Kathmandu, May 19: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that Lumbini of Nepal, the birthplace of the Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha, the proponent of peace, is the centre of world peace.
Inaugurating the International Buddhist Conference organised as part of the celebration of the 2560th Buddha Jayanti here today, he said he felt greatly honoured to have the opportunity to live in the land of the Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the Buddha philosophy is a useful doctrine to humankind the world over.
“Lord Gautam Buddha is not only the Light of Asia but of the whole world. Buddhism is a strong basis for establishing peace,” the PM declared.
He explained that since Buddha’s teaching helped in the promotion of social harmony, tolerance, forgiveness and selfless service, it inspired humanity to follow the path of truth and non-violence.
Stating that the Buddhist philosophy and literature that the Buddha propounded was significant for human welfare, PM Oli opined this has enriched the human civilization and culture also.
He also expressed the government’s commitment to effectively implementing the Greater Lumbini Development Plan that has been brought to developing the Buddha’s birthplace as a major tourism hub by promoting religious tourism.
The Prime Minister expressed his conviction that the working papers to be presented in the conference by the distinguished Buddhist scholars and gurus would help remove various misconceptions regarding the Gautam Buddha.
PM Oli also vowed to take the country ahead towards development and prosperity by implementing the constitution formulated and issued by the people’s representatives.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokharel said Lumbini is not only the birthplace of the Buddha but is also the fountain of the Buddhist philosophy.
Stating that the government has hosted the International Buddhist Conference for the first time after the promulgation of the constitution, he believed that the conference will spread the message of world peace from Nepal.
The representatives of various countries shed light on the different aspects, practices and religious sects of Buddhism in the conference that kicked off under the theme- “Lumbini, Nepal: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha and the Fountain of Buddhism and World Peace.”
Prime Minister Oli had inaugurated the conference by reciting the Peace Prayer. The religious gurus of the three sects of Buddhism – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana – were present on the occasion. Singer Ani Chhyoing Dolma presented songs dealing with the Buddha’s philosophy.
Twenty-four different working papers on Buddhist philosophy are to be presented and discussed in the seminar that will last until Friday.
Government representatives, distinguished Buddhist religious leaders, Buddhist monks and nuns and scholars on Buddhism from 28 various countries are participating in the conference. Delegates to the seminar have been arriving.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari is scheduled to inaugurate the Buddha Jayanti main celebration function in Lumbini on May 21. A Lumbini Declaration will be issued at this function, incorporating the conclusions drawn from the main seminar.
A 501-member Buddha Jayanti Celebration and International Buddhist Conference Organising Main Committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister as per the decision taken by a meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 3.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is the main organiser of the conference. A 101-member Working Committee under the chairmanship of Minister Pokharel and 13 thematic sub-committees under it were constituted for organising and overseeing the Buddha Jayanti celebration and the conference. RSS