India- Sri Lanka mark Binara Poya day | Daily News

India- Sri Lanka mark Binara Poya day

To celebrate Binara Full Moon Poya day, the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, organized an online workshop titled “Buddhist Heritage Management and Conservation: From Mountains to Oceans” on 31st August, 2020. Six internationally renowned scholars from Sri Lanka and India, working in the fields of art, architecture, archaeology, and heritage management delivered participated in the workshop.

On the occasion, Consulate General of India in Hambantota also organized a Photo Exhibition, “India through Sri Lankan Eyes” at the Hiththatiya Raja Maha Viharaya, Matara, on September 1 2020. The exhibition displayed photographs of famous Buddhist temples in India (Dambadiva).

The Sri Lankan and Indian scholars participating in the online workshop discussed the significance of Buddhist Heritage of Sri Lanka and India and emphasized upon the need to conserve and manage them as cultural legacy of the world. The scholars stressed upon the need for a holistic approach towards heritage management, involving religious institutions, such as the Sangha, the academia, and the state.

The scholars discussed the contemporary context of preservation of Buddhist Heritage, and used case studies to elucidate strategies that could be adopted to address the challenges in this regard. The workshop highlighted the role of scientific studies done by archaeological bodies such as the Archaeological Survey of India, and stressed upon the need to involve the local community in heritage management and conservation, as is being successfully done in Ladakh.

The scholars from Sri Lanka participating in the workshop included Prof. Indrika Rajapaksha, Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa; Senior Prof. Anura Manathunga, Director of the Centre for Heritage Studies, University of Kelaniya; and Dr. Nilan Cooray, chartered architect and heritage conservationist with more than 30 years of experience in managing and conserving cultural heritage in South Asia, particularly Sri Lanka and India, as well as in South East Asia and Africa. The panelists from India were Dr. Sonam Wangchok, Founder, Himalaya Cultural Heritage Foundation, Ladakh; Dr. Tejas Garge, Director of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra; and Mr. Sanjay Dhar, a well-known wall painting conservator and heritage manager from Delhi.

Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh, Director, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Colombo, delivered the welcome remarks and moderated the workshop. The workshop was webcast live on the Facebook page of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Colombo. The workshop was organized as a part of the series of initiatives undertaken by the High Commission of India to strengthen the age-old cultural and spiritual ties between India and Sri Lanka. Earlier, in June 2020, the High Commission of India marked Poson Poya by creating ‘Poson Pavura’ - an art exhibition by Sri Lankan artists on the walls of the High Commission of India premises. In July, 2020, the High Commission of India commemorated Esala Poya by organizing an online interaction between Buddhist scholars from Sri Lanka and India. The topic of the interaction was “Dhamma for Global Well-Being” with special reference to Lord Buddha’s message of “Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta” - may all beings be happy, may all beings be free from suffering.

On August 2, 2020, the High Commission of India marked Nikini Poya by organizing a workshop for children on “Mindfulness in Everyday Life”.