Prime Minister Koirala says he ain’t greedy

Bhairahawa, May 20:

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today said he was free from all kinds of greed. Unveiling a statue of Lord Buddha and inaugurating a peace garden built by a South Korean organisation in Lumbini today, he said the country’s prosperity was possible only in peace.

He said though his health was not that good he attended the programme because it was held in Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. He expressed satisfaction at the growing relationship between Nepal and South Korea and hoped for further strengthening of bilateral ties at the people’s level. The Prime Minister had flown in a helicopter to Lumbini and was driven straight to the programme venue. After taking rest at Hokkei Hotel after the programme, the PM returned to Kathmandu.

Speaking at the programme, Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang said a high degree of coordination among the political parties was a must for the logical conclusion of the peace process in Nepal.

Earlier, the Lumbini Development Trust organised a peace rally in the morning to mark the Lumbini Day and the 2552nd Buddha Jayanti. Speaking at a programme after the rally, Nembang said the country was at the threshold of lasting changes. Indian envoy Rakesh Sood said it was necessary to spread the message of Lord Buddha across the world. He expressed satisfaction that Nepal was heading on peace path. A piece of Astu Dhatu (sacred bone remains of Lord Buddha) was brought to Nepal from South Korea for the programme.

A large number of devotees thronged Lumbini since early in the morning today to celebrate the Buddha Jayanti. Crowds were seen offering prayers and lighting oil lamps at the Maya Devi Temple, Ashok Stupa and the sacred peepal tree (Ficus religiosa) under which Lord Buddha was supposedly born.

Devotees also thronged and offered prayers at other temples in Lumbini. It is estimated that nearly one lakh people visited Lumbini today.