Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims get nod to visit Bodh Gaya
Colombo/New Delhi: Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims on Thursday got the green signal to visit the Mahabodhi temple in India, four days after the government advised them to delay their departure to one of the Buddhism`s holiest sites following a terror attack there.
"Having consulted all concerned, the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India informs the Sri Lankan public that they may now resume pilgrimage to the sacred Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya (in Bihar)," the mission said in a statement.
"The Mahabodhi Temple is now once again open to the public. Authorities of the Central Government of India and the state of Bihar, in consultation with the Temple Management Committee have established a security system that will provide for the safety and security of all pilgrims to the Mahabodhi Temple," the statement said.
On Sunday, a string of 10 low intensity bombs rocked the temple town of Bodhgaya in which two monks were injured.
Nearly 150,000 Sri Lankan pilgrims visit India every year to venerate the sacred site where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
"It has since been established that there has been no damage to the sacred Bodhi tree, the structure of the shrine and premises or to sacred objects as a result of the blasts, and no Sri Lankans have been hurt."
"The Mahabodhi Temple is now once again open to the public. Authorities of the Central Government of India and the state of Bihar, in consultation with the Temple Management Committee have established a security system that will provide for the safety and security of all pilgrims to the Mahabodhi Temple," the mission said.
Sri Lankan pilgrims were earlier advised to postpone their planned pilgrimages to Bodhgaya by a week after the attack.
Officials at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India and the Deputy High Commissioner`s Office in Chennai visited Bodhgaya on the very day that the blasts took place, to coordinate with Indian authorities, to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims, particularly from Sri Lanka.
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