Int’l conference ends with 10-pt declarationThe third International Budhhist Conference concluded on Saturday with the 10-point Lumbini Declaration, endorsing a plan to promote Lumbini as the centre of Buddhist faith, set up an interfaith dialogue centre and create an international forum to take forward the action plan through bilateral and multilateral support.
The third International Budhhist Conference concluded on Saturday with the 10-point Lumbini Declaration, endorsing a plan to promote Lumbini as the centre of Buddhist faith, set up an interfaith dialogue centre and create an international forum to take forward the action plan through bilateral and multilateral support.
The declaration made during a special ceremony in Lumbini, at its core, seeks to establish Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha and fountainhead of Buddhism.
The conference that began in Kathmandu on Thursday with the participation of delegates from 28 countries had decided to issue the declaration in Lumbini on Saturday to coincide with the 2560th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.
Earlier, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the ceremony. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, top leaders of various political parties, delegates and Buddhist monks among others were present.
Through the declaration, the delegates agreed to request all the countries around the world to promote Lumbini, Nepal as the birthplace of Lord Buddha by incorporating his life and teachings in their school curricula and other promotional materials.
The delegates also agreed to promote Lumbini as a “platform for interfaith dialogue, religious harmony and conflict resolution.”
Through the declaration, the government of Nepal has approved to accelerate the implementation of Lumbini-World Peace City Master Plan.
The declaration also prioritises the development of Lumbini Buddhist University as an international centre for excellence for Buddhist studies.
Likewise, the conference has decided to conduct academic researches and archeological excavations of Kapilvastu where Buddha spent 29 years of his princely life; Devdaha, Buddha’s maternal homeland; Ramgram, the only remaining relic stupa; Kudan, where King Suddhodan (Buddha’s father) had built a monastery for Lorda Buddha and other important places in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi districts.
In order to effectively carry out the implementation of the plans to develop Lumbini as a centre of Buddhist faith, the participants have agreed to establish Global Buddhist Forum to implement the declaration and “develop a network among the Buddhist traditions, government machineries and countries representing Buddhist organisations for collaborative efforts.”
Speaking during the ceremony, President Bhandari underscored the need to develop the entire area as a tourist destination by protecting and promoting various important places related to Lord Buddha in Lumbini, Devdaha, Tilaurakot and Ramgram among other places. She also urged the government to effectively execute the Lumbini Master Plan.
Prime Minister Oli hailed the conference for issuing the 10-point declaration and endorsing Lumbini as the “birthplace of Lord Buddha and fountainhead of Buddhism and world peace”. On behalf of the government, PM Oli expressed his commitment to build an auditorium with the capacity of about 5,000 people in Lumbini within a year.
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Buddhist monks among others also addressed the function.
Messages sent by United Nations Secretary General, US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the success of the conference were also read out during the ceremony.
31 ‘miscreants’ rounded up
At least 31 people were arrested on Saturday for allegedly trying to disrupt a function organised in Lumbini to mark the 2560th Buddha Jayanti. Superintendent of Police Buddhiraj Gurung said the individuals in question were arrested from different gates when they were trying to enter the programme venue. Some of them were found to be carrying home-made weapons and iron rods. “They claimed that they were supporters of CK Raut. They are from Rupandehi, Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu districts,” said SP Gurung. (PR)