Buddhists regret China's boycott of world conference
Korea's leading Buddhist sect on Thursday expressed regret at a Chinese Buddhist delegation's abrupt withdrawal from an international Buddhist conference held in southern South Korea earlier this week to protest the presence of Tibetan delegates.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Buddhist delegates to the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) Korea Conference suddenly withdrew from the four-day event that kicked off this week in Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul and the venue of an ongoing world expo, according to officials of South Korea's Jogye Order.
The Chinese delegates also boycotted the conference's opening ceremony on Tuesday after unsuccessfully demanding that Buddhist representatives from the Tibetan government-in-exile leave the conference, the officials said.
In a statement, the Jogye Order expressed concern that the Chinese delegation's refusal to accept the Tibetan Buddhists "goes against the universal values of solidarity and the promotion of peace," adding that the Tibetan affiliates are officially registered with the WFB.
The Buddhist order, which organized the forum, requested a formal apology from their Chinese counterparts, further stressing the conference should remain a solely religious event without any political interference from the participating nations. (Yonhap)