Burma has opened a three-day World Buddhist Summit, which has been marred by the pullout of its main sponsor.

Burmese Prime Minister General Soe Win joined monks, officials and other delegates from several countries at Thursday's opening ceremony in Rangoon. Chinese state-run media report Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Lao Prime Minister Bounnyang Vorachit also attended the ceremony.

Japan's Nenbutsushu Buddhist sect announced last month that it will not provide funding for the summit. The pullout came after October's ouster of Burmese Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt.

Previous World Buddhist Summits have been held in Japan, Thailand and Cambodia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.