His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksha,
He President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

The opening of the Museum of world Buddhism at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, kandy, is an event that is fully in keeping with the spirit of celebratory joy of the entire Buddhist world as we mark 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi.

Sri Lanka is both honored and proud at being the home of this important monument to Buddhism, especially because of the long tradition of Buddhism in this land, and because this brings to fruition a proposal mooted in the 1950s, by that great archaeologist of Sri Lanka, the late Prof. Senarath Paranavithane.

The Museum provides a unique opportunity to learn about the Buddhist heritage of the world under a single roof. The many valued artifacts and rare exhibits at this museum will enable the visitors to know of the diversity of practices in Buddhism in all countries where Buddhism is or was prevalent. From the time the teachings of the Buddha began to spread far and wide more than two millennia ago. This will make an immense contribution here to learn of the rich history of Buddhism.

I understand that the concept and design of this Museum combines the architectural patterns of the many countries that have contributed to its establishment. I must express my special thank to the governments and organizations of the sixteen countries, other than Sri Lanka, that contributed to make this Museum a reality, They are Afghanistan ,Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.