Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2012
[Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement does not endorse the opinions of the author.]
NEPAL: THE NEW RAINBOW NATION?
By Gabriel Lafitte
Among Tibetans and their supporters worldwide, Nepal evokes dread. The news out of Nepal is invariably bad. The 20,000 Tibetan refugees in settlements are prisoners, unable to move freely, unable to obtain certification of their refugee status, unable to find employment or get an education, stigmatized and excluded. They may not publicly vote, protest or even hold religious celebrations of the birthdays of their most revered lamas.
China’s power over Nepal extends to equipping and financing the armed forces to patrol the border with Tibet, to apprehend Tibetans using the only route of escape. China’s ability to get the Nepali army to do its security work is aided by the willingness of Nepali politicians to be seduced by the largesse of China’s aid program, no strings attached, no accountability auditing of where the money went. From the outside, it seems that Nepal, riven by revolution, is agreed on only one thing, right across the spectrum, from Maoists to royalists: no-one likes the Tibetans.
It is not just the elite that is prejudiced. The Tibetans, like the landless urban poor in the Kathmandu slums along the riverbanks, are considered sukumbasi, a term so broad it includes all the excluded, the displaced, landless, unacknowledged refugees, with no means of subsistence, suspected of thievery, gold smuggling and an inclination for criminality. Sukumbasi are feared and sneered at, especially by the upper caste Bahun Hindus who depict them as dangerous outsiders, despoilers, polluters of the rivers, a threat to the nation. The slum dwellers are seen as puppets of the Maoists, a rent-a-mob willing to swarm into the city on command to fill rallies with their shouts. The sukumbasi are said to have toppled the king, and that behind the scenes, they are tools of foreign meddlers or get undeserved help from NGOs. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Article | Tagged: $3 billion Lumbini Project, APEC, Bahun, Brahmin, Buddha, Buddha's Birthplace, Buddhism, China, Federal future Nepal, Gorkhas, Hinduism, India, Lumbini, Maoism, Maoist, Revolution, Tibet, US | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2011
|By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, July 9 (IANS) Alarmed by Bollywood training its lenses on the Buddha, an Indian film director of Nepali origin is now making the first Buddha film from the Himalayan republic to bolster its claim to the founder of Buddhism.
Tulsi Ghimire, who moved from India’s hill town of Kalimpong to Mumbai first to learn acting and film-making and then made Kathmandu his home, has begun making “Gautam Buddha”, the first Buddha film from Nepal, the birthplace of the apostle of peace.
The 60-year-old, who gave the Nepali film industry such hits as “Kusume rumal” and “Balidaan”, says he was inspired to make the film after a conversation with Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka and other places.
“First, there was this Bollywood movie, ‘Chandni Chowk to China’, that claimed the Buddha was born in Nepal,” Ghimire told IANS in an interview. “Then there are reports of renowned Bollywood director Ashutosh Gowarikar making an epic film on the Buddha.
“We are concerned whether there isn’t some political motivation – to lay claim to the Buddha. If Gowarikar builds the sets of Kapilavastu, the kingdom in which the Buddha was born to its ruler King Shuddhodan, the Indian state where it is erected may be regarded by many people as the birthplace of the Buddha.
“Some puzzled Sri Lankan monks actually asked me whether the Buddha was born in India or Nepal. I told them, he was born in Kapilavastu, when neither India nor Nepal existed. Archaeological ruins prove Kapilavastu was in southern Nepal. You can still see the remains of the old palace and the garden where the Buddha was born.”
“Gautam Buddha”, to be dubbed in English, Hindi, Sinhalese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and German, is going to be an animated film and the first animated feature film from Nepal.
“It would have cost far less had I chosen people to play the roles,” he says ruefully. “But I found that impossible. The Buddha literature available details minutely the 32 auspicious signs Prince Siddharth possessed, that made him a king among men. He had arms that reached his knees, the large kindly eyes of a cow, and a voice as deep as an echoing well. I realised it would be impossible to find such an actor.”
Incidentally, Gowarikar is said to be on a manhunt to find the perfect face for his Buddha. “The Little Buddha”, the 1994 feature film made by Hollywood director Bernardo Bertolucci, obliquely presents the story of the Buddha and his quest for enlightenment, with Keanu Reaves playing the role. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in News | Tagged: Ashutosh Gowarikar, Birthplace of the Buddha, Bollywood, Buddha, Buddhism, Chandni Chowk to China, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, First Buddha Film, Himalayan Republic, India, Kalimpong, Kapilvastu, Mumbai, Reincarnation, S.N. Goenka, Shuddhodan, The Buddha and his Dhamma, Tulsi Ghimire, Vipassana | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2011
Months after plans of a Chinese private sector company to invest Rs 8 billion to develop Lumbini as an International
Buddha Center hogged media headlines there comes news that a Chinese-backed foundation is planning to raise $ 3 billion to help Nepal develop Buddha’s birthplace.
According to Reuters, the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to raise the aforesaid amount at home and abroad “to build temples, an airport, a highway, hotels, convention centres and a Buddhist university in the town of Lumbini.”
Interestingly, UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the vice-chairman of the foundation which aims to transform Lord Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal “into a magnet for Buddhists in the same way as Mecca is to Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics”, the report adds.
The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal government last month to jointly develop and operate Lumbini.
According to the report, the foundation also pledged to bring communications, water and electricity to Lumbini.
“Lumbini will transcend religion, ideology and race. We hope to rejuvenate the spirit of Lord Buddha,” Xiao Wunan, a devout Buddhist who is executive vice president of the foundation, told the news agency.
The development of Lumbini will also help boost government revenues, create jobs and improve infrastructure in the impoverished corner of Nepal, the report cited the memorandum as stating. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in News | Tagged: Asia Pacific Exchange and Co-operation Foundation, Beijing, Bihar, Bodh Gaya, Bodhi tree, Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhist University, Catholics, China, Dalai Lama, Dharma, Enlightenment, India, Japan, Kushinagar, Lumbini, Malaysia, Mecca, Muslims, Nepal, New Delhi, Nirvana, Prachanda, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Sarnath, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Steven Clark Rockefeller, Thailand, UCPN (Maoist), UNESCO, Uttar Prades, Vatican, World heritage site | 3 Comments »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2011
By Vishal Arora, Religion News Service
NEW DELHI (RNS) India plans to lend rare fragments of the Buddha’s bones to Sri Lanka for the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment in May, and some see it as part of India’s strategy to gain a regional edge over neighboring China.
Indranil Banerjie, head of New Delhi-based think tank Security and Political Risk Analysis, said India’s move to enhance its “existential bond” with a Sri Lanka’s Buddhist heritage could have a powerful influence. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in News | Tagged: Buddha Bones, Buddhism, Buddhist Diplomacy, India, Indo-Lanka Relations, Religion News, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 24, 2011
Posted in Visual | Tagged: Ambassador, इतिहासको कलंक, जन विश्वाश, जनता, नागरिक सर्बोच्चता, प्रधानमन्त्री, रास्ट्रपति, संबिधान सभा, सत्ताको राजनीति, Baburam, Bamdev, China, Delhi, Deuba, Encroachment, Fake Lumbini, Gachhedar, India, Indian agent, Jhalanath, Makune, Martyr, Nepal, Oli, Prachanda, Ram Baran, Sujata, USA | Leave a Comment »