Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts curfew for Buddhist festival

Vesak is the most important religious event on the Sri Lankan calendar, but it hasn’t been fully organized for years, after the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and following the pandemic.

Sri Lankan authorities lifted a countrywide curfew on Sunday for a major Buddhist festival, but celebrations were muted as the island nation’s new prime minister struggled to find his footing and tackle a worsening economic crisis.

“Given the government’s economic situation and other constraints, we will not hold this year’s state festival at the Kuragala temple as planned,” an official from the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs told AFP. The official said Buddhists were free to hold their own celebrations, including the mass meditation and Buddhist sermons that are traditionally staged during the festival.

Originally published as crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts curfew for Buddhist festival

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