Social & Cultural News

The Offering of the Royal Kathin Robe Ceremony at Meng Jing Lai Temple, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China

            On 21 November 2015, H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, presided over the Offering Ceremony of His Majesty the King’s Royal Kathin Robe to the congregation of Buddhist monks at Meng Jing Lai Temple, Daluo Town, Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China. 
            Participants from the Thai side included Mr. Suchart Liengsaengthong, Consul-General of Thailand in Kunming and Pol. Col. Panitan Santipet, Consul (Police). Representatives from the Chinese side included Mr. Lv Yonghe, Vice Governor of Xishuangbanna, Mr. Yan Ying, Vice Secretary-General of Xishuangbanna, Mr. Ai Zhen, Director-General of Foreign Affairs Office of Xishuangbanna, Mr. Yan Meng, Deputy Director-General of Xishuangbanna Religious Bureau and Mr. Kang Nanbian, Secretary-General of Xishuangbanna Buddhist Association as well as over 5,000 Thai, Chinese and Dai Buddhists. 
            The Offering Ceremony of the Royal Kathin Robe at Meng Jing Lai Temple was a tremendous success. The benevolence of His Majesty the King as the upholder of all religions was well recognized. This year, the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kunming invited eighty nine monks to attend the ceremony to commemorate the auspicious occasion of the 88th Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 5 December 2015. The cash donation to the temple which included contributions made by His Majesty the King, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as devout Buddhists amounted to THB 396,812. 
            This year marks the 15th Royal Kathin Robe Ceremony organized in Yunnan Province since 1996. Since 2003, the Royal Kathin Robe Offering Ceremony has been held at a Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province every consecutive year. Each time, the Thai delegation receives a very warm welcome from Dai people who share similar culture with people in the Northern provinces of Thailand. The ceremony is considered a part of the Ministry’s cultural diplomacy policy in which Buddhism is incorporated as a tool to strengthen people to people relations and bring about cooperation in other areas to flourish as well. It would also help instill trust and create favorable attitude towards Thailand among Chinese and Dai peoples. It is the first time that Meng Jing Lai Temple, a 1,370-year-old Theravada Buddhist temple which harbours a Dai cultural learning center, received His Majesty the King’s Royal Kathin Robe.