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Posts Tagged ‘UNIDO’

China’s $3 Billion Investment in Buddhist Mecca Sparks a Row

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 21, 2011

By Jane Poretsis

On the 9th August, China declared that it had just signed a USD 3 billion deal with Nepal to develop Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha, sparking a row of lack of transparency.

The investment will see 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. A huge building project situated in the Southern region adjoining India. Seeing the construction of a new airport, highway, hotels, convention centre, temples and a Buddhist university; plus, the water, electricity and communication lines it currently lacks.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, in July, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Hong Kong based – Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF), signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in Beijing.

This 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Lumbini, Nepal – the Birth Place of the Buddha

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 11, 2011

Lumbinī (Sanskrit: लुम्बिनी, “the lovely”) is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Buddha Gautama founded the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 BCE. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha.

Lumbini is in Nepal. It is geographically located 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, Nepal; where the Buddha lived till the age of 29. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple, and others under construction. Also here is the Puskarini or Holy Pond – where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath – as well as the remains of Kapilvastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form. Read the rest of this entry »

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लुम्बिनी भ्रमण बर्ष २०१२ मनाउन गरिएको निर्णयको सम्बन्धमा प्रेस बिज्ञप्ति

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 19, 2011

बुद्धद्धारा प्रतिपादित सुख र शान्ति प्राप्तीका लागि अबलम्बन गरिनु पर्ने सिद्धान्त र बिधिहरु बुद्धिज्मको रुपमा बिस्व प्रसिद्ध भएका कारण बुद्ध जन्मनु भएको स्थानको बिस्वब्यापी महत्व छ  । त्यसैले ब्यक्तिगत खुशी र सुखीदेखि बिस्व शान्तिसम्मका लागि उत्प्रेरक, प्रेरणादायी र आस्थाका पुन्ज उहाँ करीब २६०० बर्ष अघि जन्मेर पनि यो बैज्ञानिक युगमा समेत आजको अशान्तमय बिस्व परिबेशका कारण संपूर्ण जाती, धर्म, सम्प्रदायका बीच झन झन महत्व बढदै जाने सदाबहार सर्ब स्वीकार्य महामानबका रुपमा स्थापित हुनुहुन्छ । त्यसैले युनेस्कोले बुद्ध जन्मस्थल लुम्बिनीलाई बिस्व संपदा सूचिमा  समाबेश गरेको हो १९९७ मा । बिस्वमा करीब ५० करोड बुद्धिस्ट छन भने बिस्वभरि बुद्धिज्मलाई धर्मभन्दा बिज्ञानको रुपमा लिने पनि लाखौं छन । र उक्त संख्याको ०.१ प्रतिशत मात्र पर्यटक बर्षेनी भित्र्याउने बातावरण तयार गर्न सकियो भने पनि बर्षमा ५ लाखभन्दा बढी पर्यटक भित्रिने देखिन्छ र यसबाट मात्रै अरबौं रुपयाँ देश भित्र्याउन सकिने देखिन्छ । Read the rest of this entry »

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UN supports APECF’s Lumbini plan: Xiao Wunan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 14, 2011

REPUBLICA

There has been great excitement, debate and controversy about the plans of the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF) to mobilize investment of US$3 billion for the development of Lumbini as a Special Development Zone (SDZ). Purna Basnet caught up with Xiao Wunan, executive vice-chairman of APECF in Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong last Friday to shed more lights on the issue.

EXCERPTS:

What is the current position of the Lumbini plan?

It is in the planning stage. Some reports said China is investing US$3 billion but without a feasibility study no one can invest such a big amount. We will hire a professional team for planning, which will take about one year. We hope that will happen faster but it will certainly take at least six months. APECF needs a concrete idea to come to Lumbini. APECF signed the MoU with UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Beijing, for feasibility study. UNIDO is a consultant for planning and framework designer of the project.

Was a MoU actually signed with UNIDO?

Yes, but there has been some misunderstanding and distortion in this regard. The misunderstanding was that UNIDO would get a slice of the profits. But that’s not the case; UNIDO was acting as a consultant for planning.

But the UNIDO headquarters refused to recognize the MoU. What is your take on that?

I cannot answer this question on the record.

Don´t you think that the MoU signed by APECF and UNIDO in Beijing is against Nepal’s national sovereignty?

It is a part of the process. When we wanted to do this project, we needed to get the approval of Nepal. Before signing the MoU with UNIDO, I met more than 10 members of the cabinet of Nepal, including the finance and deputy prime minister and culture minister. UNIDO as a consultant was advising us on whether or not to go ahead with this project and how to carry it out.

We hired five organizations, among them a famous US think tank, to study the possibility of this project and a bank to advise us on the investment risks. So, before all these study reports come out, we would not know what the political, economic and social risks are. The MoU was signed just for feasibility study. Lumbini belongs to Nepal and Nepali people are going to benefit from it. So this is not against Nepal´s national sovereignty. Read the rest of this entry »

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At Buddha’s birthplace: A Chinese development proposal causes disbelief

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 22, 2011

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1-15 of 15
CleanThought wrote:
Aug 18th 2011 11:33 GMT

3B may be big amount for Nepal but given the gravity of urge to put the livelihood of people living in a place where a philosophy of eternal peace and civilization took its birth some 2560 years ago is not enough. Apple corporation has 80B cash in hand, worlds most valuable company on the otherhand US treasury and government is bailed by China! If 3B is real from China to Lumbini, so what? Have writer been to Lumbini? Or Nepal? Nepal is Chinas immidate neighbor! Buddhim is China’s national religion too!

Water flows downward because of gravity which is natural force! Money flows towards where there is opportunity! Where is oppurnity? In a island where people do not ware sleepers? It’s an attitude driven by prespective of gain or interest or gratitude! Who on the earth is largest trade partner with US and India, China? Then why so big huha from India (if there is any) if China aims to be largest trade partner to Nepal too! It’s India’s problem they did not had enough time to regard their neighbor’s best along with their economic prosperity! India’s rulers from past 20 years or more thought its government officers expatriate childrens earned money, transferred skills and network management is only biggest job for them! India suppose to lead in it’s varried roles in all fronts with it’s neighbor in South Asia as per expectation from the globe, could not delivered. Simply no serious thought given on formulating and improving policy towards its neighbor. Just lost in the greed of few administrative diplomat’s parrot taught old school of thought left by British India so called India’s foreign policy!

Frankly people from India and Nepal are far ahead in awareness than the leaders from there! All know India do not have any foreign policy with US, China or Nepal on the other and all know China have serious vision for US, India and Nepal. And all rest of the world including Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

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