February 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh where the Messages of True Life in God started
On Wednesday February 23, 2011 We departed for the Grand Gala Inauguration Ceremony of the Buddha Image and The Atish Dipankar &V Suddhananda Peace Gold Awards. Upon arrival at ten am, there was tight security as the Honorable Prime Minister; Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, who is Muslim, would be present. This event was held at the Dharmarajika Monastery in Kamalapur. Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha organized the function marking the opening of the 48-feet standing image of Buddha erected on Dhamarajika Buddhist Monastery campus with cooperation of the Royal family of Thailand, who has donated the statue, the highest such sculpture of Buddha in Bangladesh. Representatives of 11 countries including Greece, Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore attended the opening ceremony and over two thousand people attended
Once the Prime Minister arrived the programme started with a Bangladesh dance and a Thailand dance. The program also started with people from the different faiths to say a prayer. The Imam Islam sang a prayer from the Koran in Arabic, and Duleep had been asked to read from the Holy Bible. However, they didn’t have one there so Duleep asked Vassula what to say. There was only a few minutes before he would go up on the stage, and this was really urgent. Vassula asked God to help her write some words in a rush. This is what she wrote and Duleep read out:
Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called “Son’s of God” Jesus said to his disciples; be the light of the world do not be like salt that lost its taste For what use is salt if lost its taste? It shall be thrown away. Blessed are the meek in heart for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Be good and perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect: So in the morning sew your seed of love, at noon sow your seed of peace, in the evening sow your seed of reconciliation, then go and collect your harvest and offer it to your Father in Heaven, and he shall tell you: In your graciousness my child you have obtained your reward in Heaven. The word of the Lord …
The welcome speech was by Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury M.P. The other speeches were by Mr.Dilip Barua,Honorable minister for industries, Police Major General suwira Songmetta PH.D., Advocate Md. Shajahan Mia M.P ,Honorable State Minister for Religious Affairs, H.E.Ms. Tasanawadee Miancharoen, Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand to Bangladesh and the Ven.Prakhru Sangkhru Boonsong Upassamo, Lord Abbot, Wat Songmettawanaram, Thailand
Her Excellency handed over the Atish Dipankar Peace Gold Award-2011 and Visuddhananda Mahathero Gold Award-2011 among the recipients for their contribution in spreading the message of peace.
They announced her as Vassula Ryden, “Divine Messenger” from Greece. She was the first to be called to receive the Atish Dipankar Peace Gold Award Medal for Inter-Religious Harmony and Peace, where Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina placed it around her neck and awarded her the large plaque as well.
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Among the other recipients for their contribution in spreading the message of peace where;
Phan Wannameethee of Thailand, Hye-Jeong of Korea and Phrashru Sangkharak Noonsong Upasamo of Thailand received the Atish Dipankar Peace Gold Award-2011
The Visuddhananda Mahathero Gold Award 2011 was given to T Y S Lama Gangchen, Founder Lama Ganchen World Peace Foundation, Italy, Thailand Police Major General Suwira Songmetta, Ajitananda Mahathero of Bangladesh, and Prof. Takahi Uemura of Japan, chair of Bangladesh-Japan Association of Science and Technology.
The Prime Minister departed and then we had a break for Lunch and the afternoon program began at four thirty in the afternoon with the ceremony of the Buddha Rupa.
We then continued into the large meeting area for the reception of all the recipients. His Holiness Acting Sangharaja of Thailand Somdej Phra Wannarat remained present as Chief Guest. His Holiness Sanghanayaka of Bangladesh S.Dharmapal Mahathero formally inaugurated while His holiness Sangharaja of Bangladesh Dharmasen Mahahero presided over the function. Professor Dr. Pranab Kumar Baruya Secretary General who has joined us on our pilgrimages in Egypt 2002 and in Turkey 2007 greeted Vassula and gave her one of his books.
They invited Vassula Ryden, along with the other recipients to sit at the Dias that they prepared along with the other dignitaries. Again they announced Vassula Ryden, Divine Messenger from Greece, to go to the podium and address the people.
Vassula went back to her seat where next to her was sitting Police Major General Suwira Songmeta. He congratulated her for her speech saying how much he liked it. He asked her if he could have and keep her speech. Vassula handed it to him immediately.
At the end of the program, around seven thirty in the evening, we were invited to a special dinner at the Hotel Dubani hosted by Mr. Saber Chowdhury M.P. for the recipients of the awards.