The government has decided to observe the upcoming year 2012 as Visit Lumbini Year with a view to emphasising and highlighting the importance of the birth place of Lord Buddha who is adored and respected worldwide as the light of Asia. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is currently in the US especially to apprise UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and request him to assume the leadership role in promoting and developing the birth place of Lord Buddha as a globally significant destination for pilgrimage and cultural tourism. It has been learnt that the UN chief has accepted to act in line with the request and appreciated the initiatives to promote and develop Lumbini, which is also a priority of the UN itself. Since the development of Lumbini is a matter of interest not only of Nepal but also in particular Buddhist nations that include Japan, Thailand, South Korea and others as well as other regional and international organisations in general, the latest initiatives will definitely contribute to imparting additional focus on its promotion and popularisation.
Similarly, Nepal has also decided to mark the upcoming year as Investment Year to attract both local and external investors to put resources into the development of the country. Both the initiatives do coincide, which will be good for reinforcing each other. Needless to repeat, the country has been observing the on-going year 2011 as Visit Nepal Year, but officials have realised that the decision was made without doing enough home work and preparation to achieve the intended objective. The government that should have taken the lead in making it a success has not done anything significant to ensure that the year yields the minimum. The instability and endless bickering among the parties have sent negative signals and messages to the international community, giving rise to apprehensions and doubts about the social and political climate in the country.
The Visit Nepal Year should have aimed at luring more tourists and visitors in the country to promote it as an attractive and appropriate destination. Furthermore, it should have been utilised as an opportunity to stimulate the enterprising spirit and culture in the country so as to produce and sell domestic products, goods and services to the visitors - both internal and external. However, with the existing poor and decapitating infrastructure and power outage, the proposition has failed to attain the intended results. It is expected that the government will rise to the occasion to make the necessary preparations - and not repeat the case of inadequate preparation - to make Visit Lumbini Year a success.