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Cambodian Delegates Participating in the Sixth IBC 2018, New Delhi

Delegates Interacting with President Ram Nath Kovind, 23 August 2018. Photo Credit: VenDr Sovanratana's Facebook Profile. 

The International Buddhist Conclave (IBC) was held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, 23 August 2018. It is the sixth edition of IBC. Its theme is ‘Buddha Path – The Living Heritage”.

Addressing the event, President Ram Nath Kovind said that the Buddhist Circuit in India is an important and revered set of destinations for the approximately 500 million-strong community of Buddhists that lives across Asia and other parts of the world.

Emphasising on the role of Japan in the Conclave, he said, “I would like to acknowledge the participation of Japan as a partner country in this Conclave. India and Japan have much in common, but there are a few links we treasure as much as our shared Buddhist heritage.”

He added, Buddhism has been among India’s greatest spiritual traditions. Many great locations associated with the life and teachings of Lord Buddha are found in India.

“Voyage of Buddhism from India to Asia and the transcontinental links that were created carried more than just spiritualism. They carried a rich cargo of knowledge, arts and crafts, meditation techniques and even martial arts,” he said.

Union Ministry of Tourism has been organising IBC biennially.  The earlier Conclaves were organised in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004), Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010), Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012), Bodhgaya and Varanasi (September 2014) and in Sarnath/Varanasi and Bodhgaya (October 2016). ASEAN countries were guest of honour during IBC, 2016.

The Sixth Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from 23rd – 26th August 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh). During the inaugural session of the Conclave, the Ministry launched its website landofbuddha.in and a new film showcasing the Buddhist sites in the country. From 24th – 26th August 2018, delegates would be taken for site visits to Aurangabad, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya and Sarnath.

The Ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are participating in the Conclave. The delegates from the following 29 countries are participating in the Conclave: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.

Cambodian delegates from the two Buddhist Sangha orders and laymen are participating in the Conclave. Cambodia's Dhammayuttika Nikaya Sangharaja Most Venerable Bour Kry and his assistants Venerable Preahkru Visuddhasilamuni and Mr. Hiek Sopheap are also participating in this great event. Others included Most Venerable Dr Sovanratana and Venerable Oeun Sam Art, from Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University, Phnom Penh, who represent Cambodia's Maha Nikaya Buddhist Order. President of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents (CATA) Mr Ang Kim Eang, Mr. Kok Meng and some others are also presenting at the Conclave.

Objectives of this Conclave are to showcase and project Buddhist Heritage in India, boost tourism to Buddhist sites in the country and cultivate friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.

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