Buddha Jayanti observed in Lumbini

LUMBINI: The 2553rd Anniversary of Lord Buddha and Lumbini Day was celebrated here today amidst various programmes. Visitors to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, celebrated the auspicious day by offering special worship and wishing for world peace.

As a part of celebrating the day, a chariot procession with the idol of Lord Buddha was taken out through major thoroughfares of Lumbini. Later, the procession converged into a religious assembly. However, government officials skipped the show. Addressing the assembly, speakers slammed the government for not taking up the problems of Lumbini in a serious way.

Only 37 per cent of the Lumbini Master Plan has been completed so far. The plan was scheduled to be completed by 1995.

"The absence of government officials in this ceremony shows the seriousness of the government agencies to develop Lumbini," one of the speakers in the assembly said. Speaking on the occasion, vice-chairman of Lumbini Development Trust Karma Syango, said Lumbini had been developed as a spiritual destination. "Along with Lumbini, the plan for the development of Kapilvastu is also being prepared," Syango informed.

Meanwhile, Lumbini Development Trust also organised various competitions and rally to mark the day. Coinciding with the auspicious day, the Trust also declared Lumbini as a plastic and liquor prohibited area.

Two Bhairahawa-based photojournalists -- Chetan Panta and Shambhu Panta -- organised a photo exhibition at Lumbini. Photographs related to Lumbini and Buddhism have been displayed in the exhibition.