Four distinguished Sri Lankan Buddhist monks embarked on a significant journey to Jakarta, Indonesia, as part of the Temple to Temple Diplomacy Programme on 25th September 2023.

This visionary initiative was set in motion by Hon. Tharaka Balasuriya, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the blessings of H.E. the President and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. Under the guidance of H.E. Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Indonesia and ASEAN, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Jakarta coordinated with the temples located in Indonesia to arrange this visit of monks.

The visiting monks have been welcomed into the warm embrace of two Indonesian temples: Vihara Jakarta Dhammacakka Jaya and Vihara Siddharta. During their stay, the Sri Lankan monks will explore temples in Jakarta, Semarang, and Bandung, including a visit to the Borobudur temple, the largest Buddhist temple globally, which is also a UNESCO heritage site.

Temple to temple diplomacy stands as a unique approach to international relations, highlighting the profound cultural and religious ties between nations. This program serves as a bridge towards greater understanding, cooperation, and cultural exchange, fostering regional peace and stability. It is poised to pave the way for enhanced economic collaboration, tourism, and cultural exchanges.

Although the majority of Indonesians are from the Islam religion, the Buddhist population (approximately 2 million) is also quite significant as they play an active role in the business community of Indonesia. Ven. Narada Maha Thero, a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, and translator within the Theravada tradition remembered as the first Theravada bhikkhu to have set foot in Indonesia, to revive Buddhism in Indonesia.

The Sri Lankan Embassy is actively collaborating with temples across various Indonesian provinces to expand this diplomatic outreach.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
02nd October 2023


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