|The HCM City Buddhist Sangha held a conference at the Việt Nam National Pagoda to elect a new executive board to serve from 2017 to 2022. VNA/VNS Photo by Xuân Khu|
HCM CITY – The HCM City Buddhist Sangha elected a new executive board to serve in the 2017-2022 period at a conference yesterday.
The board includes 61 official members and 22 alternate members.
The Most Venerable Thích Trí Quảng, deputy head of the Supreme Patriarch Council of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha, was re-elected as the head.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Quảng said: “Over the last 35 years, the HCM City Buddhist Sangha has developed sustainably in every aspect, attracting attention from followers at home and abroad and from people at all levels of society.”
He added that the sangha has made great contributions to nation-building, defending and developing the country, and bringing peace and happiness to the people.
In the 2017-2020 period, the city’s sangha will continue its contributions to the city’s development, as well as expand and develop the HCM City Buddhist Sangha to become a leading sangha in the country, said the Most Venerable Quảng.
On behalf of the city’s Government at the conference, Tất Thành Cang, deputy secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said he greatly appreciated the achievements the sangha had made over the last five years, its contribution to the stability and development of Buddhism, and to the cause of defending, building and developing the country in general and HCM City in particular.
Cang said: “Besides its duties, the sangha should encourage its clergy and followers at home and abroad to participate in activities aiming to develop the economy, pay tribute to heroic martyrs, reduce poverty, protect the environment, preserve and promote national culture, fight against superstition and use religion to support national solidarity, and contribute to the city’s development.”
At the conference, the President granted the First-Class Labour Medal to the HCM City Buddhist Sangha.
The Việt Nam Fatherland Front and the HCM City People’s Committee also presented certificates of merit to the sangha’s agencies and individuals for making contributions to the development of Buddhism and national solidarity.
Participants at the conference, which was held at the Việt Nam National Pagoda in District 10, included former President Trương Tấn Sang, former Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Lê Thanh Hải, and more than 800 nuns and monks from the city, as well as officials from the Fatherland Front and local government.
On the same day, the city sangha held an inauguration ceremony for the new pagoda, Việt Nam Quốc Tự, in District 10. Construction began in 2014, costing VNĐ250 billion (US$11 million). — VNS