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Vesak message for the australian Buddhist community 8 may 1997



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Prime Minister

Canberra

V E S A K M E S S A G E F O R

T H E A U S T R A L I A N B U D D H I S T C O M M U N I T Y $> M A Y 1 9 9 7

I am pleased to have the opportunity to send a message to the Australian _ Buddhist community for the most important event on your religious calendar - the celebration of the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha.

The Australian government has reaffirmed its commitment to cultural diversity and to the principles of access and equity, thus giving all Australians the right to participate fully in an inclusive society, free from discrimination. It is clear that the Buddhist religion, with its ideals of tolerance, inner purity and

enlightenment, complements the Australian ethos of tolerance and harmony.

These types of religious celebrations demonstrate that sections of our broad community are, indeed, able to congregate freely and peacefully. It is my hope that all Australians continue to build a society in which equality, mutual understanding and respect remain the fundamental tenets of our national way of

May tranquillity be with you today and throughout the year. I thank the Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre for inviting me to send a message to the Buddhist community in Australia on this special devotional day.

life.

(1

(John Howard) COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY