Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts curfew for Buddhist festival

Vesak celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha

Sri Lankan authorities lifted a countrywide curfew on Sunday for a major Buddhist festival, but celebrations were muted as the island nation’s new prime minister struggled to find his footing and tackle a worsening economic crisis.

“Given the government’s economic situation and other constraints, we will not hold this year’s state festival at the Kuragala temple as planned,” an official from the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs told AFP. The official said Buddhists were free to hold their own celebrations, including the mass meditation and Buddhist sermons that are traditionally staged during the festival.

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