Burma has opened a three-day World Buddhist Summit, which has been marred by the pull-out of its main sponsor.
Burmese Prime Minister General Soe Win opened the gathering of monks, officials and other delegates from several countries Thursday in Rangoon.
Burma's military leader, Senior General Than Shwe, made a brief appearance, while Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Lao Prime Minister Bounnyang Vorachit also attended the opening ceremony.
Japan's Nenbutsushu Buddhist sect announced last month that it will not provide funding for the summit. The pull-out came after October's ouster of Burmese Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt.
Previous World Buddhist Summits have been held in Japan, Thailand and Cambodia.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.