On this day of Vesak, commemorating the attainment of enlightenment by the Lord Buddha, his birth and his ultimate passing, I extend my warmest wishes to all the people of Sri Lanka. As Sri Lanka, together with the world stands against one of the greatest challenges of our time, I recall a verse from one of the Buddha’s most revered teachings: Arōgyā paramā lābhā, Santutthi paramam dhanam; Good health is the ultimate profit, happiness is the ultimate wealth.
Despite the diverse challenges that are before us, we must never forget that the health and well-being of our community, our loved ones and our own is and should be our foremost priority. Though we face the threat of a pandemic that has spread across the world, I am confident of the resilience of this nation and its people. As entrenched in the Buddha’s teachings, only once we safeguard our health and well-being may we strive again on the march towards achieving sustainable development. On this journey, I, together with the United Nations, stands with you – stands for you.