23 countries agree to develop Lumbini as gateway to Buddhist Circuit
April 30, 2018 06:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, April 30: A gathering of 23 countries from across the globe has agreed to promote Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a foundation of Buddhism and world peace as envisioned in their previous declaration issued in 2016.
Issuing a 10-point Lumbini Declaration-2018, the gathering acknowledged the achievements made in the past to promote the importance of Lumbini as the scared birthplace of Buddha and the foundation of Buddhism and world peace.
In 2016, the Lumbini Declaration had decided to start a global Buddhism forum to establish a network among the Buddhist traditions.
This year, global participants from 23 countries gathered in Lumbini to mark the 2562nd Buddha Jayanti and participate in the International Buddhist Conference. They discussed a wide range of issues on promoting the holy land Lumbini across the globe.
In the declaration issued on Sunday, the participants have agreed to complete the Lumbini Master Plan designed by Kenzo Tange as a Global Center for Peace and Humanity. The gathering has also decided to bring the world's Buddhist community together and promote Lumbini as Buddha's birthplace.
The declaration says the participants agree "to promote interfaith dialogue, and bring the world Buddhist community together, to address rising religious and ethnic violence in South Asia and to work together to find a Buddhist way to address and resolve conflict."
All the participants have also made an agreement to create an international center for peace and conflict resolution in Lumbini. As part of their efforts to promote Lumbini as the birthplace of Buddha, the participants agreed to establish Lumbini as a gateway to the Grater Circuit of Asian Buddhist Pilgrimage. While developing Buddha's birthplace as the gateway to Buddhism, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar of India will be connected with Lumbini of Nepal.
In the declaration, the participants said they will create an integrated management plan to safeguard the archeological, cultural and natural heritage of the Greater Lumbini Area.
Likewise, concern over the increased air pollution, the gathering has made an understanding to safeguard the environment within the Greater Lumbini Area by monitoring and controlling sources of all forms of pollution.
Realizing the great significance of Kapilvastu, the homeland of Buddha and Shakyas, Devedaha, the home of Queen Maya Devi, Ramgram, relic stupa of the Buddha, to all Buddhist and peace-loving people around the world and their potential as pilgrimage destinations within the Buddhist Circuit of Neal, the gathering has agreed to create an Integrated Greater Lumbini Area Master Plan.