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Lumbini gets facelift for international Buddhist summit

Phayul, November 28, 2004

Kathmandu Bhairahawa -- Preparations are at the last stage in Lumbini and its surrounding for the Second International Buddhist Summit that starts from Tuesday. Newly painted monasteries have given a fresh look to the historically and archeologically important town where Lord Buddha was born.

There is an influx of domestic and foreign tourists as soon as the decoration began. The locals, and the tourists as well, are amazed at the changes that the city has undergone within a short span of time. The summit, with the slogan ?Unity in diversity ? the Source of world peace?, will be inaugurated by the King, the organisers said.

The Lumbini Development Trust has stated that all the construction works have been already completed. A dusty field, which used to house many mismanaged shops, has been transformed into a big pond that offers boating facility. Bishnu Dhakal, programme manager at the trust, said the 2.5 km by 1.5 km pond that spreads from Shanti Deep to Maitri Bridge in front of the the Mayadevi Temple in the centre will be a major attraction.

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya, claimed that preparations for the summit were carried out in accordance with the Lumbini Development Master Plan. Two hundred foreign representatives from 26 countries are expected to attend the summit. India, China, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Israel are sending minister-level representatives.



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