Three-day international Buddhism seminar begins in Agartala

Agartala, Dec 18 (IANS) A three-day international seminar on the Buddhist heritage of rhw northeastern region began here on Friday.

The seminar aims at reviving the role of heritage and cultural linkages in order to forge sub-regional synergies for growth and all round development between south Asia and southeast Asia.

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), in collaboration with Shillong-based Asian Confluence and Tripura based Dhamma Dipa Foundation organised this seminar, where ministers, parliamentarians, heads of spiritual organisations, scholars, writers, policy-makers, diplomats, entrepreneurs and members of the civil society from various countries participated.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar inaugurated the seminar.

IBC secretary general Ven. Lama Lobzang said: “The aim of the seminar is to discuss, debate and create a way forward for reviving the role of heritage and cultural linkages in order to forge sub-regional synergies for growth and all-round development.”

“India’s ‘act east policy’ has gained further importance and revived hopes of ending the land-locked isolation of the northeast region and opening the region to the larger South Asian arena.”

The concept note of the seminar said the level and quality of bilateral and sub-regional cooperation amongst India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal are key factors for success of critical sectors like natural resource management, disaster management, poverty alleviation, security, and counter terrorism.

“However, there is considerable ‘action deficit’ in the region, which inhibits real development and the possibility to exploit win-win synergies,” it added.

Nepal’s minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation Ananda Prasad Pokharel said Buddhist heritage circuit can be developed in south Asia and southeast Asia for better understandings of the people of the region.

“The Nepal government is contemplating to build the world’s largest statue of lord Buddha and already developed many Buddhist heritage sites in the country,” Pokharel told reporters.

In India, out of 121.09 crore population (2011 census), Buddhist population is 0.84 crore (0.7 percent of the total population) spread across 19 states.

Headquartered in New Delhi, the IBC is a global umbrella Buddhist body founded in 2012 with current memberships of over 320 Buddhist organisations of 39 countries.

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