Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Mecca’

China’s $3 Billion Investment in Buddhist Mecca Sparks a Row

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 21, 2011

By Jane Poretsis

On the 9th August, China declared that it had just signed a USD 3 billion deal with Nepal to develop Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha, sparking a row of lack of transparency.

The investment will see China leading the project, to transform the small town of Lumbini into a Buddhist Mecca and place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from around the world. A huge building project situated in the Southern region adjoining India. Seeing the construction of a new airport, highway, hotels, convention centre, temples and a Buddhist university; plus, the water, electricity and communication lines it currently lacks.

 According to the Xinhua News Agency, in July, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Hong Kong based – Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF), signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in Beijing.

This was met by concern in certain quarters of the Nepalese Government, which felt that it had been left in the dark and not consulted; prompting a dismissal from China on reports in the media of a secret pact with certain Maoist sections of the Government. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Arab Spring: Opening A Pandorra’s Box?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2011

By A.K. Verma

(July 04, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The so called Arab spring represents a massive popular movement, not

In this photo taken on a government-organized tour, Libyan women demonstrate during a rally in Green Square in downtown Tripoli, Libya, Friday, July 1, 2011. A defiant Moammar Gadhafi threatened Friday to carry out attacks in Europe against "homes, offices, families," unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya. -AP Photo

seen or predicted in the Arab world ever since the Suez sponsored Nasserite upheaval. It is as significant as the falling of the Berlin wall. The effects of the falling of the Berlin wall are still being felt. Similarly, the Arab spring will lead to irreversible and continuous changes.

Although a common thread links the movement in all the regions its origins are not monocausal. The common denominator is that the entire region seeks a total transformation of ruling political structures and processes, fundamental reforms in governance to foster social equity and emancipation of the poverty ridden classes. The downtrodden have risen to forge a new identity, to look for better opportunities in education, development and personal enhancement.
The spring started in Tunisia with a policewoman slapping a young adult who immolated himself later. This ignited into a blaze the widespread discontent which had been there in Tunisia against the regime, leading ultimately to the flight of the president of Tunisia. Reactions followed in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria where similar undercurrents of discontent prevailed against the autocratic regimes. The Egyptian president had to abdicate also. The Yemen President, hurt in an assault at the Presidential Palace, took refuge in Saudi Arabia. Other rulers are facing armed insurrections.
The specific issues vary from country to country but broadly they can be placed in two categories. The movements in Tunisia, Bahrain and Libya are more social than political or economic, engineered by unhappy tribal or sectarian maladjustments, aggravated by authoritarian rulers. In Egypt, Yemen and Syria the roots lie in political, economic and sectarian dissatisfactions. Only Bahrain is monarchial: the rest of the five countries are republican. Great anxieties are being felt in their neighbourhood, especially the monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the gulf region. If the unrest spreads to these regions, absolutely unpredictable consequences can arise. Instability in Saudi Arabia will lead to severe repercussions in the oil and energy politics of the world. There are many who dread at the thought of instability in Saudi Arabia as it is also the custodian of the Muslim holy places of Mecca and Medina. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Chinese foundation plans to raise $ 3b to make Lumbini ‘magnet for Buddhists’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2011

Months after plans of a Chinese private sector company to invest Rs 8 billion to develop Lumbini as an International

Buddha Center hogged media headlines there comes news that a Chinese-backed foundation is planning to raise $ 3 billion to help Nepal develop Buddha’s birthplace.

According to Reuters, the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to raise the aforesaid amount at home and abroad “to build temples, an airport, a highway, hotels, convention centres and a Buddhist university in the town of Lumbini.”

Interestingly, UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the vice-chairman of the foundation which aims to transform Lord Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal “into a magnet for Buddhists in the same way as Mecca is to Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics”, the report adds.

The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal government last month to jointly develop and operate Lumbini.

According to the report, the foundation also pledged to bring communications, water and electricity to Lumbini.

“Lumbini will transcend religion, ideology and race. We hope to rejuvenate the spirit of Lord Buddha,” Xiao Wunan, a devout Buddhist who is executive vice president of the foundation, told the news agency.

The development of Lumbini will also help boost government revenues, create jobs and improve infrastructure in the impoverished corner of Nepal, the report cited the memorandum as stating. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Look for Mecca: Gargantuan and Gaudy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 31, 2010

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia — It is an architectural absurdity. Just south of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Muslim world’s holiest site, a kitsch rendition of London’s Big Ben is nearing completion. Called the Royal Mecca Clock Tower, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the world, the centerpiece of a complex that is housing a gargantuan shopping mall, an 800-room hotel and a prayer hall for several thousand people. Its muscular form, an unabashed knockoff of the original, blown up to a grotesque scale, will be decorated with Arabic inscriptions and topped by a crescent-shape spire in what feels like a cynical nod to Islam’s architectural past. To make room for it, the Saudi government bulldozed an 18th-century Ottoman fortress and the hill it stood on.

The tower is just one of many construction projects in the very center of Mecca, from train lines to numerous luxury high-rises and hotels and a huge expansion of the Grand Mosque. The historic core of Mecca is being reshaped in ways that many here find appalling, sparking unusually heated criticism of the authoritarian Saudi government. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hajj, Muslim Pilgrimage, Observed In Saudi Arabia (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 17, 2010


I respect all religion, rather than religion the basic of each religion. My congratulation and best wishes to all of them.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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‘World’s Largest Clock’ (PHOTOS): Saudis Build Giant Clock, Want ‘Mecca Time’ To Replace GMT

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2010


Middle East keeping records in many sectors now.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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‘World’s Largest Clock’ (PHOTOS): Saudis Build Giant Clock, Want ‘Mecca Time’ To Replace GMT

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 11, 2010


Is this so easy to change as thought?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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