The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Cairo celebrated the Day of Vesak on 29 April 2018 at the Embassy premises with the participation of the Sri Lankan community, foreign diplomats and officials representing Missions of Buddhist countries. Venerable Ambanpola Gnanathusitha Thero was invited from Sri Lanka with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment to conduct the Vesak Day Programme.
This was the first time that the Embassy of Sri Lanka has organized an event of “Sath Budu Vandanawa” for a poya day. Seven Buddha statues were specially brought from Sri Lanka for the event and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Egypt Ramiah Yogarajan had taken great effort to make the event colorful.
The programme commenced with an offering of milk rice (kiri ahara poojawa) to the Buddha statues and observance of Ata Sil, followed by Dhamma Sermons, and Gilanpasa pooja. The mid-day Dana for those who observed sil was offered by the Sri Lankan Community.
Parallel to the sil campaign, a “Soft drink Dansala” had been organized by the Sri Lankan expatriate community while the Embassy organized a blood donation camp at the Embassy premises.
The evening session of the programme consisted of Dhamma sermons in English and Sath Budu Vandana Pooja, conducted by Venerable Ambanpola Gnanathusitha Thero for foreign diplomats and officials from the Embassies of Nepal, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Foreign dignitaries joined the celebrations by illuminating Vesak lanterns and lighting oil lamps.
Both the Embassy and the Official Residence of the Ambassador were decorated with Buddhist flags, white lights, oil lamps and colourful Vesak lanterns made by the Sri Lankan Community, staff of the Embassy and their family members.
Singing of devotional songs “Bakthi Geetha” by the Embassy staff and members of the Sri Lankan community was the final event of the programme. Spouse of the Ambassador, Mrs. Mandara Yogarajan also took part in the singing of “Bakthi Geetha”.
Vesak celebrations were concluded with a dinner, organized by the Sri Lankan Expatriate community.