LETTERS: Buddha’s birth place

Nepal has been celebrating Buddha Jayanti every year on the day of Buddha Purnima with much enthusiasm. This year, we celebrated 2562nd Buddha Jayanti and Lumbini Day amidst a spectacular function held in Lumbini attended by President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Oli among other dignitaries. Representatives from 23 countries also attended the function.

They had come to Nepal to participate in the two-day International Buddhist Conference held in Lumbini, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Buddhist devotees and followers from all over the world also observed this day in their own ways.

In the past few years, confusion among the world population has arisen about the birthplace of Buddha. And Nepal is struggling to prove that Buddha was born in Nepal. This in fact is not necessary. However, people do think that the governments in the past did not do enough to dispel this confusion and rumour. However, PM Oli has now urged foreigners who were confused about Buddha’s birthplace to visit Nepal to understand the facts and be clear on this issue. He also said his government will try to chase away the confusion in foreign countries through diplomatic channels “No debate over Buddha’s birthplace” (THT, May 1, Page 5).

The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) was constituted in 1985 to implement The Lumbini Master Plan (LMP) as approved by the government in 1978. Several development programmes have been carried out in Lumbini by the LDT in line with the LMP and are still going on. Nonetheless, the government is yet to fully commit to implementing the LMP in order to make Lumbini a world class religious and pilgrimage site for Buddhist devotees, peace lovers and followers.

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj

Start plans

Apropos of the news story “No youth will have to go for foreign employment: Gyawali” (THT, May 2, Page 4), this sounds like a good jest even as 1,500 or more people continue to leave the country every day to send back Rs 699 billion in remittances to contribute 20 per cent to the country’s GDP.

However, in 10 years’ time, many among the “remittance generation” would be gone forever or would be incapacitated. So there will be a natural decline in exodus of labour youth. It is unlikely that theirchildren will take up this lucrative trade just as the Gorkha children, educated and brought up in luxury, lost interest in serving the British Crown.

Then the present labour importing countries might have their own political, social and economic transformations. They might employ robots and drones more than the people from the third world.

Then, at the rate Nepalis are deserting the country we may not have the youth force to export in another 10 or 20 years. It is high time the government started planning for the future.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu