National Office of Buddhism in Thailand Director General Narong Songarom and Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Thailand and Permanent Representative to UNESCAP C.A. Chaminda I. Colonne recently had fruitful discussions on strengthening centuries old traditional Buddhist and cultural relations and cooperation between Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Warmly welcoming Ambassador Chaminda Colonne at the National Office of Buddhism, Director General Narong Songarom elaborated on the role played by the Thai Supreme Sangha Council and the National Office of Buddhism as the central Government agency of Thailand, responsible for administration of Buddhism under direct supervision of the Prime Minister of Thailand, and assured fullest support for furthering and consolidating longstanding excellent bonds of friendship and cooperation.
After extending warm greetings from the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Ambassador Colonne stated that under the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, and the 20 foreign policy guidelines of the present Government, priority has been given for the promotion and protection of Buddhism and to booster Sri Lanka’s identity as a Theravada Buddhist Cultural Centre, which respects multi-religious values, by closely interacting with nations that respect similar values and called to unite to face the challenges of the 21st century.
The Executive Committee and senior officials of the National Office of Buddhism participated in the discussion. During the visit, Ambassador Colonne also paid homage to Phra Si Sakkaya Thotsaphala Yan Prathan Phutthamonthon Suthat, the Principal Buddha Statue of Buddhamonthon and Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing statue, Phra Thepsasanaphiban, the Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Region 14 and the Abbot of Rai Khing at the Royal Temple in Nakhon Pathom Province.
At the invitation of National Office of Buddhism and Phra Thepsasanaphiban, the Ecclesiastical Regional Governor of Region 14 and the Abbot of Wat Rai Khing, the Royal Temple, Ambassador Chaminda Colonne along with Nakhon Pathom Province Governor Surasak Charoensirichot attended the enshrinement ceremony of the Buddha’s relics from Malwatta Maha Viharaya of Sri Lanka, Phra Sri Sakaya Tossapalayana statue, Sukhothai Buddha image in pacifying the ocean posture onto the directional arches of Phra Upali Maha Mongkon Stupa and the ceremony of casting the statue of Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing (lap size of 32 inches) on the occasion of 99th Anniversary of Phra Upali Kunupamachan, (Panya Inthapanyamahathera), former Abbot of Wat Rai Khing, the Royal Temple.
Sangha Supreme Council Councillor and Wat Traimitwittayaram Temple Central Sector Chief Superintendent Somdet Phra Maha Rajamongkonmuni attended as the Sangha President of this grand religious occasion.
At the invitation of Thai Beverage Public Company Ltd. President and CEO Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, Ambassador Chaminda Colonne also participated at the Katina Ceremony led by Abbot Athikaran Prasart Khemapunyo at Wat Dhammarama, Ayutthaya, historical temple that Pra Upali Maha Thera stayed and started his journey to Sri Lanka, on King Boromakot’s order and King Kirti Sri Raja Singha’ s request to ordain people and promote Buddhism in Sri Lanka in 1753.
Initiatives were taken by the Thai Beverage Public Company for renovation of the historical site and Pramaha Poj Suvajo Thero handed over the first release of cartoon strip or comic book titled ‘Venerable Upali Thera The Jewel of the Siam Vamsa’ printed by Mahachulalongkornraja vidyalaya University to Ambassador Colonne. Present Governor Weerachai Nakmas, former Governor Widaya Pewphpong of Ayutthya, former Thailand Ambassador to Sri Lanka Poldej Worachat were among the dignitaries present.