President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday greeted the members of the Buddhist community on their biggest religious festival - Buddha Purnima - celebrating the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha today.
In separate messages, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity for all and success of the programmes marking the occasion.
In his message, President Hamid said Buddha Purnima is a holy religious festival related to the birth and attaining enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.
He said Gautam Buddha always sought the welfare for mankind and he tried his best to make the whole world a peaceful and prosperous one.
The President said Buddha disseminated the message of equity and friendship during his entire life to establish peace and harmony in the world.
Ideals and philosophy of Buddha can play an important role in establishing peace in society, removing unrest and intolerance from the world and saving people from moral degradation, he said, adding that the civilisation and culture of the Buddhists are profoundly integrated with the soil and the people of this country.
M Abdul Hamid hoped that the country's Buddhist community would celebrate Buddha Purnima maintaining health protocol due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said overcoming all fears, greed and interest, Gautam Buddha had preached the messages of non-violence, friendship and compassion throughout his life for peace and welfare of mankind.
Establishing an ideal society through peace and harmony was his only objective, she added. Mentioning that Bangladesh is a land of communal harmony, the prime minister said people of all religions have been practicing their respective religions here without facing any obstruction.
"With the united efforts from all, we would be able to build a non-communal peaceful country," Hasina said.
Like elsewhere in the world, the Buddhist community in Bangladesh, has chalked out different programmes, including special prayers, colorful processions, puja, sanghadan, discussions and cultural functions, to mark the day in a befitting manner.
The day is a public holiday.
Lord Buddha was born on this day of full moon in 563 BC, attained enlightenment and passed away on the same day.