Buddhism has been a key pillar binding the people of India and Sri Lanka

The second volume of the Jataka Tales Audio Book in Sinhala was released in by Indian High Commission in Colombo on Friday to commemorate the arrival of Most Venerable SanghamittaTheri from India to Sri Lanka.

The Audio Book contains 50 Jataka Tales under the theme of ‘Good Advice’ and is dedicated to the people of Sri Lanka, particularly the visually impaired, the High Commission said.

India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay described the Audio Book as a 'dhammadaana' from the people of India to the people of Sri Lanka. He also underlined that the Jataka Tales represents more than two millenia old close cultural ties between India and many countries, of which Sri Lanka has a very special place as one of the first countries to receive the gift of Buddhism from India.

Baglay also interacted with the winners of the International quiz competition on Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage who returned after a five-day multi-city tour to key Buddhist sites of India. Organized by the High Commission in collaboration with State Ministry of Pirivena Education, the quiz competition had witnessed the participation of about 6000 Pirivena students.

Speaking at the event, Sri Lanka's State Minister Vijitha Berugoda thanked the Government of India for supporting the Pirivenas and dhamma education in Sri Lanka.

The book was released at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka.

The first volume was released at the sacred RuwanweliMaha Seya premises in Anuradhapura on the auspicious PosonPoya on June 14, 2022 to mark the 75th anniversary of India-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations.

The 'Jataka Tales Audio Book' project is a joint collaboration between SVCC and CCIS, University of Colombo supervised by Most Ven. Rambukana Siddhartha Thero. Several experts including Upul Ranjith Hewawitanagamage, Chair Senior Professor of Hindi Studies, University of Kelaniya, WA Abeysinha and Wathsala Samarakoon, a popular TV and Radio presenter contributed towards the initiative.

Buddhism has been a key pillar binding the people of India and Sri Lanka.

Government of India has committed to a USD 15 million grant for promotion of Buddhist ties between the two countries.

The inaugural international flight to the sacred city of Kushinagar from Sri Lanka on the auspicious ‘WapPoya’ day in October 2021; multi-city exposition of the sacred Kapilvastu Buddha relics from the Rajaguru Sri SubhuthiMahaVihara of Waskaduwa, in India in October 2021 are among the notable milestones that underscore the abiding Buddhist linkages between the two neighbours in the recent past, the Indian High Commission noted.