The Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka recently launched a diploma programme in Buddhist and Pali studies in Vienna in cooperation with the Department of the Study of Religions of the University of Vienna.
This affiliated programme was initiated by the Venerable Dr Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero of Vienna Dhamma Centrum with the assistance of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Austria. The inauguration of the programme was held under the patronage of Venerable Dr. Ittademaliye Indasara Thero, Vice Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka at the University of Vienna on Friday, 22 October 2010.
Speaking on the occasion, the Venerable Dr. Ittademaliye Indasara Thero, Vice Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali University said that the launching of the programme would help in creating greater understanding of Buddhism in the region. He also announced the University’s plan to expand the programme into a fully fledged degree programme in the years to come.
Ambassador Mr. Musthafa Jaffeer speaking at the inauguration ceremony thanked the Government of Austria and the University of Vienna for their cooperation in setting up the Buddhist and Pali Studies at one of the greatest centers of learning.
He also appreciated the efforts of the Venerable Dr Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero of the Vienna Dhamma Centrum in initiating the programme. The Ambassador further highlighted the guiding role that Buddhism and other religions play on societies and expressed hope that the course would serve as a bridge to enhance greater understanding among cultures.
Prof Dr Johann Figl, Head of Department of the Study of Religions, University of Vienna addressing the gathering stressed the importance of this course in promoting intercultural relations. Venerable Dr Wijayarajapura Seelawansa Thero of Vienna Dhamma Centrum in his speech said that the Buddhist study programme would contribute to a broader dialogue between Buddhism and the other religions, as well as strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries.
Reverent Bishop Dr Helmut Krätzl, Mr. Gerhard Weissgrab, President of the Austrian Buddhist Society and members of a Buddhist delegation from Sri Lanka, a number of guests and students of the University of Vienna participated at the inauguration.
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