The Lumbini project: new efforts
The ambitious and highly contested USD 3-billion project to develop Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace, into a “Mecca for Buddhists” is not yet dead. Utpal Parashar (Hindustan Times) reports that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed:
The agreement was signed by chairman of Nepal’s ruling Maoist party and head of Lumbini Development National Directive Committee (LDNDC) Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Xiao Wunan, executive vice chairman of Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation (APEC) Foundation.
The details of the agreement are not yet known, but the new strategy seems to involve India and the UN more directly. Parashar notes that “both Prachanda and Xiao claimed that the project enjoys support of UN and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon”, and Prachanda is quoted saying:
Nepal, China and India should come together and form a strategic partnership through this Lumbini project for peace, stability and development in the region and Asia.