Maoists defend Lumbini project
Maoist chief and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda finally broke his party’s deafening silence on the controversial $3 billion deal signed in Beijing to transform Lumbini in southern Nepal into a “Buddhist Vatican” without the knowledge or consent of the host country, Nepal. The former revolutionary said the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APEC), the Hong Kong-based NGO that had signed the deal with the UN Industrial Development Organisation to develop Lumbini, was not Chinese.
Not Chinese? APEC chairman Xiao Wunan is a Party member and a high ranking government official in China’s National Development and Reform Commission. Mr Dahal seems to be anxious to mitigate the political fall-out of his APEC engagement. But this is probably not good enough.