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Thứ Tư, tháng 9 27, 2006

No. 1153 (Hạt Cát dịch)

Sri Lanka President requests Americans of Sri Lankan origin to teach their children their mother tongue
Thu, 2006-09-28 01:36
By Walter Jayawardhana

President at Houston with a young American Sri Lankan student Vathila EkanayakaPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa requested hundreds of Texans of Sri Lankan origin who gathered to greet him in Houston Buddhist Vihara that they should teach children their mother tongue, whether Sinhala or Tamil with English so that they could communicate well with their country of origin.

He said teaching the mother tongue could make the children communicate with their grand parents, other relatives and friends of their parents back in Sri Lanka and keep the cultural umbilical cord uncut.

President is of the view that bi-lingual children could be more equipped to educate themselves than mono-lingual children in any country.

The President visited the Houston Buddhist Vihara on his way back home from his busy UN visit in New York. The city’s acting pro-tem Mayor Michael Berry and his Indian born wife Mrs. Nanditha Berry gave the President and Mrs. Rajapaksa a red carpet welcome at the Houston airport. President taking his lunch with an elderly Sri lankan
President Rajapaksa made his Houston visit to relax and chat and move with ordinary people of Sri Lankan origin and posed for photographs with small children.

At the Houston Buddhist Vihara meeting President Rajapaksa said that as a Buddhist he had been practicing patience with the LTTE for a long time while they were killing five soldiers per day. But when they were sending suicide bombers to kill the country’s Army commander and blowing up a bus killing 65 innocent bus passengers at Kebithigollewa no government worth its name could keep silent said the President.

Rajapaksa stressed that the government was only taking defensive action against the Tamil Tigers when government troops were being attacked.

Venerable Walpola Piyananda, Presidential Advisor on International Religious Affairs said that President Rajapaksa was the first leader to take definitive action against the Tamil Tigers to curb their openly practiced terrorism. He said the LTTE had deprived the Tamil children to grow up normally, play normally and study normally like the rest of the kids in the island nation since they were forcibly conscripted as child soldiers. Therefore, not only the Sinhalese but also the Tamils were grateful for the President.

The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Washington Bernard Goonathileke also participated in the event.

- Asian Tribune -

No 1152 ( Upekha dịch)

Pakistan to host world Budhist assembly next year, says minister
International News Network, Sept 27, 2006

TOKYO, Japan -- Pakistan's Federal Tourism Minister Nilofer Bakhtiar has said that her country would host a World Buddhist Assembly next year and hoped that large number of Japanese tourists would also visit Pakistan on this occasion.

She stated this while talking to Chief Priest of the eight hundred years old temple Kenchoji, Rev. Roshi Shodo Yoshida on the occasion of Iftar Dinner hosted in the honour of the Minister for Tourism, Nilofer Bakhtiar and her delegation here the other day.

The Minister thanked the chief priest for observing the sanctity of ‘Ramadhan’ and hoped that such gestures would help in promoting inter-faith harmony in the world. She reiterated the invitation to Reverend Yoshida to visit Pakistan.

The ancient temple is located in a picturesque suburbs of Tokyo. A replica of the famous Fasting Buddha statue was presented to the temple in October last year.

The decision for the donation of this unique sacred gift was made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz during his visit to Japan.

The Minister apprised the chief priest that Buddhist religious sites were well preserved in Pakistan. She said that Pakistan had been a cradle of many ancient civilizations. She described ‘Gandhara Civilization’, which flourished in the north of Pakistan two millennia ago and made its fascinating journey to Japan, was one of the most significant motifs in Pakistan’s historical mosaic.

Nilofer Bakhtiar stated that Pakistan would host a World Buddhist Assembly next year. Leader of the Assembly had recently visited Pakistan to tie up arrangements in this regard.

The chief priest thanked the government and people of Pakistan for gifting the rare sculpture to the temple.