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Celebrations of 65th anniversary of establishment of India-Lao PDR diplomatic relations Talk on religious linkages between India and Lao PDR

Posted on: March 12, 2021 | Back | Print

Embassy of India


Press Release

Religious Linkages between India and Laos

As a part of the celebrations of 65th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Lao PDR, the Embassy of India Vientiane and Lao Front for National Development (LFND) organized a Talk on “Buddhist Linkages between Lao-India” on 12 March 2021 at the LFND Headquarters in Vientiane. Many events are planned to celebrate this important occasion. Today’s event was one in a series of such events.

2. His Excellency Dr. Xaysomphone Phomvihane, President of Lao Front for National Development presided over the occasion. His Excellency Mr. Khambai Damlath, Vice President of Lao Front for National Development, Mr Bountiem Phissamay, President of Lao-India Friendship Association and Most Venerable Phra Dr. Damrong Phimmajak, Director-General of the Committee for Sangha Foreign Affairs, also graced the occasion. Besides, more than 60 Buddhist Monks, representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Lao government departments were present, in addition to some members of the Indian community. Altogether, about 125 people attended the function.

3. The programme started with opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Khambai Damlath, Vice President of Lao Front for National Development. He welcomed the participants and spoke about the deep rooted historical links between Lao PDR and India. He highlighted the importance of the Talk for increasing the understanding of the history of Lao Buddhism and also strengthening the diplomatic relations between the two countries. This was followed by speech of Ambassador of India, H.E. Mr. Dinkar Asthana.

4. In his address, the Ambassador thanked Lao Front for National Development for hosting the Talk and highlighted the fact that relations between India and Lao PDR are based on respect for national sovereignty and mutual benefit in pursuit of development and upliftment of the peoples of the two countries. He elaborated on the development cooperation portfolio of India in Lao PDR. He then spoke about the religious linkages through Buddhism and Hinduism between Lao PDR and India and about the various steps taken by Government of India to promote the places linked with the life of Lord Buddha or ?akya Muni, as he is also known — like Kushinagar, Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Bodh Gaya, etc., popularly known as the Buddhist circuit, as a high-class tourist circuit. Ambassador also mentioned that the Vat Lao in Bodh Gaya, Laos own temple there, is another example of strong cultural ties between India and Lao PDR.

5. Most Venerable Dr. Damrong Phimmajak, Director General, Committee for Sangha Foreign Affairs delivered the Talk on “Buddhist Linkages between Lao-India”, emphasizing historic links between the two countries and gave an insight into the people-to-people contacts. He went into details explaining the various facets of the religious, cultural and historical links between the two countries. He mentioned that Lao and India shared a long history of Buddhist linkages spanning many millennia. This was followed by a Question and Answer Session.

6. During the Question & Answer session, one of the participants asked about the scholarship for Buddhist studies in India and another participant asked to translate Buddhist literature into Lao Language. The Ambassador mentioned the scholarship programmes by the government of India and also called attention to short-term courses related to Buddhism under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme currently being offered online (e-ITEC). Ambassador mentioned that due to Covid-19 pandemic, it was not currently possible to provide scholarships to go to India for studies; however, these scholarship programmes will resume once COVID-19 situation becomes normal. The Ambassador also agreed to look at how the two countries might cooperate for translation of the Buddhist literature currently available in Sanskrit / Pali into Lao to make it accessible to the common man.

7. A documentary “The Way of The Buddha”, dubbed into Lao, was also screened.

8. The event concluded with the dignitaries and invited guests enjoying a luncheon with Lao and Indian dishes.


March 12, 2021