Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Special Development Zone’

Is China’s $3 Billion Investment into Lumbini Off?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 21, 2011

By Jane Poretsis

Just weeks after publicly declaring that they had just signed a USD 3 billion deal with Nepal to develop Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha, China is left wondering where they stand.

An investment that would have seen China leading the project to transform the small town of Lumbini into a Buddhist Mecca and place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from around the world was mired in controversy from the start.

Sparking a row of lack of transparency, the news was met by concern in certain quarters of the Nepalese Government, which felt that it had been left in the dark and not consulted; prompting a dismissal from China on reports in the media of a secret pact with certain Maoist sections of the Government.

The Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Modraj Dotel, also promptly quit stating: “I have resigned as works are being done in a non- transparent way which has become a matter of concern for us,” he was quoted as saying by Annapurna Post Daily.

However, responding to queries from The Kathmandu Post the Vienna-based United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has denied entering into any valid contractual agreement with the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF). Stating further, that contrary to what had been claimed: they were not involved in any activity related to the Lumbini ‘Special Development Zone.’ Flatly refuting claims made by APECF that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them. Read the rest of this entry »

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