Lumbini, September 7, 2023: Lumbini Development Trust hosted an interaction program with media persons today. Dr. Lharkyal Lama (Khempo Chhime), Vice-Chairperson of the Trust, in his debriefing, has called for collaboration in his efforts to develop Lumbini. He emphasized the significance of uniting local communities, Buddhists, journalists, and various organizations to support Lumbini. He stressed that Lumbini holds not only personal religious significance for him but also serves as a unifying place for the local community, Buddhists, journalists, and various organizations to contribute together. Dr. Lama is planning introductory and interactive programs in Rupandehi, Kapilavastu, and Nawalparasi to promote Lumbini. He expressed, "Lumbini is my spiritual sanctuary, and I am here to create history." He further declared, "I solemnly pledge in the name of Mayadevi that I have come not to take from Lumbini but to give back."
Dr. Lama reiterated his commitment to complete the Lumbini Master Plan during his tenure. He also outlined his objective to construct the Mayadevi Temple with a fresh design. He intends to rejuvenate religious practices like Monlam Puja, led by Buddhist monks, to attract Buddhist tourists. He announced, "This year, the Monlam programs have been scheduled." Dr. Lama also disclosed his plans to establish areas for worship, meditation, and lamp-lighting in Ramagram and Tilaurakot. He aims to enhance religious activities to draw Buddhist tourists and create a welcoming environment for them.
Dr. Lama unveiled long-term development plans for Buddhist regions in Rupandehi, Kapilavastu, and Nawalparasi. He emphasized the necessity of raising funds from the global community to facilitate the development of these Buddhist areas. He explained, "We need to raise approximately 6 to 7 billion rupees to implement the Master Plan, and currently, there are no budgetary constraints within the country." He expressed his intention to engage with the global Buddhist community to secure resources for this endeavor.
Ensuring transparency in fund utilization is a primary goal for Dr. Lama. He urged journalists to collaborate in making information regarding Lumbini's land, resources, employees, and local support transparent. He emphasized the importance of collective efforts to ensure Lumbini's success. Dr. Lama also mentioned the possibility of making adjustments to the Master Plan in consultation with UNESCO, relevant ministries, and stakeholders. He stated, "The Master Plan was developed 45 years ago, and numerous changes have occurred since then, necessitating adjustments."
Dr. Lama highlighted his plans to empower the local communities surrounding the Lumbini birthplace and work closely with them. He committed to meeting with local communities, organizations, and journalists monthly to monitor progress. Additionally, he intends to centralize the development of Ramgram and Tilaurakot under the purview of the Lumbini Development Trust. He emphasized the need for improvements and accountability within the organization.
Dr. Lama encouraged the active participation of board members in his vision and announced plans to establish a forum for addressing any issues or concerns. He believes that, through collaborative efforts, they can successfully construct the Mayadevi Temple. He reiterated the importance of motivating employees to diligently contribute to Lumbini's development and instructed them not to overlook any shortcomings in their duties.
During the event, Sanuraja Shakya, the Member Secretary of the Trust, mentioned that the LDT had developed policies and programs for the fiscal year 2080/81 (according to the Nepali calendar) in alignment with the vision of the two Vice-Chairpersons. He informed the audience that preparations were underway to include the Tilaurakot Durbar in Kapilavastu in the World Heritage list. Various journalists, including Ramraja Pokharel from the Nepal Journalists Association, Rupandehi, Hari Sharma from Nawalparasi, and Kiranman Brajrcharya from Kapilavastu, attended the event and posed questions and suggestions related to Lumbini.