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World Buddhist Forum opens in HK, Panchen Lama speaks on Dharma

(Xinhua)

08:29, April 27, 2012

Photo taken on April 26, 2012 shows the opening ceremony of the Third World Buddhist Forum at Hong Kong Coliseum, south China. More than 1,000 Buddhist monks and scholars from over 50 countries and regions attended the forum to discuss the role of Buddhism in the construction of a harmonious society and peaceful world. (Xinhua/Li Ying)

HONG KONG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The Third World Buddhist Forum opened Thursday in Hong Kong with more than 1,000 monks and scholars from over 50 countries and regions discussing the role of Buddhism in the construction of a harmonious society and peaceful world.

The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, one of the two most senior living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism who is visiting Hong Kong in his first public appearance outside the Chinese mainland, delivered a keynote speech on the Dharma.

CONGRATULATIONS FROM LEADERS

At the beginning of the opening ceremony, led by President of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association Kok Kwong, President of the Buddhist Association of China Chuan Yin, the 11th Panchen Lama, all distinguished guests, together with thousands of monks and Buddhist believers, bowed three times to the statue of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha and chanted the Heart Sutra, one of the most well known Buddhist scriptures.

China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin congratulated the opening of the forum in a congratulatory letter which was read out to the attendees by Zhu Weiqun, deputy head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, urged representatives of the forum to make contributions to kinder human relations, greater social harmony and a more peaceful world in his letter.

"It is my hope that the participating masters will use the occasion to exchange experience in religious practices, find more cultural resources, expound the inner meanings of Buddhist teachings and explore solutions to the common problems facing mankind, so as to make a positive contribution to kinder human relations, greater social harmony and a more peaceful world," Jia said in the letter.

The World Buddhist Forum has grown to become an important platform for promoting Buddhism and advancing peace around the world. The theme of this forum "Common aspirations and actions towards a harmonious world" will surely galvanize Buddhists in all countries to work hand in hand towards a world of durable peace and common prosperity, Jia said.

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon also sent a congratulatory letter to the forum. Ban said the proposals raised by the forum would be helpful for the work of the UN in the three pillar fields of peace, development and human rights.

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