The second phase of the day started with a meditation session conducted by the Most Venerable Parawahera Chandrarathana Nayaka Thero, Chief Incumbent of the International Buddhist Centre in Paris followed by a Symposium held with a view to celebrating intercultural and interfaith harmony. Erudite Buddhist scholar, Most Venerable Sitagu Sayadaw Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, Vice Sangha Raja and Chancellor of Sitagu International Buddhist Academy from Myanmar and renowned academic Prof. Osmund Bopearachchi, Adjunct Professor of Central and South Asian Art, Archaeology, and Numismatics, University of California, Berkeley, USA made presentations on the main theme. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion hosted by celebrated journalist and Head of France 24 English, Gallagher Fenwick where the panellists discussed and deliberated on the interfaith dialogue and cohesion.
The celebrations concluded with an evening of vibrant and mesmerizing cultural performances showcasing diverse forms of devotion to Lord Gauthama Buddha and intangible cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. They were performed by the cultural troupe of the Sri Lanka Army who flew to Paris under the aegis of the Sri Lanka Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake. They were joined by both local and international artists representing Sri Lanka and several other countries of the ASPAC Group enacting various dances as well as songs of devotion and peace. The cultural evening commenced with a devotional song by Jayantha Kapuwatta followed by a plethora of performances comprising of beautiful opera singing by a Japanese soprano singer, Ami Nakamura, pulsating dancing by the Chinese dancers, a French song on love sung by Lakshan Abeynayaka and Ambre Rochard as well as spectacular performances by the Sri Lankan dancing troupe.
Simultaneously, an exhibition of Buddhist art created by famous artist Mahinda Herath was on display. A Ceylon Tea Station also operated at the premises, which attracted most of the crowd. The invitees were also treated to a food festival with an array of authentic Sri Lankan, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, and French cuisine catering to around 2500 people. The Vesak Day celebrations, were attended by over 2500 people including members of the Buddhist clergy, other religious dignitaries, politicians representing the French Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps and Permanent Delegates accredited to UNESCO, staff of the UNESCO Secretariat, media, academia as well as members of the Sri Lankan and other communities.