Kathmandu, May 6
President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav Sunday said that the teachings of Lord Buddha about peace and non-violence were still relevant and important to the present world.
Inaugurating a programme organised by the Anandakuti Mahabihar here to mark the 2556th Buddha Jayanti, Dr. Yadav said that the development of Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, who spread the message of peace, harmony and humanity to the world, was a matter of great pride to Nepal and the Nepali people.
Referring to the recent 5-point agreement inked by key political parties, President Yadav said that it had created a hope among the Nepali people about timely promulgation of the new constitution.
Speaking at the programme, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said that the world would certainly be a peaceful place to live in if all people followed the philosophy and ideals of Lord Buddha.
"Lord Buddha had formulated scientific as well as effective way to relieve the people from worldly crises," he said adding that he was a revolutionary thinker who had challenged the persisting old beliefs of his time.
Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said the formation of first national consensus government after the 5-point agreement was a big achievement in itself and called everyone to set their political or individual interests aside to institutionalise democracy in the country.
UNDP representative to Nepal Robert Piper read the message of United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in which he said that the teachings of Buddhism could offer significant insights to improve the condition of the planet and lead the way to a more sustainable future.
"We must also change longstanding assumptions and open our minds to new ideas and possible solutions if we are to address major global threats, from the proliferation of deadly weapons to intolerance and inequality," read the message of UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon.
The programme was attended by Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Gurung, Myanmar Ambassador to Nepal U Thet and UCPN-Maoist politburo member Hisila Yami among others.
Sri Lanka to help for Lumbini Dev
Menwhile, in Bhairahawa, speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Chamal Rajapaksa on Sunday said that his country would always be together with the Government of Nepal for the development of Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha.
The messages of Lord Buddha would be honoured in a real sense only after the development of Lumbini, he said.
Rajapaksa made this remark while addressing an event organized in Lumbini to celebrate the 2556th Buddha Day and Lumbini Festival.
Highlighting the long cultural ties between Nepal and Sri Lanka, he stressed the need to enhance the relations.
The Sri Lankan people and leaders have deep devotion towards Lumbini, he said and added that the number of Sri Lankan tourists visiting Nepal will grow after the country achieves sustainable peace and stability.
"Now, around 200 Sri Lankans have been visiting Lumbini daily. The number will grow significantly following the establishment of lasting peace and political stability in the country," he said.
Rajapaksa also underlined the need to promote the teachings of Lord Buddha throughout the world.
Appreciating the Government of Nepal’s attempts to celebrate the Visiting Lumbini Year 2012, he said that the promotion of Lumbini in international arena would be helpful for its development.
Former Minister for Culture and coordinator of Visit Lumbini Year 2012, Gopal Kiranti said that the development of Lumbini had lagged behind due to those who have not wanted to see the progress of the birthplace of Buddha.
Another former Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Deep Kumar Upadhyay said that the master plan of Lumbini developed by Japanese professor Kenzo Tange should be implemented within one year as per the pledge made by the parliament two year back.