Lumbini is a peerless landmark of the Buddhist world. This is the only active religious place that has been listed in the World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Lumbini symbolized ultimate peace and harmony. The eyes of Buddha are the emblem of love and worship and kindness and compassion are the synonym of Buddhism. While the world is getting restless and tensed because of various conflicts, the desire for peace in Nepal also has become almost like an obsession. At this critical juncture, declaration of Lumbini as a World Peace City is very appropriate and perhaps this is the only suitable place in this region for it. Establishment of a World Peace City in Lumbini is a important and timely task to be performed; not that we would, but we should, and we could.
The purpose of the Lumbini World Peace City is not to create a mega-city of the world or does it have any intention to deface the existing villages into a shanty town. Its aim is to set-up a quintessential self-contained town of the Buddha’s era in a 21 century format. Think globally and act locally is the strategy of Lumbini World Peace City. The vision is to build a small, traditional and low cost but conventional, comprehensive and innovative city system that carry a nostalgic ambiance of Kapilbastu revisited. Declaring Lumbini as a World Peace City contributes significantly in strengthening national peace process in the country.
Lumbini may be an intellectual playground for few, a religious site for some and a birthplace for many. But a place like Lumbini cannot be a prerogative to any casts, creeds and intellectuals. Peace doesn’t prevail in the island of the sea of poor. While developing infrastructure and undertaking poverty alleviation program in Lumbini, the World Peace City should initiates peace education simultaneously. Peace education prepares local communities to voice their realities, experiences, understandings biases, commitments, hopes, despair, and at the same time to fulfill the rights and duties.. The synergism of religion, wisdom and action is the formula to make the peace equation work. Lumbini World Peace City will be a ‘gift to the Earth’ from Nepal and from the Nepalese people.
This paper is presented in the second World Buddhist Summit held in the holiest land of Buddha’s birthplace on 30th November 2004. I am grateful to the organization committee of the Lumbini Development Trust for giving me an honor to present a challenging paper on developing Lumbini as a World Peace City. It is indeed a complex issue to dwell on especially in the present turmoil political situation. Read the rest of this entry »