border review | 10 August 2011

Maoists agreed to controversial Lumbini plans, says Chinese envoy

A few weeks ago, Chinese foundation APEC  announced its ambitious plans to develop Lumbini into a USD 3 billion “special zone” modelled after Mecca (see previous entries under the tag Lumbini). What remained unclear was to what extent the governments of China and Nepal were involved. Today, the Times of India reports that MP Hridayesh Tripathy discussed the topic with Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan:

In answer, the Chinese envoy, Tripathy said, replied that APEC had signed a memorandum of understanding with the tourism and civil aviation ministry and it was unfortunate that the other ministries did not know about it. The tourism ministry is headed by Maoist leader Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma.

This sounds much more official than anybody has so far admitted.