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Buddhists Across Asia commemorated the Birth, Enlightenment, and Death of Buddha in Vesak Celebrations

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Buddhist monks walk down a road asking for alms during the annual Vesak festival, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 11, 2017. VOA
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Asia, March 11, 2017: Buddhists across Asia commemorated the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha in Vesak celebrations this week.

This year, the United Nations held its special Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka, where a colorful lantern festival was organized with moving light displays and stalls to hand out free food and drinks to visitors.

“This has given the opportunity not only to Buddhists but all the people of the country to showcase how we celebrate Vesak in this country,” said Jagath Sumathipala, vice president of the World Buddhist Congress.

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In other countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Nepal, Buddhists lit candles and butter lamps while offering prayers at temples and shrines.

In Singapore, monks and devotees took part in a procession in which they prostrated themselves on the ground after every three steps. In India, people dipped themselves in the Ganges River. (VOA)

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Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks

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Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks
This is a Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks. wikimedia commons

Colombo, Dec 26, 2017: Sri Lanka will convert two large garbage dumps here into urban parks next year as part of a city beautification programme, a minister announced on Tuesday.

Addressing the Colombo City Beautification Awards Ceremony in Colombo, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said that garbage could no longer be dumped at the Meethotamulla or Bloemendhal garbage mountains and plans were afoot to construct a large scale national landfill site in Aruwakkaluwa in Puttalam, to address the government’s garbage disposal issue, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ranawaka said that all steps would also be taken to ensure that no harm is caused to the environment when constructing the Aruwakkaluwa sanitary landfill.

With no proper garbage disposal in place, garbage from the capital was dumped at the Meethotamulla Garbage mountain for years with some environmentalists claiming that nearly 800 tons of solid waste was added daily. (IANS)

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