FAQ – Q&A

UNESCO has confirmed the buffer zone which is 5 miles x 5 milesClick HERE Another new confirmation (01.July.2013)Click HERE

What/Who is LDT -  LDT is Lumbini Development Trust – They are local people who are appointed by the Government of Nepal  – Some of them are in the government cabinet -

People has asked us “Why do they want so much to build the city inside the buffer zone” ? Why not outside of this 5miles x 5miles ? Well,  they do it because of greed, hatred and ignorance.

Question 1:Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Government of Nepal and KOICA, the Korean official aid agency, to develop Lumbini area has signed. The details of the design and implementation aspects do not seem to be yet ready.

Answer:The idea of World Peace City is dated back in 2008 – 2009 (or earlier ! ) when a Business Development Manager, Air Asia approached Malaysian Buddhist Sakyamuni Buddha Foundation (SBF) – As stated by one of SBF members, the vision of SBF is: “Now, all Buddhists can perform pilgrimage to Buddha’s holy sites at affordable cost and time, at least once in their lifetime.”

It is not just an idea that comes up in 2012 – They do have the details to a certain level – They already have sketch in the Inception Report on June 2012 – The report is at details documentation  CLICK HERE

Question 2:According to the planners the sanctity of Prof Tange’s master plan for 3×3 area will be retained and not disturbed. They say the UNESCO World Heritage site will not be disturbed. This World Peace City concept is for the surrounding 5×5 area.

Answer: By superimposing the Kenzo Tange plan with the Kwaak plan, you can see that the new plan is inside the 5 miles x 5 miles area –  CLICK HERE

What Mr. Kwaak claims and what actually happens are two different things. According to latest air quality data, Lumbini’s air quality is unhealthy by international air quality standards. Already atmospheric pollution is damaging the Ashoka pillar and other monuments (micro scaling, chemical corrosion, and powdering of original black spots). Water pollution (chloric acid and nitrogen) is attacking ancient and new bricks in the Maya Devi Temple. The bricks are breaking. The World Peace City will worsen with the air, water, noise, and garbage pollution and will have a direct negative impact on the sanctity of the 1 mile x 3 mile area.

Question 3: The idea seems to be to develop a planned township to benefit and uplift the community around it, who do not feel benefitted by Lumbini project presently. So it seems that the villagers around, who are non Buddhist, like the concept. It is assumed that with a happier and supportive neighborhood Lumbini will develop faster.

Answer: In which way will Lumbini develop faster ?

This is an opinion of worldly people – Of course, they like it because of the “make believe economic gain”. Most people who live around that area are farmers – If their land is gone then how they can make a living ? Will more factories be built or are people just going to sit at home waiting for the Pilgrimage season ? The Asokar Pillar is already affected by the pollution (Report from UNESCO – Dr. Meucci ) – The report can be obtained by contact to UNESCO – Nepal. As an individual, you might not obtain this information but as an organization or as a well-respected person there is a chance for that.

Right now, we have trash everywhere inside the restricted zone – We have video footage about this problem CLICK HERE – Can the authority manage to clean up the trash problem for 200.000 people or more  ? Or maybe a kind of new job will be created namely the “street sweeper” ?

According to the plan, there will be apartments for these 200.000 inhabitants – Will it turn to be a kind of shared-apartment/ a kind of hotel for visitors? In short, how can poor people afford an apartment and what kind of job will they be offered to make a living ?

The planner can easily say: Nobody can buy these apartments, so they will turn these apartments to business – Who can stop them and who will monitor this kind of activities?

In the past, there was an effort to stop the Hindu rituals such as animal sacrifice near the Devi Temple – With a city of 200.000 inhabitants (80% of Nepalese is hindu) inside the Buffer Zone, is there any warranty for not doing that since the buffer zone is gone ? We can not stop Hindu people from doing it because that is their belief.

Any kind of large scale planning needs to respect Lumbini as the birthplace of the Buddha, as a World Heritage site, and the Kenzo Tange master plan. Over the last ten years the number of local hotels and guest houses has increased exponentially and so has the number of new job opportunities. Currently the wells in Lumbini and the surrounding villages are increasingly drying up. A Lumbini World Peace City with 200,000 inhabitants (or more) will worsen the water problem. World Peace City with its air, water, noise, and garbage pollution will cause Lumbini to become an environmental catastrophe in the near future.

Contact for more info and Asokar Pillar report at:

Mrs. Nabha Basnyat-Thapa
UNESCO Office in Kathmandu
Sanepa-2
Lalitpur
Kathmandu
Nepal
Email: “Basnyat-Thapa, Nabha” <n.basnyat-thapa@unesco.org>
Phone: +977-1-5554396 / 769

(Please mention about Dr. Constantino Meucci’s report)

Latest news: On Feb.20th 2013, UNESCO made public a study report CLICK HERE
Ref. to Page 45 / Chapter 5.5 for “Impact on archaeological remains of Lumbini” – Asoka Pillar is also mentioned here ….

Question 4:The other idea seems to bring a planned development in the surrounding villages rather than leaving it haphazard, ugly and unfitting approach to Lumbini.

Answer: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – We think it’s beautiful based on the peacefulness and serenity that we experience. About this point we will quote one of a non-Buddhist that signed the petition with her comment:

SADAGATTOULLA Aminaby – France

I am not a Buddhist. I visit Lumbini two years ago,it is a peaceful place. I promise to my 9 years old daughter to bring her there and feel the serenity of this place. In Lumbini are Buddhisms’ roots please preserve this place free from urbanization. Thank you!

The Kenzo Tange Master Plan calls for a buffer zone around the 1 mile x 3 mile Kenzo Tange Project Area. This buffer zone consists of six square miles of restricted area where trees related to the life of the Buddha will grow and 16 square miles of agricultural zone. What is so ugly about this? What is needed is the political will to implement the buffer zone. An extensive buffer zone around a World Heritage site protects the site against various threats. The World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is greatly benefitting from its extensive buffer zone.

Question 5: It seems that UN Secretary General has knowledge about this concept and perhaps he supports it too.

Answer:  It is only an assumption – Whether Mr. Ban Ki Moon supports the plan or not is not known. As the Secretary General of the UN, he will have to act according to UN norms. UNESCO has serious concerns about this project and Mr. Ban Ki Moon will not want to negate the mandate of UNESCO to safeguard the World Heritage Site of Lumbini. My vote / your vote for Lumbini is equally with Mr. Ban Ki Moon’s vote in terms of “preserving Lumbini.” By the way, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre has already sent an official letter to the Government of Nepal requesting information on the World Peace City project.

Question 6: I have a feeling that the authorities here may like the idea as a positive step when not much was happening at Lumbini after all these years. I do not know the international angle of the countries involved.

 Answer: Yes, the local authorities like the idea because there are so much money involved. We would like to quote one of the supporters for the petition: What peace is there when you are destroying the holy site of the Buddhists worldwide?

Question 7: I have not studied the concept. If you wish I can mail you the set of papers of this “Master Vision Plan for Lumbini World Peace City” presented here.

Answer: There is a report (Inception Report dated June 2012 by KOICA & Kwaak E.S.P.R.I) – This report can be found on the website: www.save-buddhist-heritage.org

For any buddhist (no need to be a buddhist scholar), reading the “goal / objective” of this plan, anyone can easily find something like: Food for the soul, healing center and more – With limited understanding about Buddhism, we know that there is no such thing as a soul or healing, only liberation. Healing is a new-age movement – The planner or Mr. Kwaak himself misunderstands Buddhism. The designer should have a right view on Buddhism in order to design a place which is harmonious to Buddhism especially Lumbini, one of the four holiest sites -

We believe the Inception Report is the latest one –

There is a question such as: what if they presented one plan to get approval and carry out with another one ? How do we for sure to know that they will carry out the plan “as it is” – Suppose they got the contract, is there anyone who will monitor the plan ?

We would like to quote one of the comment from Proffessor Geoffrey Samuel – Cardiff England – He has signed for the petition with the comment:
Professor Geoffrey Samuel – CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/share/contactsandpeople/academicstaff/P-T/samuel-geoffrey-dr-overview_new.html
“As a specialist in Buddhist studies, and someone who has visited and appreciated the serenity and beauty of many Buddhist sites over the years, I am shocked to hear that the Nepal government is apparently prepared to go ahead with this scheme. The example of the Kathmandu Valley has shown how difficult it is to preserve even minimal acceptable environmental standards once development of this kind is permitted.”

Message from www.Save-Buddhist-Heritage.ORG
Dear Friends – We have been working hard to save Buddha’s birthplace which can be lost to the world if World Peace City is built. We have informed as many people as we can about this petition. We are begging you to please do whatever you can to save Lumbini. Please tell your local newspaper, media, and all the people you know about this petition.

May the merrit of this action will be the cause for your happiness in the future
May all the being be free from suffering and live in happiness

With Metta – From all of us, the Team “Save Lumbini”