Lumbini, May 18
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today expressed happiness at the United Nations’ decision to celebrate Vesak Day internationally and said it was a proof that the world had realised the importance of peace and non-violence as envisioned by lord Buddha.
Vesak Day is being celebrated internationally from the year 2000.
This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Lumbini Visit Year-2019 in Lumbini, President Bhandari said that the UN recognised the Day of Vesak to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, had made for over twoand-a-half millennia. She added that Buddhism continues to nourish the spiritual aspects of mankind.
Buddha was born on the day of Baisakh Purnima, attained enlightenment and passed away on the same day. By recognising and remembering the importance of this day, Nepal government had declared it would mark Vesak Day from next year.
Bhandari argued that development and prosperity would not be possible without peace. “The government has to focus on completing Lumbini Master Plan as soon as possible,”
Bhandari said. She stressed the need to construct the Buddha circuit by connecting Tilaurakot, Ramgram and Lumbini.
At the programme, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said Nepal had failed to understand and spread Buddha’s message of peace to the world marred by arms race and wars. He argued that Buddha’s message would be a panacea for all kinds of conflicts and wars in the world.
“Discussion on Buddha remains incomplete without mentioning the sacred site of Lumbini,” Oli said, adding, “We can bring 530 million Buddhist pilgrims from around the world to Lumbini.” He said the government had accorded top priority to keeping Lumbini clean and green.
A version of this article appears in print on May 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.