- Date23-09-25 15:23
Strengthening Relations between Sri Lanka and the ASEAN Countries through the Temple to Temple Diplomacy Programme
September 19th 2023
The Temple to Temple Diplomacy Programme was initiated by Hon. Tharaka Balasuriya, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs with the blessings of H.E. the President and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. Initially, a meeting was chaired by the Hon. State Minister of Foreign Affairs on strengthening relations between Sri Lanka and the ASEAN countries on 30th March 2023, with the participation of the Heads of Mission of several ASEAN countries based in Sri Lanka and Venerable Mugunuwela Anuruddha Thero, the Secretary General of the All Island Buddha Sasana Council of Sri Lanka. Thereafter, the Programme was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with our Missions in the ASEAN countries and South Korea together with the Department of Buddhist Affairs and the All Island Buddha Sasana Council of Sri Lanka. The official launch of the Programme was held on 19th September 2023 with a media briefing by the Hon. State Minister with the participation of the first batch of Venerable monks visiting Indonesia and South Korea and the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Buddhist Affairs, at the Main Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Temple to Temple Diplomacy Programme aims to connect temples and religious communities across Sri Lanka and other ASEAN countries to promote mutual understanding, cultural and economic exchanges.
The visits include sharing the rich traditions and culture between Sri Lanka the ASEAN countries and Korea including Martial Arts, Ayurveda, and the arts.
The objectives of the visits involve appreciating religious and cultural diversity amongst nations, facilitating interfaith dialogue and cooperation among different religious communities and encouraging projects that promote peace, harmony and mutual respect. The Programme, also addresses sustainable tourism, cultural exchange, and economic cooperation between the countries which are part of this initiative.
The first batch of Ven. Monks who left for Korea on 19th of September 2023 for 30 days, were met on their arrival in Seoul by H.E. the Ambassador in Korea on 20th September 2023. The next batch of Ven. Monks will leave for Indonesia next week.