APEC Foundation to launch Lumbini project soon
A Chinese non-governmental organisation is waiting the incumbent government’s response to start its plan to develop Lumbini, the birthplaceof Lord Buddha.
Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation (APEC) Foundation had proposed to invest $3 billion for the development of Lumbini.
Executive vice-president of APEC Xiao Wunan said that the institution is ready to launch the project but waiting the newly formed government’s response.
“We are still putting our efforts to gather international support to transform Lumbini into the center for world peace,” he said, adding that it needs joint initiative by Nepal government, political parties and the United Nations to materialise the plan.
Claimng that India, Japan, South Korea and UNESCO are interested to jointly develop Lumbini, the said that the institution is holding talks with them. “We will be discussion with the government soon.”
The Beijing-based APEC Foundation – three years ago – had proposed an investment of $ 3 billion for the development of Lumbini. However, the proposal that came through the UCPN-Maoist supremo Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was taken lightly due to the institution’s involvement with Dahal to former prince Paras Shah.
The foundation had proposed to develop Lumbini as an international religious tourist destination adding more physical infrastructure like new international airport, auditorium hall, roads and railway between Lumbini and Tibet via Kathmandu.
However, the government led by another Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattari prepared a master plan for Lumbini’s development some two years ago. It had formed Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee under the chairmanship of UCPN (Maoist) chairman Dahal with the responsibility of raising the fund from the international community.