On Saturday, 5 September, 100-odd delegates are scheduled to travel to Bodh Gaya for a visit to one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centres. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to join the delegates for over an hour in Bodh Gaya. (Colombo Gazette) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day conclave. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, senior ministers from Japan, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal besides Sri Sri Ravishankar and Lama Lobsang, the president of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) were in attendance.The conference seeks to evolve a new paradigm that speaks about ‘conflict avoidance’ rather than ‘conflict resolution’ in finding solutions to the world’s problems. For decades, the world has attempted to find peace by negotiating after conflicts have broken out. The organisers however believe that this approach is increasingly failing to deliver results. Therefore, in consonance with the ancient philosophies practiced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, it is now necessary to try and avoid conflicts rather than resolve them. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that terrorism was extreme manifestation of long unresolved issues and inclusive and sustainable development was key to resolve such conflicts.She says treating all communities as one was very important. She also said that to overcome conflict there must be engagement to address the root causes for the conflict. The “Global Hindu – Buddhist Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness” jointly organized by the Vivekananda International Foundation(VIF) in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation and Tokyo Foundation was held in the premises of VIF in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri area. Kumaratunga was speaking in New Delhi today at a conference where renowned Buddhist and Hindu Scholars gathered to deliberate upon two key issues confronting the globe–Rising conflict and rampant environment degradation—in an attempt to come up with a new framework that will move away from the usual solutions.