A symposium on the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Sect was held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on July 17, with the participation of representatives from 12 southern localities.

Co-organised by the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and Can Tho City People’s Committee, the event aimed to review the 10-year implementation of the Prime Minister’s instruction on the State management of the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Sect and discuss tasks in the coming time.

Participants heard that over the past decade, there have been many activities supporting the operation of the Khmer Theravada Buddhism such as helping the sect in carving pagoda seals, printing the prayer-book in Khmer language and building schools at pagodas. A number of Khmer pagodas have been recognised as revolutionary historical relic sites and many monks have been honoured for their contributions to the revolution.

These activities have positively contributed to improving the social and cultural life of Khmer ethnic people while helping Khmer Theravada Buddhists understand more about the Party and State’s policy toward the community.

However, several problems have arisen and need to be addressed quickly, such as the delay in the construction of the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Institute in Can Tho city’s O Mon district.

Delegates proposed increasing fundings for the printing of Khmer documents in both Vietnamese and Khmer languages, training activities at Khmer pagodas and the repair of pagodas.

The Government Committee for Religious Affairs said the key tasks for the time ahead is to accelerate the construction of the Khmer Theravada Buddhist Institute in O Mon district, which will be a major training centre for the entire region, while providing proper assistance for the operation of the sect, especially teaching and learning activities at pagodas.

The southern region is now home to about 1.5 million Khmer Theravada followers, including nearly 10,000 monks who practice their religion at 454 pagodas in 15 localities.-VNA