peace as Bangladesh observes Buddha Purnima (Dhaka Tribune

Related news reports from BDG

Light Up Peace: Vesak Day Celebration at Washington DC
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Ahead of Vesak, Catholic Leadership Urges Buddhists to Continue Interfaith Work for Peace

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Buddhistdoor View: Reclaiming the Spirit of Vesak in a Chaotic World
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