DHAKA- President M Abdul Hamid yesterday urged all irrespective of party affiliation, opinion and religious belief to play a proper role in the national development upholding communal harmony and tradition.
"Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony . . . the people of all religions here perform their respective religions and rituals freely," he said while exchanging greetings with the Buddhist community at Bangabhaban this afternoon on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhists.
The President hoped that the Buddhist community would continue to put their efforts for country's overall development upholding the traditional norms and containing the immortal ideology of Lord Buddha.
President Hamid said Lord Buddha throughout his life had preached the message of equality and friendship to establish a harmonious and peaceful world.
The message of Gautama Buddha - 'Non-Violence is the Ultimate Religion' - is still applicable to the society, he said.
"I do believe, the ideology of Buddha can play a very significant role in checking degradation of values and establishing peace in this restive and intolerant world," the President observed.
Noting that religion is a belief of the people, he said the main message of all religions is the welfare of mankind.
Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matiur Rahman, Buddhist religious leaders including Upo Sangha Raj Satyapriyo Mohathero, former minister Dilip Barua and Deputy Office Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Barrister Biplab Barua as well as ambassadors and high commissioners of different Buddhist countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, North Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, representatives of various international organisations and professionals of Buddhist community attended the reception.
Secretaries concerned to the President's Office were present on the occasion.
President Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanom welcomed the guests and exchanged greetings with them.
Earlier, the Buddhist religious leaders greeted President Hamid by presenting a flower bouquet to him.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)