President extends New Year wishes to Khmer community at Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy hinh anh 1President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) presents a souvenir to the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy (Photo: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho's O Mon district on April 7 to extend greetings to dignitaries at the academy and the Khmer community on the occasion of Chol Chnam Thmay, the traditional Khmer New Year festival.

The President was welcomed by Most Venerable Dao Nhu, Vice President of the Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and head of the academy, and a large number of Khmer Theravada Buddhist dignitaries and followers in the city.

Since its inception in 2006, the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy has organised five training courses with more than 200 monks graduating with bachelor's degree in Buddhism.

In 2017, the academy was expanded to over 6.7 hectares with total investment of 451 billion VND. Its first phase was inaugurated in 2019, with the rest completed in 2020.
President extends New Year wishes to Khmer community at Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy hinh anh 2President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits the academy (Photo: VNA)
The State leader wished the Khmer ethnic community a New Year of good health, peace and happiness.

He said that last year, thanks to efforts of the business community and people, including those from the Khmer ethnic group, the country managed to control COVID-19 and started the socio-economic recovery process, ensuring social welfare and achieving positive outcomes in ethnic and religious affairs.

He affirmed that the Party and State will continue to ensure the rights to belief and religious freedom of people as well as people’s rights to practice their religions in line with the law, while exerting efforts to improve the living conditions of religious dignitaries and followers, including Khmer Theravada Buddhism followers.

He said he hopes Most Venerable Dao Nhu will work with Khmer Theravada Buddhism dignitaries and followers to promote their patriotic tradition and close relations with the nation.
President extends New Year wishes to Khmer community at Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy hinh anh 3President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has a talk with dignitaries and followers at the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy (Photo: VNA)
He expressed his hope that graduates from the academy will work hard to guide the Khmer community to contribute to national building and safeguarding.

For his part, Most Venerable Dao Nhu thanked President Phuc for the New Year wishes. He said that over the years, dignitaries and followers of Khmer Theravada Buddhism in Can Tho and the Mekong Delta region have received great attention and support from local authorities during their religious activities as well as in ensuring their livelihoods and production amid the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Particularly, the local authorities have helped the Khmer ethnic community to maintain and promote their cultural identity, language, religion and traditions, he said.

Most Venerable Dao Nhu expressed his gratitude to President Phuc who, in his former position as the Prime Minister and current position of State President, has always paid attention and created optimal conditions for the construction of the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Academy, meeting the demand for religious study among Khmer Theravada Buddhism dignitaries and followers.

He pledged that Khmer Theravada Buddhism dignitaries will continue to work for the solidarity of Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, implementing orientations given by the VBS, and encouraging the Khmer community to join hands in developing the country./.