(TibetanReview.net, Jan26, 2018) – The Dalai Lama is to join some 2000 monks from Sri Lanka, Burma, China, Thailand and Nepal at a Buddhist heritage festival to be held in Vijayawada in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh beginning Feb 3, reported thehindu.com Jan 11. The event, with ‘Global Shanti’(Global Peace) as one of the themes, is being hosted by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority (APTA).
Described as a blend of celebration, education and entertainment, the event will orchestrate a global chant for world peace the world over with the sacred Buddhist site of Amaravati as the centre, Himanshu Shukla, the CEO of APTA was cited as saying.
The report said the festival was initially planned to be held in January but had to be postponed by a month as the Dalai Lama was participating in programmes at Bodh Gaya.
The report said Shanti yatras (or peace walks) on all three days of the festival by the participating monks, school and college students, bureaucrats and politicians, a heritage walk, performance by Shaolin monks of China and cultural performances by artists from the US, Singapore and China will be some of the festival highlights. However, the Chinese participation remains doubtful given the presence of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government’s known antipathy towards any event involving him.
The ancient Amaravathi town in Guntur district, close to Vijayawada city, is speckled with historically important Buddhist sites, the report noted. These have inspired the state government to establish Amaravati as a global centre for unity and peace, it added.