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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:04, February 28, 2007
Sri Lanka presents Buddha statue to China during president's state visit
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Visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse presented a replica of the Samadhi Buddha statue to China on Tuesday as state gift.

A grand consecration ceremony was held for the one-and-half-meter-tall jade Buddha in Beijing Lingguang Temple on Tuesday. Hundreds of monks and believers from the two countries joined the ceremony.

Regarding Sri Lanka and China as two countries with splendid culture and history, Rajapakse said the mutual understanding and respect between the two countries set an example for country-to-country relations.

Rajapakse also worshiped the tooth relic of Sakyamuni that treasured in the temple.

Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, said the presentation of the Buddha statue is a great event in the history of bilateral exchanges. He hopes the two countries' Buddhist circles could take the opportunity to enhance friendly exchanges and further promote bilateral friendship.

The friendly exchanges between the two countries' Buddhist circles dates back to more than 1,500 years ago. Chinese ancient monk Fa Xian spent two years in Sri Lanka in the 5th century and recorded the development of Buddhism there in his book.

In recent years, leaders from the three major schools of Sri Lanka and the leaders of the Chinese Buddhist Association kept frequent mutual visits.

During Rajapakse's seven-day China trip, he also presented two corneas to be used for transplants in China, and a baby elephant.

The three state gifts given by Sri Lanka to China are an evidence of increasingly close and friendly ties between the two countries.

Source: Xinhua

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