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For Buddhajayanti: The Celebration of 2600 Years of the Buddha's Enlightenmentk

Keynote Speaker
Phra Bhavanaviteht, Santidhamma Forest Hermitage
(Watpah Santidhamma)

Guest Speaker
Ven Sheng Kai
Dr. Art-Ong Jumsai Na Ayudhya
Symposium Speakers
Rev.Noriaki Kunitomo
Prof Vanchai Vatanasapt
Prof. Kamaleswar Bhattacharya
Dr. Phil Tan
Prof. Dr. Donald K Swearer
Dr Thich Tam-Duc
  Prof. Dr. Keown
Ven. Dr. Yuan Ci
Ven. Dr. Khammai Dhammasami
Prof Sumanapala Galmangoda
Dr Sarah Shaw

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From The President of the Privy Council and Statesman
Prem Tinsulanonda

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Message of H.E. General Prem Tinsulanonda
President of the Privy Council and Statesman
On the Occasion of Wisakha Bucha Day 2012

Prem Tinsulanonda

Wisakha Bucha Day falls on the Day of the Full Moon of the Sixth Lunar Month each year. It is the day when the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing away of the Lord Buddha fall on the same month and date. It is an important event for all Buddhists of the world to pay homage to the Lord Buddha, to praise him for his wisdom and benevolence towards humanity. It was in this spirit that the United Nations General Assembly resolved, in 1999, for the international recognition and observance of Wisakha Bucha Day.

The ninth Buddhists International Congress being held in 2012 aims at not only to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Lord Buddha's enlightenment but also to underline the importance of the Buddhist tenet of striving to bring peace and happiness to individuals, families, societies and countries. This Congress is also organised with a view to marking the 8Oth anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen and the 60th anniversary of His Royal Highness the Crown prince.

In Thailand, the majority of the population adhere to Buddhism, with His Majesty the King as the great benefactor of the Buddhist religion. He is also our national symbol, proponent of the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy and advocate of the Buddhist middle-way which follows the noble Eightfold path:

Right view - to see and to understand with wisdom the true nature of all things
Right intention - commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement
Right speech - to speak only words that are constructive and kind.
Right action - to assume wholesome bodily actions
Right livelihood - to earn one's living in a righteous way
Right effort - to endeavor to perform wholesome actions
Right mindfulness - to keep the mental state in clear perception, not being obscured or get carried away
Right concentration - to develop a peaceful mind concentration and overcome all desire and delusions

That Thailand and her people still survive to this day is because they carry dhamma in their hearts.

I sincerely hope that the celebration of Wisakha Bucha Day will be a great occasion for Thailand and for the Thai people to be reminded of the debt they owe to their country and to repay that debt. They should set their mind on doing good and helping to instill goodness in the hearts of their fellow men.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Royal Thai Government, to the Thai Sangha, and to all who are participating in the celebration of this important day for the benefit of all Buddhists in Thailand and the world.

H.E. General Prem Tinsulanonda
President of the Privy Council and Statesman