A group of Catholics and Buddhists in Sri Lanka used the Vesak festival to promote the environment by planting trees in Colombo. The Buddhist holiday, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, was observed on May 21 and 22.
"This is also a way of showing gratitude to the greatest environmentalist Lord Buddha and to promote chemical-free fruits," said Jude Samantha, chairman of Piyawara or "step," a volunteer group.
The Piyawara group received more than 600 local fruit trees from various Muslim, Catholic and Buddhist well wishers.
Piyawara volunteer group reminds that three major life events of Lord Buddha occurred close to the environment. The Lord Buddha was born in a forest of Salmal, attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree and died in Kusinara forest.
Preethi Saparamadhu, chairperson of the Catholic Home Gardeners Association, said the church is encouraging parish councils to influence parishioners to develop small organic home gardens in order to have a "toxin-free nation."