FPCC Project: Child Advocates visited a Buddhist Temple

FPCC South Asia Regional Advisor Group celebrated with Esahal Perahera
with Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thera

Colombo, Sri Lanka. Religions for Peace Sri Lanka brought the FPCC Regional Advisory Group to Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya (Buddhist Temple) located at the outskirts of Colombo for a dialogue and culture experience.

Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thera, the Chief of the Temple warmly welcomed the FPCC Regional Advisory Group delegation emphasizing the significant role of religious leaders in influencing families and communities into a harmonious environment for children to grow successfully with dignity.

Ven Dr. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka Thera is the brother of the late Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Anu Nayaka Thera, the former chief of the Temple.  The late Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Anu Nayaka Thera served as the President of Religions for Peace Sri Lanka, Executive Committee member of Religions for Peace Asia, and considered as a key leader in uniting the multi-religious communities to influence the government of Sri Lanka towards peace and social harmony.

After the meeting with Ven. Dr. Bellanwila, the delegates visited the many temples and participated Esahal Perahara festival.  Esala Perahera, one of the greatest Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, is a 10-day annual celebration believed to commemorate the first teachings of Buddha after enlightenment.  As the word ‘Perarhera” indicates, the delegations experiences the cultural festival of traditional parade with music and dances and other various performers with an elephant.

The FPCC Regional Advisory Group, a tripartite collaboration between Unicef, Religions for Peace and Joint Learning Initiative, is having a 3-day workshop on Faith Actors for Child Rights and Well-being:  Enhancing Collaboration and Positive Change for Adolescent Girls in South Asia from 13-15 August 2023.  For the FPCC work, please visit https://www.faith4positivechange.org/

The aim of the workshop is to engage multi-faith religious communities to action to promote and advocate the health and well-being of children and adolescent girls in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The religious festival confirms the influence of the religious communities in their deep influence into the life and culture of the people.  It clearly indicates the importance of interreligious cooperation as a key to an impactful advocacy for the rights and well-being of children and adolescent girls.

Religions for Peace is the world’s oldest, largest and most representative multi-religious leadership platform, advancing common action among the world’s faith communities. Unlike any other interfaith organisation, Religions for Peace works through legally registered, representative, multi-religious platforms (Interreligious Councils) in over 95 countries and 6 regions. We convene to catalyse and promote multi-religious collaboration for the common good. In Asia, Religions for Peace Asia is our regional affiliate founded in 1976. Religions for Peace Asia is part of the global Religions for Peace movement with a mission to advance common action among religious communities in Asia and the Pacific for peace.