India has agreed to temporarily lend fragments of Buddha’s bones, famously known as the Kapilavastu relics, to Sri Lanka for an exposition to celebrate his 2600th year of enlightenment later this year. It will the be the first time in decades that the fragile bone fragments, kept at the National Museum, will be taken outside India.
Announcing the decision, visiting Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar, said the exposition should have a "calming and peaceful" effect in the region and spread the word of "non violence".
The Indian government’s decision follows a request by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Prime Manmohan Singh during his India visit in June last year. Meira Kumar conveyed to Rajapaksa during a meeting on Saturday that the parts of the Kapilavastu relics will be send to Sri Lanka for display during the celebrations.
The celebrations, also known as the Sambuddhatva Jayanti, will be carried out on a large scale on the island where Buddhism is the primary religion. Lakhs of devotees are expected to visit the exposition.