National Buddhist conclave commences in Leh

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Mar 13: A two-day Buddhist conclave commenced at Sherab Skyadtsalling Learning and Library Centre Thiksay Monastery in Leh today.
The conclave was organised by Indian Himalayan Council of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition (IHCNBT) in collaboration with International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) and Ladakh Gonpa Association (LGA), Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi.
Skyabje Khamtak Rinpoche, LAHDC CEC, Tashi Gyalson, Executive Councillors, Scholars, monks, nuns and students attended the conclave.
Chief guest on the occasion Skyabjey Togdan Rinpoche stressed for the need of promotion of Nalanda tradition of Buddhism and in this regards he suggested to form a special committee from Ladakh region for promotion and propagations of Nalanda Tradition in Himalayan region.
Dr Dhammapiya, secretary general, IBC said that main objective of this conference is connect and bring all the Himalayan Buddhist people on common platform to discuss and debate to strengthening Buddhism. “We are following different school of Buddhism just like different branches of a tree and Buddha Dhamma is our root so efforts must be made to strengthening our culture” Dr Dhamapiya said.
IHCNBT secretary, Maling Gombu in his keynote address said that Buddhist scholars and monks faces number of challenges and problems due to non-recognition of their degrees. He said that being the native of borders region having strategic importance, Government of India has special concern for Buddhist people and Himalayan Buddhist people must make efforts to save Nalanda Tradition of Buddhism.  He said that to save the Nalanda Tradition of Buddhism, efforts must be made to set up Monastic Education Board so that Monastic Community including monks get recognition of their degrees. He further said that non-recognition of their degrees even highly qualified Buddhist scholars and monks failed to get jobs in universities.
Expressing his happiness over Himalayan Buddhist coming on a common platform, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said that it is the right time to propose the Government of India   to get recognition for Monastic Education system to include in the New Education Policy.
Rinpoche said that onus lies on younger generation to promote Buddhism and in this regards he urged LBA and LGA hold special seminars and discussion.
Speaking about Indian Himalayan Buddhist communities, cultural preservation and identity-challenges, Dr Jamyang Gyaltsen and Dr Tsultim Gyatso stressed for holding similar debate and discussion regularly in future so that issues and problems can be sorted out from common platform.
Earlier, presenting the welcome speech LBA president Thupstan Chhewang said that on one hand the practice of Buddhism is growing in European countries but on the other hand Buddhist community residing in the Himalayan region is facing a threat of losing its identity.  He said that such a Buddhist conclave is the need of the hour to address the issues.