LUMBINI (Un) holy Game?


July 25, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-3 July 22-2011 (Shrawan 06,2068)<BR>

The birthplace of Buddha is an international heritage site. Now, Lumbini appears set to add another international dimension to it.

Even as the decades-old UN master plan prepared by the Japanese architect Kenjo Tange struggles to translate into a concrete action, a non-government organization purportedly belonging to an atheist communist China has announced a mega project to turn the site into a Mecca or a Jerusalem.

The ‘Chinese organisation’s plan is said to build, among others, an international airport and a train network at Lumbini that lies on Nepal’s open and porous borders with India

The 3 billion dollar project, according to the reports, is already on with half of the fund “raised”. The sources have not been revealed yet. But the reports circulated to the western media refer to the involvement of the Rockefellers of the United States.

Going by the latest reports, a UN body has thrown its weight behind the proposed Asia-Pacific Cooperation Foundation undertaking.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s (UNIDO) – not, curiously, the UNESC) -- Beijing office signed an agreement with the little-known Foundation to partially fund the project.

Curiously enough, there have been no official word yet either from the Chinese side or from the Nepalese side.

Such a mammoth project and no official knowledge on either side!

Are the respective governments hiding something? Or, it is a case of much ado about nothing?

While answers will come sooner or later, one thing is clear that “something” is cooking somewhere. That may not necessarily be a holy project, but an unholy dangerous game of the big powers to be played out in Nepal.

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