National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (fourth from left) on May 15 visited the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s Executive Council. (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA)
– National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on May 15 visited the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s Executive Council on the occasion of the Buddha’s 2563rd birthday.

Ngan congratulated the VBS on successfully hosting the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 which took place in the northern province of Ha Nam from May 12-14, thus helping to promote Vietnam’s image, role and position in the world.

Vesak 2019 is expected to draw more international tourists to Vietnam and turn the Tam Chuc Buddhism Culture Centre in Kim Bang district, Ha Nam province – the venue of the event - into a tourist destination, she said.

The top legislator reiterated the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy of respecting the rights to freedom of belief and religion, including Buddhism.

She lauded the VBS’s continuous efforts in promoting the harmony, solidarity and unification within Buddhism, and accompanying the nation.

Ngan believed that the VBS will continue encouraging Buddhist monks, nuns and followers nationwide to well implement the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws, perform their citizen rights and unite together in national construction and defence.

For his part, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Permanent Vice Chairman of the VBS’s Executive Council, said foreign delegates to the 16th UN Day of Vesak have applauded favourable conditions the Vietnamese Party, Government, National Assembly and Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee have created for the VBS to successfully organise the event.

Vesak 2019 attracted the most delegates, including many heads of state, and Buddhist monks, nuns and followers, as compared with the two previous events hosted by Vietnam in 2008 and 2014, he said.

"Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the year’s most sacred day to the millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha passed away.

The UN General Assembly internationally recognised the Day of Vesak in 1999 to acknowledge the contributions Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made to humanity. 

The 16th United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 brought together 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories worldwide.-VNA