Nepal teams with Chinese firm to turn Lumbini into tourist hub


Prachanda, a former prime minister of Nepal, has agreed to a multi-billion-dollar business deal with a Chinese-backed firm to turn Lumbini, the historical birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha, into a tourist hub for Buddhists. Prachanda is currently vice-chairman of the Hong Kong-based foundation Xiao Wunan.

Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, according to the article, the news is unwelcome to many area locals. According to this Outlook India article, “The community said the plan is an attempt to commercialise the sacred place without their consent.”

(Photo by wonker via Flickr, using a CC-BY license.)