Sri Lanka is a country which is renowned around the globe as a land that reveres Theravada Buddhism since over 2500 years. It can be unarguably believed that Theravada Buddhism changed course of the country to the better after it was endowed to our island by King Dharmashoka from India through his son Arahat Mahinda, who is venerated as the second Buddha in Sri Lanka. Buddhism today is one of the most worshipped religions in the world and Theravada Buddhist scholars are a main stronghold that attempts to preserve its place in the world. IATBU stands for International Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities and it is a globally implemented community that works for the enhancement of Buddhist education. IATBU has become an international network that coordinates the higher educational institutes. It is an inclusive global network that unites people, knowledge, skills of every higher education institution with a specific mission to educate students to understand and practice the Supreme Buddha's Dhamma as presented in the Pali Canon. IATBU stimulates and formulates all the efforts to build on the great Theravada heritage so as to promote the Buddha-Sasana by ensuring that the brightest and best of each new generation will gain a profound understanding of the Supreme Buddha's Dhamma and will be motivated to apply that understanding fully in every area of their lives and work.
The prestigious IATBU holds an international conference every two years with the cooperation of the Theravada Buddhist countries in order to enhance the academic ties and knowledge between the countries. The opportunity to conduct an international conference of IATBU is a magnificent chance received by a Buddhist country and the selection itself manifests the confidence the Buddhist community has kept on the particular country and the prestigious universities. The Executive committee of IATBU gathered at Goy Jakarta Indonesia, honoured Sri Lanka by presenting the prestigious opportunity to Sri Lanka. Thus, IATBU – 5th International conference 2018 is scheduled to be held on 27 and 28th of November 2018 in Colombo. IATBU - 5th International conference 2018 will be hosted by Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka under the patronage of the Sri Lankan government. Recognizing the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka as the main Theravada Buddhist University in Sri Lanka and one of the main Buddhist universities in Asia, the university is thus privileged to host this conference.
The inaugural session of the 5th International conference of the International Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities – 2018 in Sri Lanka will be held on 27th November 2018 at Hotel Galadari from 9. 00 am to 12.30 pm with the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena honouring the event as the Chief Guest. Special guests at the event will be Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Minister of Education and Higher Education Mr. Wijayadasa Rajapakse and Honourable State Minister of Higher Education, Mr. Mohan Lal Grero. The event will also be blessed with the presence of the Maha Nayaka Theros of the Three Chapters and the Most Venerable Ashin Gnanissara, Sangaraja and Chancellor of Sitagu University, Myanmar. Conference Joint-Secretaries are Professor Samantha Ilangakoon, Dean of the Faculty of Buddhist Studies and Dr. Waruni Tennakoon, Head of the Department of English, Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka.
The 5th International conference of the International Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities – 2018 in Sri Lanka is themed in this year under “Treasures of Theravada Buddhism”. The sub themes of IATBU 5th International conference are,
- Propagation and Preservation of Theravada Buddhism
- Buddhism and Global Issues
- Traditional New Trends in Theravada Buddhism
- Rites and Rituals in Theravada Buddhism
- Buddhism to a Pluralistic Society
- Buddhist Heritage in Asia and
- Tradition of Pali Education and its New Dimensions
The Keynote Speaker at the event is Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne of University of Colombo and the Conference Chair is the honourable Vice Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, Venerable Senior Professor Gallalle Sumanasiri Thero. Presentation of academic papers will take place on the 27th November afternoon at the Hotel Galadari and throughout the day on 28th November from 8. 00 am onwards at Buddhist and Pali University premises, Homagama with the contribution of Buddhist scholars from Sri Lanka and all over the world.
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