In a new twist to the controversial Chinese plan to develop Lumbini — Lord Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal — as a ‘Mecca for Buddhists’, Nepal’s foreign minister disclosed on Friday that no pact has been signed between the Chinese-government backed NGO and UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in this regard.
Deputy prime minister and foreign mnister Upendra Yadav said news reports of a deal between Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooepration Foundation (APEC) and UNIDO to develop Lumbini with funds totaling $3 billion are false.
Yadav said that UNIDO has released a statement detaching itself from reports that it had signed a deal with the Hong Kong based foundation last month. “This chapter of APEC developing Lumbini as a ‘special development zone’ is closed as UNIDO has denied existence of the agreement. It was all just rumour,” Yadav said.