Narinjara News

Burma to hold the Fourth World Buddhist Summit

Sittwe, 30
th July 03:  The fourth World Buddhist Summit will be held in Burma in December 2004, said a prominent Buddhist monk close with one of the abbots attending the eighth Sangha Mahanayaka Council held in Kaba-aye in Rangoon on 5th July 03. 

The Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Brigadier Thura Aung Ko, attending the summit, said this to an assembly of forty-seven abbots from across Burma.  The deputy minister is quoted to have said that the present State Peace and Development Council junta has been ruling the country as the good old kings.

The world Buddhist summit will be held in cooperation with the Japan Buddhist Association, he said.  The biennial summit has been held in a number of Asian countries since 1998, beginning with Japan, then Thailand in 2000, Cambodia in 2002, and Burma next year.

The Sangha Mahanayaka Council was established in 1980 by the then ruling dictator Ne Win.  The Council consisting of senior monks was established with an aim to ‘purifying and perpetuating the holy order of Buddhist monks’.  “But in practice the Council was used as a tool to harass the Buddhist monks who opposed the whimsical rule of the Burmese dictators and stifle the voice of the democracy-loving monks,” said the above monk on condition of anonymity.

The present State Peace and Development Council junta of Burma have been planning to hold the Buddhist council according to schedule, said the monk. #