KATHMANDU, Feb 18: The government has said that it was trying its best bring Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) into operation before the third International Buddhist Conference.
The conference is scheduled to be held in Lumbini on May 5-7.
The official preparation for the third edition of the conference began from Monday itself. Speaking at a meeting with media persons, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said that the government was trying to bring the second international airport, which serves the birthplace of Buddha, before the conference. "The airport will facilitate delegates of the conference. We strongly believe that people coming for study and research will do better promotion of Nepal," he added.
The government has given March 31, 2020 deadline for completion of construction works of GBIA.
According to Bhattarai, the government is inviting president of Sri Lanka, prime minister of Thailand, state councilor of Myanmar, and tourism ministers from India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Bhutan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, the US, the UK, Russia, Costa Rica, France and Germany as well as former secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon in the conference.
The government has appointed Pasang Sherpa as member secretary of the organizing committee.
The committee has decided to celebrate the conference for a week. Programs like cleaning of Lumbini, Bhairahawa, Kapilvbastu and Ramgram area, blood donation, tree plantation and marathon, among others, will be organizing on the sidelines of the conference.
Nepal has been organizing the conference every two years since 2016.