The establishment of the board was approved by the Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation (LBFO), the Lao Front for National Construction, and the Department of Ethnic Issues and Religious Affairs under the Lao Ministry of Home Affairs. The move was also agreed by the VBS, the Embassy of Vietnam in Laos and the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs.
The board is designated to assist the VBS and the Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation in managing Vietnamese monks and followers living in Laos.
The ceremony was attended by President of the Executive Council of the VBS Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyễn Bá Hùng, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Ngô Sách Thực, representatives from the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, along with Vice President of the LBFO Most Venerable Maha Veth Masenay, and overseas Vietnamese in Laos.
Addressing the event, Most Venerable Thích Minh Quang, head of the coordinating board and the Phat Tich pagoda, thanked the governments of Vietnam and Laos for supporting the establishment of the board in Laos.
The move will strengthen the close cooperation between the VBS and the LBFO, thus contributing to the Vietnam-Laos special relations, he noted.
The board will work to share experiences in educational and religious affairs of the nations, Quang said, adding that the founding of the board marks the development and role of Vietnamese Buddhism among the Vietnamese community in Laos.
It is estimated that approximately 100,000 Vietnamese people are residing, studying and working in Laos, most of them follow Buddhism. Many see Vietnamese pagodas in Laos as common houses not only for religious practices but also for meeting each other.
Laos is now home to 13 Vietnamese Buddhist pagodas, including three pagodas and one monastery in Vientiane.