Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata delivered Speech as Chief Guest at 2566th Buddha Jayanti Celebration under the Sacred Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar, India

Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata delivered Speech as Chief Guest at 2566th Buddha Jayanti Celebration under the Sacred Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar, India

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 23 May 2022

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 23 May 2022

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On 16 May 2022, Miss Acharapan Yavaprapas, Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata, graced her presence as Guest of Honour and delivered her speech at the 2566th Buddha Jayanti celebration ceremony under the Sacred Bodhi Tree, Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar. The ceremony was chaired by His Excellency Shri Phagu Chauhan, Governor of Bihar, and was attended by Mr. Donnawit Poolsawat, Consul-General of Thailand in Mumbai, Mr. Kasemsan Thongsiri, Deputy Consul-General and Mr. Nutt Svasti-Salee, Consul, Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata.

In her speech, Miss Yavaprapas emphasised the importance of Visakha Puja Day, or Vesak Day, in Thailand, which is the equivalent of Buddha Jayanti/Buddha Purnima. Thai Buddhists celebrate by making offerings to Buddhist monks, chanting Buddhist prayers and joining candle-lit processions or ‘Wian Tian’ in the evening time.

This Visakha Bucha or Vesak Day is the symbolic representative day of Buddhism well beyond the Asian continent. On 8 February 2000, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the Day of Vesak as “the day most sacred to Buddhists”. This international recognition at UN level constitutes “acknowledgement of the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity”.

Hence, the observances and celebrations of the Day of Vesak are organised on a yearly basis at the United Nations Headquarters and other United Nations offices across the globe. Most recently, on 13 May 2022, the 17th Buddhist celebration and international seminar were organised on both online and offline platforms at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Office in Bangkok, Thailand, with participation from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres.

In addition, on 13 May 2022, Thailand’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with Sri Lankan Permanent Mission, organised the online celebration of the Day of Vesak, with active participation from eminent personalities from the international community.

The Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata also described the importance of Bodhgaya, Land of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha, which holds a special place in Thai people’s hearts. It is one of the most sacred and most visited places by Thai Buddhist pilgrims in India. Before COVID-19, approximately 70,000 to 80,000 Thai Buddhists visited this holy place in 2019.

During COVID-19 time, in 2020 and 2021, the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata gifted medical equipment and machines to Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya, under the Royal Thai Government’s Initiative to Empower Medical Capacities in Bihar, in the hope that this shall benefit both the local population and the Thai Buddhist monks and lay persons residing in Gaya.

In the eve of post-COVID-19 time, it is high time to revitalise the ties and linkages between Thailand and the Land of the Lord Buddha. On this auspicious occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Thailand and India, the Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata conveyed her sincere thanks to the Government of Bihar, the Directorate of Gaya and the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee for the excellent collaboration extended to the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata and the Royal Thai Government.

The Thai side reiterates its readiness to further strengthen ties between Thailand and India, as well as both our peoples, in order to achieve greater and deeper mutual understanding.

On her last note, Miss Yavaprapas was confident that the Thai-Indian strong people-to-people bonds, especially in religious and spiritual aspects, will help elevate Thailand-India bilateral relations in every other aspect, be it political or economic.