News Alerts

09 May 2017 | 02:20 AM UTC

Sri Lanka: Vesak Day celebrations and protests in Colombo May 12-14

Sri Lanka News Alert

Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo May 12-14, with protests scheduled in opposition to Indian Prime Minister's visit May 11-12; travel disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/8/2017, 12:00 AM until 5/14/2017, 11:59 PM (Asia/Colombo). COUNTRY/REGION Colombo

Event

The UN "International Day of Vesak" celebrations are scheduled to take place in Colombo from May 12 to May 14, with Vesak Day falling on May 10. The celebrations will include an International Buddhist conference that will be attended by over 400 delegates from more than 100 countries. Around 6,000 security personnel will be deployed, with a reinforced security presence planned surrounding all key Buddhist temples across the country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the celebrations from May 11 to 12. Sri Lanka's opposition has called for "Black Flag" protests in response to Modi's visit between May 10 and 12, alleging that the Sri Lankan government is trying to "sell" the country to India in a deal regarding development rights over the Trincomalee port.

Context

Vesak Day (also known as Buddha Day) honors Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and passing away, and is the most important day in the Buddhist calendar. It corresponds to the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha and generally falls in May or early June.

Advice

Individuals are advised to account for potential travel disruptions. Avoid all protests and remain vigilant at all times.​

 

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