Delegation of 40 high ranking Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks and eminent Buddhist scholars led by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya left for Pakistan on Monday (18th April) evening for a week-long visit till 25th April.
The delegation comprised senior monks of all Buddhist chapters, head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, President of the National Trust of Sri Lanka, Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, Acting Nilame of Sari Dalada Maligawa (Temple of Sacred Tooth), and the Director General of the Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka.
Minister of Justice and Budha Sasena Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa will be joining the delegation today (20th April) in Islamabad as the deputy leader of the delegation.
The visit aims to introduce the rich Buddhist Gandhara heritage of Pakistan to the people of Sri Lanka as well as to revive the Gandhara trail which has its capital and cultural hub at the present day Taxilla.
Delegation will be visiting different sites of Buddhist spiritual & religious significance in Mardan, Takht-i-Bahi and Swat, besides visiting Lahore, Taxila and Peshawar Museums, which are home to some of the rarest historical Buddhist holy relics.
They will also call on the top political leaders including President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain.
During the stay in Pakistan, more significant sites such as National Monument, Lok Virsa Museum, Khewra Mines, Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam, Minar-e-Pakistan, Mausoleum of Iqbal, Arfa Karim Centre for Punjab Board of Information Technology and the University of Punjab will also be visited by the delegation.