After getting sidelined following controversy, the ambitious project to transform Lumbini, Lord Buddha's birthplace in Nepal, to a 'Mecca for Buddhists' has resurfaced again with signing of a MoU between a Hong Kong-based NGO and a committee constituted by Nepal government.
The agreement was signed by chairman of Nepal's ruling Maoist party and head of Lumbini Development National Directive Committee (LDNDC) Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Xiao Wunan, executive vice chairman of Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation (APEC) Foundation.
Though details of the agreement signed on Wednesday have not been revealed, reports say APEC aims to bring in investment worth US $3 to 5 billion to develop infrastructure in the UN world heritage site located close to the Indian border.
"Nepal, China and India should come together and form a strategic partnership through this Lumbini project for peace, stability and development in the region and Asia," Prachanda said.
He also mentioned discussions with top Chinese and Indian leaders on the project but didn't give any information on how Indian government or companies could get involved.
Both Prachanda and Xiao claimed that the project enjoys support of UN and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The fresh development has again raised questions as some members of LDNDC were kept in the dark about the agreement and no minister or senior government official was present at the event.