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Indian Ambassador to Cambodia visits Buddhist university to strengthen religious ties

Scarlett Green Khmer Times Tue, November 10, 2020

The Indian Ambassador Devyani Uttam Khobragade (right) offering food to Venerable Khy Sovanaratana, Acting Rector of Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University (centre) as a token of respect. Supplied

PHNOM PENH – The new Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Uttam Khobragade on Friday visited Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University (PSRBU) where she discussed furthering India’s help towards promoting Buddhist education in the Kingdom, as well as scholarship opportunities.

Ambassador Khobragade, a devout Buddhist, met Venerable Khy Sovanaratana, Acting Rector of PSRBU, to create stronger religious bonds between Cambodian and Indian culture which go long back to the scriptures of Sanskrit and Buddhism.

Ven Sovanaratana welcomed the Indian Ambassador and briefed her about the history of PSBRU, its role in the preservation and progress of Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy in Cambodia through various courses in the university, in addition to highlighting other courses.

Ambassador Khobragade proposed the organisation of integrated English and IT classes in the university by inviting experts from India for human resource development, as well as encouraging prospective students to consider scholarships in India.

She also committed herself to enhancing cooperation in promoting Buddhist education to Cambodian students and scholars and in Buddhist institutions of repute in India.

Ven Sovanaratana proposed the organisation of a Buddhist Conference in the near future and proposed more Indian scholarship slots for the students of PSRBU.

Various other proposals to further strengthen the relationship between PSRBU and the Indian government were discussed.

He highlighted the close and long relationship of PSRBU, the Indian Embassy in Cambodia and the Indian government. He thanked the embassy for this deep cooperation and the Indian government’s plans to dispatch a member of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to teach Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit at PSRBU for bachelor and post-graduate levels. He also gave detailed information about the structure and function of the Buddhist Sangha in Cambodia.

Ven Sovanaratana thanked the Indian government for the organisation of two International Buddhist Conferences in Cambodia, the last of which was held in September 2018. The event was participated by of Buddhist experts and monks from many regional Buddhist countries.

The Indian Ambassador expressed her keen interest in enhancing cooperation through various educational and cultural activities and projects, in keeping with the plural and diverse traditions of India.

Before departure, Ambassador Khobragade gave food alms to Ven Sovanaratana and other monks to mark the recent Kathina festival.

Source: Khmer Times Tue, November 10, 2020

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