Peace and Disarmament

Back to listOct 28, 2007

SGI-Sri Lanka Sponsors Culture of Peace Exhibition

Sri Lankan Education Minister Premajayantha (2nd from right) and Western Province Minister Cooray (3rd from right) participate in the candle lighting ceremony

From October 25-28, 2008, the SGI exhibition "Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World" was shown at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the country's largest exhibition hall. Soka Gakkai Lanka Buddhist Association (SGI-Sri Lanka) sponsored the exhibition.

Some 120 people attended the October 25 opening, including Sri Lankan Education Minister A.D. Susil Premajayantha, Western Province Minister Reginald Cooray and UNESCO Sri Lanka Office representative Philippe Duamelle. The ceremony began with the traditional lighting of a candle.

In a congratulatory message read by a representative, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda referred to a passage from the Dhammapada, a Buddhist scripture venerated by the people of Sri Lanka, saying, "To achieve your own inner reformation and live a life not based on your 'lesser self' but on your 'greater self' is the most noble way of life as a human being. It is the way of a victor." He stated that achieving a culture of peace "begins in our own hearts, in the effort to foster the spirit of respect for diversity, of caring for others, of genuine tolerance and nonviolence."

In his remarks, Education Minister Premajayantha shared the sincere desire of the Sri Lankan people for peace and expressed his hopes that SGI-Sri Lanka would convey this message to the global community on behalf of the Sri Lankan nation. Minister Cooray stated that to construct a culture of peace, each individual must first establish a citadel of peace in his or her own heart. SGI-Sri Lanka General Director Ranjith Rupasinghe said the SGI-Sri Lanka members' greatest desire is to spread this heartfelt desire for peace throughout their country as exemplary citizens, while strengthening bonds of friendship and trust with their neighbors and among Sri Lankan society at large.

[Adapted from an article in the November 8, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-Sri Lanka]