On the last November 9th, 2018, the Dhammachai International Research Institute (DIRI) had arranged the celebration of the new headquarters at 399 George St., Dunedin, where to be the main centre of studies of early Buddhist manuscripts and other Buddhist fields.
There were Councillor Christine Garey, Dunedin City Council, Professor Helen Nicholson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Otago, Associate Professor Will Sweetman, Head of Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Prof. Jens Erland Braarvig, Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, other scholars, religious leaders and great patrons in New Zealand and from Australia and Thailand participating the ceremony.
In this occasion, Most Ven. Sudhammo, the Chairman of DIRI, had given the speech of welcome and opening that “the DIRI has the purposes to promote and support a research and study on early Buddhist manuscripts and other Buddhist studies and also to preserve early Buddhist manuscripts. It is cooperating the academic projects with the University of Otago about 12 years. The academic cooperation was developed from step by step, and with the great vision of the university, now the MA course of Buddhist studies will be opened soon. The DIRI believe that the academic Buddhist studies will be more developed in many projects in the future. Thus, to establish the DIRI New Headquarters here is to support the growth and development of Buddhist studies in New Zealand. This centre would be as a big library and laboratory where contains early Buddhist manuscripts, at least in a digitizing form and other Buddhist texts for scholars, researchers and students to do a study and research. This is a kind of Buddhist promotion in an academic aspect, not a kind of religious influence. The centre also will do a function to support peace, morality and harmony in New Zealand and around the world.”
After that, the distinguished guests, who were Councillor Christine Garey, Professor Helen Nicholson and Associate Professor Will Sweetman, had given speeches of appreciations respectively. They appreciated on the establishment of DIRI’s new headquarters and were happy that Dunedin people will have the centre for Buddhist studies. Particularly, Associate Professor Sweetman had presented the appreciated plaque to Most Ven. Sudhammo. Areetha, the young generation, came to sing the song of encouragement of preserving manuscripts. Then, the DIRI representatives, distinguished guests and great patrons formally opened the building by together cutting the holy ribbon. The ceremony was ended up by the DIRI presented the certificates and gifts to all distinguished guests and great patrons and having the afternoon tea together.