(Kandy, 20/05) Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Friday (20/5), officially opens the Indonesian Gallery in the International Buddhist Museum, in the city of Kandy, along with the Galleries from other 17 countries. The 350-kg Borobudur Temple Miniature made of natural stone, as well as other replicas of Buddha statues and fretworks in Borobudur Temple become the center of attention of the President as well as enthusiastic invitees from diplomatic corps, bikkhus, representatives of Buddhist communities from all over the world, as well as national and international media also attending the opening ceremony. In the Indonesian Gallery, the Indonesian Ambassador and the Director General for Buddhist Affairs give direct explanation on Buddhist development in Indonesia. The displays in the Indonesian Gallery are made possible on account of close cooperation of the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo and Buddhists in Indonesia through Indonesian Buddhist Congress, Mendut Vihara and “Kadam Choeling” Dharma Center.
The Museum will attract about one million observers also visiting the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple, in which the sacred Buddha tooth relic is kept. In return, it is hoped that the Indonesian Gallery can attract Sri Lankans and other nationals to visit Indonesia to directly observe the richness of Buddhist heritage in Indonesia.
The Media mentions that the Sri Lankan Government spends about 20 billion IDR to renovate the old structure from the British era build in 1883 to house the Galleries. The other 17 countries opening Galleries are those with Buddhist heritage and Buddhists followers exist, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.