Back to listMay 22, 2011

Lotus Sutra Exhibition Held in Sri Lanka

Speaker RajapaksaSpeaker Rajapaksa (center) viewing the Lotus Sutra exhibition

The exhibition "Lotus Sutra--A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence" was shown at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre in Colombo, the largest exhibition hall in Sri Lanka, from May 18-22.  The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) sponsored the event, which was cosponsored by International Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Buddhist Film Festival. The Sri Lankan government and SGI-Sri Lanka provided support. Visitors to the show numbered 1,500.

Some 300 people attended the official opening, including Speaker of the Parliament in Sri Lanka Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and All Ceylon Buddhist Congress President Jagath Sumathipala, along with representatives from the Nepalese, Russian and Thai Embassies and scholars.  

Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition CentreViewing the exhibition at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre

IOP founder Daisaku Ikeda sent a message to the opening, first expressing his deepest appreciation for Sri Lanka's support in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. He then introduced three aspects of the Lotus Sutra, saying it expounds the interdependence and coexistence of all life, seeks for that which is "eternal" in life and urges concrete actions to create peace. Mr. Ikeda also spoke about respect for life, based on a profound trust in each person's inherent Buddha nature, a theme which pulsates throughout the Lotus Sutra.

The 106 exhibition panels, in Sinhala, Tamil and English, featured excerpts from publications such as the Lotus Sutra Manuscript Series, published by IOP (commissioned by the Soka Gakkai), and from the seven parables in the Lotus Sutra.

SGI-Sri Lanka General Director Ranjith Rupasinghe spoke about the Sri Lankan people's suffering as a result of the civil war (1983-2009). He shared his determination to uphold the dignity of human life and work toward creating a peaceful and harmonious society that transcends ethnic differences.

[Adapted from an article in the May 29, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]