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

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’

China’s involvement in SAARC crucial: PM

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 14, 2011


KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Wednesday said that China´s involvement in SAARC has become crucial in view of its geo-proximity to the sub-continent and rapid economic growth.

“China neighbors five out of eight SAARC countries. Therefore, its involvement in SAARC has become crucial,” the prime minister said on Wednesday.

The prime minister further added that South Asian countries and China “must unite” to eradicate poverty in the region, which is home to about half of the world population.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Second Convention of China and South Asia Forum of Organizations in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the prime minister also stressed on Nepal´s interest in linking South Asia and China.

“Nepal would like to act like a vibrant bridge between these two historic regions, rather than merely playing the role of a traditional buffer state,” the prime minister said.

Altogether 30 delegates from Nepal, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are participating in the four-day event. Read the rest of this entry »

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SRI LANKA: Returnees struggle in post-war zone

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 5, 2011

THUNUKKAI, 5 July 2011 (IRIN) – More than two years after Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war officially ended, returnees to remote villages face tough times and uncertain futures, despite governmental and international efforts at reconstruction.

“Everything that we had earned in 50 years, we lost in months,” Supiah Arumugam, 52, and a father of two, told IRIN. Arumugam returned to his home village of Thunukkai, deep in Mullaitivu District in the island’s north and once under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in March 2010. He and his family had fled the violence two years previously.

Seven months after the government declared victory over the LTTE in May 2009, the Ministry of Economic Development launched the Northern Recovery Project in December 2009 to accelerate development in the conflict-affected Vanni. Of some 120,000 resettled families in the Vanni, the ministry estimates about 29,000 have directly benefited from projects, while 56,000 families have benefited indirectly.

But families such as Arumugam’s are returning to a small fraction of what they had and reconstruction is a slow process.

Before the war, Arumugam had a large farm with hundreds of livestock. Since his return, he has battled to find an income and his belongings are few: “I don’t have a house, only eight chickens and a bicycle.”

Like most, he says he has survived the past 15 months on the US$230 initially given by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) through the government to set up semi-permanent living quarters. Supplemental cash-for-work programmes coordinated by the government and funded by the World Bank also helped pay the bills for six months. “Life is a struggle,” he said.

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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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Buddhist Teachings

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 16, 2011

Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Gautama Buddha (“Buddha” means “enlightened one”), who born in Lumbini, Nepal in the 6th Century B.C. The Buddha was not a god and the philosophy of Buddhism does not entail any theistic world-view. The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely to liberate sentient beings from suffering.

The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core of Buddhism are-

The Three Universal Truth
The Four Noble Truth
The Noble Eightfold Path

In Buddhism, the law of karma, says “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.” Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions is born by the person who commits them.

After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This marked the beginning of the Buddhist community. For the next forty-five years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Wikileaks: Leaked cables on Nepal dwell on Maoists‚ Indo-Nepal ties

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 16, 2011

By Keshav Koirala

KATHMANDU: The whistle blower website WikiLeaks on Tuesday published several US diplomatic cables generated from the US missions in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.

The new leak includes four cables sent by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu from 2003 to 2007, with three of them centring on the Maoists who launched an armed insurgency in the country. All the cables were categorised as secret and addressed to U.S. Secretary of State.

Sent on September 25, 2003, the first missive was prepared by the then Ambassador, Michael E. Malinowski, and dwelt on the Nepal-India bilateral security cooperation in the pretext of Maoist insurgency in Nepal.

In the second cable dated December 13, 2003, the US Ambassador wrote that he relayed concerns about the activities of Indian intelligence agents in Kathmandu who were apparently “characterising USG policy and motives in Nepal as malevolently aimed at undermining Nepal’s sovereignty.”

In the September 22, 2006 cable, Ambassador James Moriarty wrote that Nepal was being through a crunch time with the Maoists trying to get in the power through “bluff” despite having “relatively little popular support” and no military capability “to take on the government’s security services in an open fight” while they were in the talks tables. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sri Lanka Rising Star Of Asian Economy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 26, 2011

“Which country had the best performing market in 2010? Fox News asked in a special report on Sri Lanka. ‘Guess what? It was not the United States of America! The best performing stock market was Sri Lanka’s CSE which was up 96% for the year’,” they said, the Sri Lanka government website said Wednesday.

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India Woos Sri Lanka With Buddha’s Bones

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 25, 2011

India, just do not claim that Buddha was born in India as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa knows very well that Lumbini is the birth place of Buddha.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Wikileaks: On U.S. request, India shuts payment route for Iran oil imports

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 31, 2010

By Sandeep Dikshit

ACU mechanism crucial for India to deal with Iran

Iran to hold talks with RBI on Friday

NEW DELHI: In a move that is being seen worldwide as an example of India succumbing to American pressure, the Reserve Bank of India has barred companies from using the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) to process current account transactions for oil and gas imports — a decision that directly hits at Indian energy imports from Iran.

With American and European clearing houses unwilling to process payments involving the Iranian hydrocarbon sector, an urgent solution will now have to be found for the $11 billion worth of oil India imports annually from the Islamic Republic. Diplomatic sources told The Hindu that a senior official from the Central Bank of Iran will hold emergency talks with the RBI on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

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